CFP: Modernist Studies in the Age of Black Lives Matter (MSA2021 Chicago)

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    Elizabeth Evans

    Call for Papers (MSA 2021 Chicago): Modernist Studies in the Age of Black Lives Matter

    Call for papers for a proposed session for the Modernist Studies Association Conference to be held in Chicago, November 4-7, 2021.

    This proposed session considers how modernists are responding to Black Lives Matter in their scholarship. It asks, how has the field changed (or not) and how could, or should, it change?

    The killing of George Floyd ignited a massive, popular protest against police brutality and systemic racism. While Black Lives Matter began in the US as a response to the particular configurations of American racism, it quickly became a global movement as activists in other nations adopted some of its strategies to confront their own histories of racism. While the movement and its influence extend beyond the US, its concerns also exceed the actions of police. BLM, like the systemic racism to which it responds, encompasses institutions of every sort, including the university and organizations like MSA itself. Other than heeding to calls to “decolonize” syllabi, how have modernist scholars responded to BLM?

    Papers may, among other things:

    -summarize the kinds of responses to BLM apparent in modernist studies.

    -provide an example of modernist studies scholarship that engages with BLM.

    -ask what our methodologies prohibit and what they allow.

    -call for specific changes in modernist studies and/or in MSA to incorporate the lessons of BLM.

    Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief biographical statement to by March 31, 2021.

    Please note that this is a proposed, not a guaranteed, session; it will be evaluated by the MSA Program Committee (myself recused).


    Elizabeth F. Evans
    Department of Literatures in English
    Cornell University
    250 Goldwin Smith Hall
    Ithaca, NY  14853

    Author, Threshold Modernism: New Public Women and the Literary Spaces of Imperial London (Cambridge University Press, 2019) (
    Book Reviews Editor, The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 ( Chair, Modernist Studies Association (


    Daniel Roger Schwarz

    Thanks Liz; Great topic—best, dan

    Dan Schwarz
    Frederic J. Whiton Professor of Literatures in English
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    242 Goldwin Smith
    Cornell University Ithaca, New York 14853
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