EVENT Jun 09
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Publishing Late Modernism

Organization: University of Westminster
Categories: 20th & 21st Century, 20th & 21st Century
Event Date: 2023-06-09 Abstract Due: 2023-03-31

One-day conference, in-person, June 9 2023.
Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2HW.

How was the artistic and political reputation of modernist writing shaped and managed in the postwar period by the publishing houses committed to promoting both canonical modernist writers and new modernist work? What was the state of modernist publishing after the Second World War? How did publishers deal with the complicated political allegiances of writers during and after the war? How far did the political affiliations of publishers shape their lists in the decades after 1945? How did shifting political circumstances in the US, Europe and elsewhere contribute to an understanding (or misunderstanding) of what modernism was about? How was the reception of literary modernism complicated, modified or transformed by the postwar publication history of writers such as Eliot, Pound, Lewis or Woolf? Did previously marginal or under-represented modernist writers benefit from the renewed interest in their work by postwar publishers and new generations of readers? Did other writers recede or disappear from print during the postwar period and for what reasons? How was emerging modernist scholarship supported by publishing houses? How did publishers contribute to the development of particular critical perspectives on modernist literature?

We welcome contributions on individual authors and/or publishers; on literary magazines, editors, groups or movements; on national, international or transnational relations; on mainstream or popular perceptions of modernist writing; on trade and university presses, avant-garde and mainstream publishing houses; on aesthetic and/or political radicalism, right or left; on cultural gatekeeping, the inclusion or exclusion of works or writers dues to political or other grounds; on publishers’ lists; on the legacies of postwar publishing in terms of canon formation, influence, critical orthodoxies, exclusions and prejudices.

Leigh Wilson and John Beck invite proposals for 15-minute papers. Please send 300 word proposal and short biographical note to j.beck@westminster.ac.uk by 31 March 2023.


John Beck