CFP, MSA 2019: Upheaval and Reconstruction

Publié le 12 octobre 2018 Mis à jour le 12 octobre 2018

Annual Conference of the Modernist Studies Association


du 16 octobre 2019 au 19 octobre 2019

Deadlines for proposals:
Seminar proposals: January 25, 2019
Workshop proposals: January 25, 2019
Panel, Roundtable, and Digital Exhibition proposals: March 8, 2019
Toronto, ON, Canada
CFP for the Modernist
Studies Association’s Annual Conference

From the Boer War to the Great War, and from the Russo-Japanese conflict to the Amritsar Massacre and anti-colonial uprisings, modernism and modernity are shaped by processes of upheaval and reconstruction. Yet while modernism is often treated as an artistic and literary movement characterized by conflict, violence, and despair, it nonetheless strove towards renewed hope and positive transformation. Indeed, such turmoil and upheaval prompted modernist artists, writers, and thinkers to reevaluate human behaviour and cultural expression, and to reimagine the world. At the centenary of the 1919 peace conference, MSA Toronto calls for a broader consideration of processes of upheaval and reconstruction with respect to understanding modernism and modernity at various times and across global spaces. As one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, Toronto is a fitting venue for investigating and promoting a more complex and inclusive modernism, in which disruption is also a site for expansion, and expansion is joined with processes of inclusion and renewal. The conference invites examinations of literary, visual, performative, curatorial, technological, philosophical and cultural upheaval and reconstruction while exploring the tensions underlying these processes that modernist texts and artworks variously expose, contest, internalize, or overcome. Topics might include:

Altered identities and communities

The pain of others and healing

Ecological disaster and repair

Grief and reparative commemoration

Gender, sexuality, and the refashioned body

Modeling conflict resolution

Networked communicative systems

Reconfiguring home

Revolution and aftermath

Migration, diversity, and inclusion

Modalities of decolonization

Appropriation, expropriation, and reconciliation

Intersections of apocalypse and utopia

The conference organizers for “Upheaval and Reconstruction” invite proposals for seminars and pre/post-conference workshops (due January 25), panels, roundtables, poster sessions, multimedia/digital exhibitions (due March 8).
We encourage proposals relevant to the conference theme but welcome panel, seminar, and roundtable proposals on all topics related to modernism. The primary criterion for selection will be the quality of the proposal, not its relevance to the conference theme.
We ask that proposals provide complete panels and roundtables. Individuals seeking to create or to participate in a panel or roundtable are encouraged to visit the
CFP page
or the MSA
for guidelines to develop and opportunities to promote a panel or roundtable.

The MSA values diversity of national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, migration status, ability, class, employment status, and other forms of identity. We encourage conference participants and organizers to take this into account when making proposals for the MSA annual conference.

Hosted by the Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre at Ryerson University, with a coalition of English and Language Departments at University of Toronto, OCAD University, and York University, this conference takes place at the Delta Chelsea at 33 Gerrard Street West in downtown Toronto.

All queries should be directed to

Becausewe wish to involve as many active participants as possible, the MSA limits multiple appearances on the program. Thus, you may participate once, but only once, in
each of the following categories:

• Seminar, either as leader or as participant

• Panel or roundtable, as participant (you may also chair a different panel or roundtable)

• “What Are You Reading?” session

You may lead a seminar, present a paper on a panel, and participate in a “What Are You Reading” session, but you may not present two papers. MSA rules do not allow panel or roundtable organizers to chair their own session if they are also speaking in the session. The session chair must be someone who is otherwise not participating in the session. Panel organizers are encouraged to identify a moderator and include this information with their proposals; the MSA Program Committee can also ask another conference attendee to serve as a moderator. Participation in a pre-conference workshop or in a digital exhibition does not constrain other forms of participation.

All those who attend the MSA conference must be members of the organization with dues paid for 2019-2020 (MSA membership runs from July 1 until June 30 each year.) For information on MSA, please check the website. Participants are expected to present in person.


January 25, 2019

are among the most unique features of the MSA conference. Participants write brief “position papers” (5-7 pages) that are circulated and read prior to the conference. Because their size is limited to 15 participants, seminars generate lively exchange and often
facilitate future collaborations. The format also allows a larger number of conference attendees to seek financial support from their institutions as they educate themselves and their colleagues on subjects of mutual interest. Seminars are two hours in length.
Because seminars led solely by graduate students are not likely to be accepted, we encourage interested graduate students to invite a faculty member to lead the seminar with them. Please note that this is the call for seminar leaders. Sign-up for seminar participants
will take place on a first-come, first-served basis coinciding with registration for the conference.

Seminar Topics:
There are no limits on topics, but past experience has shown that the more clearly defined the topic and the more guidance provided by the leader, the more productive the discussion. “Clearly defined” should not be confused with “narrow,” as extremely narrow
seminar topics tend to exclude many potential participants. To scan past seminar topics, go to the Conference Archives on the MSA website, click the link to a prior conference, and then click on “Conference Schedule” or “Conference Program.” You'll find seminars listed along with panels and other events. Topics related to the conference theme are especially welcome and might include, for example, modernism and reconstructing identities, modernism and inscriptions of peace, or modernism and collaboration.

Submit proposals by January 25, 2019 by completing the following online form: MSA 19 Seminar Proposal Form


Deadline: January 25, 2019

Pre-conference workshops are held on the Thursday that the conference begins and post- conference workshops are held on Sunday afternoon. They focus on topics related to professional life, such as publishing, teaching, the job market, mid-career challenges and opportunities, research and the liberal arts college, and alternative/non-academic jobs. Pre-conference workshops are likely to be focused on professional concerns for faculty, while post-conference workshops will probably be more relevant to graduate students. Popular workshops in previous years have been on topics including, “What Do Presses Want from a First Book?,” “Digital Approaches to Modernism,” and “Critical Writing.” Participation in a pre-conference workshop does not constrain participation in other aspects of the conference.

Workshops should be participatory in format and can be either 90 or 120 minutes in length. They may be entirely led by one person or may include a panel of experts. Please note that this call is for workshop leaders, who should be prepared to arrive at the conference venue early or stay late. Registration for workshops will occur at the same time as conference registration.

Submit proposals by January 25, 2019 by completing the following online form: MSA 19 Pre/Post-Conference Workshop Proposal Form


Deadline: March 8, 2019

Successful proposals will introduce topics that promise to expand research and debate on a topic, and will present a clear rationale for the papers’ collective goal. Panel proposals that engage recent contentious research, exciting new approaches, or theoretical interventions into the field are encouraged. Topics are not limited to the theme “Upheaval and Reconstruction.”

Please bear in mind these guidelines: We encourage interdisciplinary panels and strongly discourage panels on single authors. In order to allow for discussion, preference will be given to panels with three participants, though panels of four will be considered. Panels
composed entirely of participants from a single department at a single institution are not likely to be accepted. Graduate students are welcome as panelists, but panels composed entirely of graduate students are less likely to be accepted than panels that include postdoctoral presenters together with graduate students.

Submit proposals by March 8, 2019 by completing the following online form: MSA 19 Panel Proposal Form


Deadline: March 8, 2019

All topics will be considered for roundtables, but we encourage proposals that develop the theme of the conference. Unlike panels, which generally feature a sequence of 15-20 minute talks followed by discussion, roundtables gather a group of participants around a shared concern in order to generate discussion among the participants and with the audience. To this end, instead of delivering full-length papers, participants are asked to deliver short position statements in response to questions distributed in advance by the
organizer or to take turns responding to prompts from the moderator. The bulk of the session should be devoted to discussion. No paper titles are listed in the program, only the names of participants.

Please bear in mind these guidelines: Roundtables may feature as many as 6 speakers. We particularly welcome roundtables featuring participants from multiple disciplines, and we discourage roundtables on single authors. Roundtables composed entirely of participants from a single department at a single institution are not likely to be accepted. Graduate students are welcome as speakers, but roundtables composed entirely of graduate students are less likely to be accepted than those that include postdoctoral presenters together
with graduate students.

Submit proposals by March 8, 2019 by completing the following online form: MSA 19 Roundtable Proposal Form


Deadline: March 8, 2019

Reflecting the growing role of the digital humanities in modernist studies and the proliferation of work that does not lend itself to presentation in the form of a scholarly paper, we invite proposals that provide a short overview (including web links) of 1) the nature, design, and purpose of a digital project; 2) how the project advances modernist studies; and 3) how the presenters would want to exhibit and explain the project at the conference. Be sure to list all participants and institutions involved in the project, and
specify who among these would attend the conference.

Submit proposals by March 8, 2019 by completing the following online form: Poster Session and Digital Exhibit Form

Conference Access

The MSA is committed to ensuring that all conference registrants will be able to participate in conference events. We ask that all conference attendees give thought to questions of access and work with the conference organizers to create an event that is welcoming to the entire community of participants. If you would benefit from individual accommodations including, but not limited to, ASL translation, paper copies of session presentations, or large type documents, please contact the conference organizers.

Mis à jour le 12 octobre 2018