Meagan Tripp (Franklin and Marshall College)
Holly Yanacek (James Madison University)
Innovative depictions of real and imagined bodies, their movements, and their contexts abound in German literary and cultural modernism. Breaking with previous traditions, modernist works demonstrate a search for new forms of expression and ways of conceptualizing bodies—including human and non-human, organic and cyborg, differently abled, and differently sexed and gendered bodies. Recent scholarship has often dealt with modernist bodies in the contexts of interdisciplinary fields such as animal studies, disability studies, emotion studies; performance, dance, and theatre studies; queer studies; science and technology studies, and other areas, yet the push to interdisciplinarity has often left scholars siloed in subfields. In bringing together interdisciplinary approaches to modernist bodies, we hope that transdisciplinary conversations will help participants challenge their own disciplinary assumptions and produce more nuanced scholarship. This format would also allow scholars at multiple career stages to explore possible collaborations and broaden networks. As participants will precirculate papers, they will have the opportunity to give and receive more substantive feedback that may help move a project to the next stage.
This seminar invites contributions from scholars of literary, media, and cultural studies—in the aforementioned areas and beyond—that engage with the body in the modernist context. What constitutes a modern(ist) body, and how does innovative scholarship of today enhance our understanding of these bodies? What real and imagined bodies emerged in the modernist era and how do they deepen our understanding of modernism itself? How do innovative ways of engaging with scholarship (e.g., digital humanities, collaborative work, practice-as-research) push the boundaries of more traditional work on modernism?
Seminar participants will be asked to pre-circulate a 7- to 9-page paper, prepare questions for discussion, and respond to two assigned papers at more length.
Recent scholarship has often dealt with modernist bodies in the contexts of interdisciplinary studies on: animals studies, disability studies, emotion studies; performance, dance, and theatre studies; queer studies; and science and technology studies. Yet such work often remains siloed in subfields. This seminar invites participants interested in transdisciplinary conversations on the body in the modernist context.