The British Modernities Group

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Call for Papers: “‘Changing the Subject’: Subjectivity, Habitus, Behavior, and the End of the Subject”

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“‘Changing the Subject’: Subjectivity, Habitus, Behavior, and the End of the Subject”

British Modernities Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

May 4-5, 2017 (*tentative dates)
descartes_mind_and_body

Keynote Speakers: TBD

The British Modernities Group (BMG) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites graduate students to present papers at its twelfth annual interdisciplinary conference, “Changing the Subject’: Subjectivity, Habitus, Behavior, and the End of the Subject.”

Our conference brings together innovative work in ontology, literature, philosophy, psychology, and related fields of study to consider how scholars have responded to questions about subjectivity and ontology, specifically how behavior, habit, embodiment, and the mind affect our understanding of the everyday material existence of the ostensibly individual, coherent subject. As recent developments in domestic and foreign policy (such as the immigration ban) have reanimated questions of who is imagined to be the citizen-subject deserving of humanity, inclusion, and civil rights, our conference confronts the explicit and implicit stakes of reifying subjectivity–and the forms of being that the “subject” excludes and forecloses from our imaginary.

We hope to foster responses to questions concerning the subject, the abject, the reject, and the object. What does focusing on subjectivity in literature and other disciplines teach us? How do the oft-overlooked, banal, everyday categories of behavior, habit, and embodiment shape and determine the conditions of possibility for subjectivity and our lived orientation to the world? When exploring the forms of lived experience that constitute the ontology of the subject, what new forms-of-life along with their attendant interactions with and orientations to the world emerge? How might theories of the mind, behavior, psychology, disability, queer, and non-normative embodiments enliven and re-awaken conversations concerning the relationship between being and everyday existence? What new considerations of ontology as everyday lived practice might reading, writing, film, visual art, and other expressive genres foster? How do questions of being re-orient spectators to their own being-in-the-world? Do such reformulations of subjectivity disrupt or unsettle our understanding of the objects that surround us? How might historic and contemporary scientific studies attempting to define and explore what it means to be shape our understanding of literary texts, representation, and reader reception? Does a reformulation of subjectivity affect our understanding of the citizen, law, nation, and racialization?

The British Modernities Group invites novel paper proposals from any discipline and theoretical background. Possible paper topics and methodologies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Learned behavior
  • Studies in subjectivity
  • Alternate subjectivities
  • Theories of the mind
  • Queer subjectivities
  • Non-normative bodies and minds
  • Cognitive theories
  • Disability and illness
  • Science and embodiment
  • Reflex and automatic behavior
  • Theories of the everyday
  • Affect and the mind
  • Object oriented ontology
  • Ontology and materiality
  • Forms-of-life other than the subject
  • Ontology in film, visual art, and expressive culture
  • Theories of reading and writing
  • Theories of racialization and subjectivity

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual papers (or 350 words for panels) should be submitted to modernities@gmail.com by Monday, March 6, 2017. Please include your name, along with your departmental and institutional affiliations, in your email. Conference papers must not exceed 20 minutes. Visit our website (https://modernities.wordpress.com/) or check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishModernitiesatUIUC/) and Twitter (@BMGmodernities) for more information about the BMG.

 

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January 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“Feeling Real” Conference Schedule

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Written by modernities

April 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Call for Papers: “‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities”

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“‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities”

British Modernities Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

May 5-6, 2016Corazón

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Jonathan Flatley, Wayne State University

Professor Steve LaValle, University of  Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The British Modernities Group (BMG) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites graduate students to present papers at its eleventh annual interdisciplinary conference, “‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities.”

Our conference will bring together innovative work in affect theory, literary studies, and related fields to consider how feelings contribute to literature and how fictions feel real. As affect explores the cultivation, proliferation, and broader implications of both fictional and real-world feelings, literary scholarship has begun to consider compelling intersections of the mind and the material world that complicate the space between what feels “real” and what is.

Responding to these scholarly trends, we hope to foster reflection on all permutations of literary feelings and felt realities. What does focusing on affect in literature teach us? How do texts bring characters’ emotions to life? How do these literary emotions evoke affective responses in their readers? How do literary emotions move us and, in affecting us, effect real change on an individual or global scale? What is the relationship between feeling and fiction? How might literature contribute to reimagining realities? How can perception blur distinctions between the real and the fictional, and how does such blurring inform our definitions of what constitutes “reality”? How do modes from the pseudo-documentary to the fictional memoir undermine longstanding generic distinctions that separate the “real” from the “not real”? How can fictions come to supplant lived realities, and what are the consequences of such substitutions? How do unreliable narrators call attention to the subjective nature of reality and its dependence on personal feelings? Our conference will provide an opportunity for keynote speakers, panelists, and attendees to collaboratively explore these and related issues.

We invite innovative paper proposals from any discipline and theoretical background. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Affect theory
  • All aspects of studies in emotion or feeling
  • Affective realities
  • Queer feelings and queer realities
  • Non-normative bodies and minds
  • Reality and the mind
  • Virtual reality
  • Speculative realities
  • Cosplay
  • Genre (magical realism, realism)
  • (Non)fictional hybrids
  • Imagination
  • Reality television
  • Documentary film

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual papers (or 350 words for panels) should be submitted to modernities@gmail.com by Monday, February 29, 2016. Please include your name, along with your departmental and institutional affiliations, in your email. Conference papers must not exceed 20 minutes. Visit our website (https://modernities.wordpress.com/) or check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishModernitiesatUIUC/) and Twitter (@BMGmodernities) for more information about the BMG.

Written by modernities

January 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Posted in cfp, conference, events

Schedule of Events — “Bad Books: Mass Genres, Material Cultures, and Aesthetic Valuation,” May 1-2

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“Bad Books”:Mass Genres, Material Cultures, and Aesthetic Valuation

The British Modernites Group 10th Annual Graduate Student Conference


FRIDAY, MAY 1

2:00 – 4:00 PM: Seminar with Kevin J. H. Dettmar

(Pomona College)

Breaching the Firewall: Joyce’s Letters and the Reception of Dubliners

Location: Center for Advanced Studies

RSVP at modernities@gmail.com

5:00 – 6:30 PM: “Jane Addiction: Lost in Austen, Austen Fandom, and the Profane”

Faculty Lecture

Robert A. Rushing (Comparative & World Literature)

Location: English Building 160

 

SATURDAY, MAY 2

Events at the Independent Media Center

(202 S. Broadway Urbana)

9:00 – 9:15: Welcome

9:15 – 9:30: Opening Remarks (Ted Underwood)

9:30 – 11:00 Panel I: Approaching the Bad

Respondent: Ted Underwood

Noa Saunders (University of Maryland, College Park)

“Textuality and Reception of Nabokov’s The Original of Laura”

Kelly Budruweit (University of Iowa)

“The Failure of Magically Real Solutions: Joanne Harris’ Critique of the Veil in France”

Benjamin O’Dell (English)

“Bad Boz?: Charles Dickens and the 1830s”

 

11:00 -11:15 Coffee Break

11:15 -12:45 Panel II: Bad Women

Respondent: Vicki Mahaffey

Wendy Truran (English)

“Being Bad by Feeling Happy: Improper Feelings in the in May Sinclair’s The Three Sisters and The            Life and Death of HarrietFrean

Valerie O’Brien (English)

“Bad Romance: the Sadeian Fairy Tales of Angela Carter and Kathy            Acker”

Esther Dettmar (English)

The Better to Eat You With


12:45-1:45 Lunch Break & Poster Session

“Distant Reading and the Logic of Literary Value”

Ted Underwood and Jordan Sellers

2:00 – 3: 15 Kevin J.H. Dettmar, Keynote Lecture

“Two Modes of ‘Sincerity’: DFW and American Psycho

(W.M. Keck Professor of English, Pomona College)

3:15-3:30 Coffee Break

3:30 -5:00 Panel III: The Bad 19th Century

Respondent: Eleanor Courtemanche

Heather McLeer (English)

“Resisting Irish Middlebrow in Edward Martyn’s Irish Theater”

Kyle Killebrew (Northern Illinois University)

“‘Bad’ Imperialism as Imperial Burlesque in the Work of William McGonagall, the ‘World’s Worst Poet’”

Jonathan Brown (Eastern Illinois University)

The Curse upon Mitre Square: Pulp, Reality, and the Ripper”

 

In solidarity with Steven Salaita, Kevin J.H. Dettmar is donating his honorarium to the Steven Salaita Fund.

This event is co-sponsored by English, the Unit for Theory and Criticism, Communication, History, Comparative and World Literature, the Center for Advanced Studies, and Art and Design.

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May 1, 2015 at 9:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

“Bad Books” Conference: May 1-2, 2015

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April 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm

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Call for Papers: “‘Bad Books’: Mass Genres, Material Cultures, and Aesthetic Valuation”

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Call for Papers and Posters:

“‘Bad Books’: Mass Genres, Material Cultures, and Aesthetic Valuation”

 British Modernities Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 May 1-2, 2015

 Keynote Speaker: Kevin Dettmar, W.M. Keck Professor of English at Pomona College

 The British Modernities Group (BMG) invites graduate students to present papers and posters at its tenth annual interdisciplinary conference, “‘Bad Books’: Mass Genres, Material Cultures, and Aesthetic Valuation.” This conference will showcase research from a variety of disciplines, including English, comparative literature, library and information science, education, and media studies. Conference presentations will explore the question of what makes a cultural object “bad,” and we invite proposals related to “badness” in all of its permutations, including (but not limited to) the aesthetically “bad,” the politically “bad,” the educationally “bad,” and “bad” material practices.

On May 1st, Professor Kevin Dettmar will conduct a seminar featuring a work in progress, and a film screening and roundtable will be held. A keynote presentation by Professor Kevin Dettmar on May 2nd will highlight the ways in which aesthetic values are constructed and maintained. Panel and poster presentations will take place on May 2nd.

We seek innovative paper, poster, or panel proposals that explore “badness” in British literature, media, and material culture across traditional and non-traditional period boundaries. Papers might engage with one or more of the following issues:

  • Aesthetic valuation
  • Politically or ethically “bad” cultural productions
  • Reception communities
  • Mass communication
  • Material production/preservation practices
  • Censorship
  • Mass/middle/lowbrow genres
  • Teaching aesthetic values
  • “Bad” pedagogy

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual papers and posters (350 words for fully-formed panels) should be submitted to modernities@gmail.com by January 31, 2015.  Please include your name, along with your departmental and institutional affiliations. Accepted papers and posters will be notified by March 1, 2015. Browse our website, https://modernities.wordpress.com/, for more information about the BMG.

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December 22, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

“Weird Reading,” What are you reading, and Beverages: Thursday 12/4

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booze

Haven’t been to a meeting yet? This next one is low-key, fun, and includes going to a bar:

Our next fun and informal meeting will be held on Thursday, December 4th at 7 PM at Quality in Champaign (110 N Neil St., Champaign). We will have three goals:

  • To discuss Eileen Joy’s “Weird Reading” (2013) – a short piece that will give us the chance to think about speculative realism (what is it?), the weird, and, of course, “bad books.” (Contact modernities@gmail.com for access to the reading or make a copy in the English Building!)
  • To have an informal “What are you reading?” discussion; this will give our members the chance to talk briefly about the interesting things you’ve read recently!
  • To have a chance to meet members new and old while enjoying a tasty beverages and salty bar snacks!

As always, please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you and giving you the latest info on our Spring 2015 conference!

Michelle M. Martinez & Rebecah Pulsifer

BMG co-organizers

Written by modernities

November 17, 2014 at 11:09 am

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The British Modernities Group

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