Call for Papers: “Modernism and Diagnosis” (prospective cluster for the Modernism/modernity Print Plus platform)
Edited by Lisa Mendelman and Heather A. Love
Proposed titles & abstracts due March 15, 2019
Selected essays due June 15, 2019
We seek proposals for short, provocative essays addressing the topic of “Modernism and Diagnosis” for a prospective peer-reviewed cluster on Modernism/modernity’s Print Plus platform.
The first decades of the twentieth century saw the proliferation of popular and scientific diagnoses. Ushered in by a standardizing culture of physical and mental health, individual and social measures of wellbeing and pathology abound during these years—from psychoanalysis and eugenics to self-help and the physical culture movement. Contemporary cultural productions drew from and commented on this evolving slew of analytics. Think, for example, of the representations of shell-shocked and institutionalized bodies in print, on stage, and on screen; formalist experiments that play with new models of selfhood through stream-of-consciousness narration and (sincere or satiric) primitivist aesthetics; and sweeping social diagnoses like Gertrude Stein’s “you are all a lost generation.”
This Print Plus cluster invites papers that meditate on these period dynamics and their implications for understanding modernism’s legacy. Individual essays might focus on questions of identification, categorization, epistemology, or ontology raised by modernist aesthetics (e.g., “cases,” dialect, primitivism), popularized discourses like psychoanalysis and eugenics, and evolving academic disciplines including psychiatry, sexology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics. Authors might also engage with the recent turns to cognitive neuroscience and sociology in literary studies, conversations about research methodology, modernist cultures of feeling / affect, and narratives of diagnosis as they pertain to contemporary analytic trends and enduring social categories including race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability.
Papers should be inventive, provocative gestures, along the lines of a conference roundtable (2000-3000 words). We particularly welcome submissions that draw on the unique possibilities afforded by the digital setting of the Print Plus platform. Please send a titled, 300-word abstract and a brief biography to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by March 15, 2019. 6 to 8 contributors will be invited to submit essays, after which the entire cluster will be sent out for peer review.