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MSIA 2019 – Modernism and Multiple Temporalities

September 12-14, 2019

Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo

Submission deadline:

December 25, 2018

Mod-Emp Poster.jpg

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Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof. Laura Marcus (Oxford)

Prof. Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins)

Prof. Aaron Gerow (Yale)

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.

Postgraduate Roundtable
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