ACLA 2016: Networking Modernisms

Networking Modernisms
Organizer: Elizabeth Rodrigues, Temple University
Co-Organizer: Melissa Dinsman, University of Notre Dame
Co-Organizer: Carrie Johnston, Bucknell University

This seminar invites scholars to mine the convergences of “networks”–a multifaceted conceptual, historical, and methodological term–and “modernisms”–a spectrum of aesthetic engagement with modernity’s interrelated histories of empire, technology, and migration. Putting “network” into play as both noun and verb, we seek not only to parse modernism as a collection of networks but to uncover how modernist objects build networks. Questions we might begin to engage include: Can we see modernist texts not only as interacting with emerging transportation and media networks but also forging networks as a mode of literary, visual, and sonic representation? Can modernists’ understanding of networked culture and society inform our own? How does modernist engagement with early-twentieth century networks ask us to reimagine our understanding of modernism? Can modernist methods of representing relationship inform our critical methods of modeling modernist places, spaces, and times? We imagine “network” as both an historical and methodological term, demanding analog as well as digital approaches. Therefore, we also welcome explorations into the realm of digital humanities. How, for example, might network diagramming and other practices of text modeling allow us to (re)articulate proliferating modernisms-global, local, ethnic, canonical?