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The Modernist Studies in Asia Network seeks proposals for short, persuasive essays addressing “Global Modernisms’ Other Empires” for a prospective peer-reviewed cluster on Modernism/modernity’s Print Plus platform. While the New Modernist Studies has productively expanded the locations and timelines of modernism, many figures, literary works, and images central to this expansion continue to be drawn from the British and French Empires. Yet, some of the strongest and most contested sites of imperialism in the modernist period involved locations and imperial aspirations beyond Europe’s core empires. This cluster invites papers which consider how literary modernism records the entangled imperial legacies of these empires or investigate how inter-imperial entanglements contribute the uneven or unequal effects of modernity on modernism’s global emergence.

This cluster aims to expand understanding of the relationship between modernism, imperialism and the global by reconceptualizing how modernism engaged with entangled colonial networks in which Europe is influential, but not the sole player. Individual essays might focus on how the study of imperial modernisms engage postcolonial criticism to better understand literary modernism’s relation to the nexus of asymmetrical and multidirectional global power relations, or how the vestigial imperial ambitions of empires such as Japan, China, Ottoman Turkey, Russia, and the Portuguese register aesthetically. While we particularly welcome contributions that focus on modernisms with connections to the Asian continent, proposed papers need not be explicitly connected to Asia to be considered.

Papers should be in the spirit of a conference roundtable (2000-3000 words). We particularly welcome submissions that draw on the unique possibilities afforded by the digital setting of the Print Plus platform. For more on the platform see:

Please send a titled, 300-word abstract and a brief biography to by 1 DecemberContributors will be invited to submit essays, after which the entire cluster will be sent out for peer review.


Retrospective Modernism

The Third Annual International Conference of the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA)

14-16 May 2020

Fudan University, Shanghai

Keynote Speakers

Rebecca Walkowitz (Rutgers University)

Simon During (University of Melbourne)

Matthew Hart (Columbia University)

Call for Papers

Modernism is often characterized by an acute sense of a break between the past and the present. “We are sharply cut off from our predecessors. A shift in the scale,” remarked Virginia Woolf, “has shaken the fabric from top to bottom, alienated us from the past and made us perhaps too vividly conscious of the present.” The aesthetic and political projects of modernism, however, remain inextricable from engagement with literary and intellectual traditions in various parts of the world. Ezra Pound’s phrase “make it new,” one of the most famous slogans associated with modernism, derives from renderings of Confucian thought and teachings. James Joyce’s reinvention of the Odyssey in Ulysses embodies much more than parodies and ironic gestures. And while T. S. Eliot advocated “the historical sense” that “involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence,” many modernist writers in non-Western contexts such as Lu Xun, Premchand, and Yasunari Kawabata, to name just a few, have depicted with poignancy the clutches or ongoing ravages of the past.

Perspectives on modernism entail a retrospective effort of the imagination, even as they are inevitably informed by issues and concerns that are contemporary to ourselves. The continued growth of scale – spatiotemporally, archivally, and textually – in modernist studies at once paves the way and makes demands for understanding the complexities of cultural and intellectual history across geographical boundaries. It also calls for a renewal of attention to approaches to traditions and aesthetic practices that vitally strengthen or disrupt connections between the past, the present, and the future.

This conference invites papers that explore retrospective modernism from diverse angles and contexts. In what ways is modernism related to or disconnected from specific intellectual and living traditions? How do modernism’s revolt against and reconfiguration or revaluation of the legacy of the past bear upon its transcultural reception, adaptation, and evaluation? How do modernist scholars around the world today tackle modernism’s retrospective moments, themes, and practices? And how might a retrospective emphasis contribute to or complicate the development of global modernist studies? We welcome papers that focus on textual analysis, cultural studies, historiographical discussions, theoretical and methodological reflections, as well as interdisciplinary work on art, cinema, theater, and other cultural products.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Invention and evolution of ideas of Modernism

  • Modernism and tradition

  • Rupture, continuity, and resonance

  • History and memory

  • Formal experiment and innovation

  • Reform and revolution

  • War and violence

  • Nostalgia, imagination, and fantasy

  • Retrospect and prospect

  • Primitivism, Futurism, and Presentism

  • Personality and impersonality

  • Self, character, and identity

  • Globalization, modernization, and world systems

  • World, globe, and nature

  • Translation, communication, and confrontation

  • Modernism and the Enlightenment

  • Modernism and epistemology
  • Modernism and sentimentalism
  • Modernism and Romanticism

  • Modernism and realism
  • Modernism and feminism
  • Modernism and phenomenology
  • Modernism and liberalism
  • Modernism and conservatism
  • Modernism, socialism, and communism

  • Modernism, nation, and empire
  • Modernism and cosmopolitanism
  • Modernism and forms of humanism
  • Modernism and orientalism
  • Modernism and the Canon
  • Modernism and folklore
  • Modernism and the mass media
  • Modernism and pedagogy

Please send abstracts of approximately 250 words, together with short bios, to by Dec. 15, 2019. Participants will be notified in January, 2020.


Conference Organizers:

Nan Zhang (Fudan University)

Aiping Wang (Fudan University)
Liang Chen (Fudan University)
Yuexi Liu (Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University)



‘Modernism and Multiple Temporalities’

The Second Annual International Conference of the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA)

12-14 September 2019

Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof. Laura Marcus (Oxford)

Prof. Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins)

Prof. Aaron Gerow (Yale)


Call for Papers


     Following its highly successful inaugural conference held in June 2018, the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA) calls for abstracts for its second annual international conference on the subject of ‘Modernism and Multiple Temporalities’. 

     The concept of psychological time has long been a central theme of modernist studies, particularly with reference to textual features such as the stream of consciousness and narrative fragmentation. In recent years, however, increasing attention has been paid to the ways in which the ‘politics of time’ (Peter Osborne’s term) has defined the very experience of modernity and generated a variety of modernist innovations such as the avant-garde rhetoric of rupture or attention to the communal rhythm of the everyday. Starting with Karl Marx’s observation on capitalism’s ‘annihilation of space by time,’ many critics have examined how the dominant versions of time (such as Walter Benjamin’s ‘homogenous, empty time’, or what E. P. Thompson called ‘time discipline’) colluded with capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism; meanwhile, they have also observed the ways in which the dominant ideologies were often contested through the multiplicity of temporality in various locations.

     Building on these observations, we might revise the agenda of ‘New Modernist Studies’ formulated by Douglas Mao and Rebecca Walkowitz ten years ago—the agenda to expand modernism temporally, spatially, and vertically. While we continue to pursue the vertical expansion of modernism to include a variety of popular genres, we might now consider the temporal and the spatial in conjunction and note how the spatial expansion of modernism urges us to confront the multiplicity of experiential time across the world. We might also explore how the expanded field of global modernism is itself constituted by competing or conflicting temporalities that were lived or generated in the specific locations of modernity. 

     In this spirit, we invite papers that engage with multiple temporalities in the texts of modernism (literature, art, cinema, music, and other cultural products). How do they represent, reproduce, or reconfigure the experiences of time in modernity? How does the modernist obsession with innovation contain the utopian desire for the future while also being charged by a nostalgic longing for the past? How do the multiple temporalities of modernism challenge, contest, or sometimes conform to the dominant versions of time? Or how do the texts of modernism themselves travel across time and space, through the specific temporalities of transmission, reception, and translation? We welcome papers that tackle these questions with reference to modernism in its global as well as local—European, American, African, Oceanian, Asian, or elsewhere—manifestations.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:



Modernism and the Histories of Modernity

Modernism and the Uneven Development

Synchronicity and Non-synchronicity


Dailiness and the Everyday

Internal and External Time

Psychological and Physiological Time

Secular and Sacred Time

Linear and Cyclical Time

Global and Local Time

Deep Time

Time and the Modernist Narrative

Cinematic Time

The Ideas of Tradition and Innovation

Affect and the Perpetual Present

Gendered Experience of Time




Primitivism, Futurism, and Presentism

Temporalities of Transmission, Reception, and Translation

The Ideas of the Contemporary

Legacies of Modernism



Please send 200-word abstracts for 20-minutes papers along with a short bio to by 25 December 2018.


Conference Organizers (in alphabetical order):


Fuhito Endo (Seikei University)

Asako Nakai (Hitotsubashi University)

Kohei Saito (Aoyama Gakuin University)

Motonori Sato (Keio University)

Kunio Shin (Aoyama Gakuin University)

Yoshiki Tajiri (the University of Tokyo)

Kyoko Yoshida (Ritsumeikan University)


The conference website will be ready by March 2019. For further information about MSIA, please visit our website:

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