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Modernist Studies Association in Boston

I am organising a panel at the next MSA conference in Boston. Speakers will include Gail McDonald, Bethany Hicok and myself.

Here is a short description:

Revolutionizing Academia: Modernism, Pedagogy and the Ivory Tower

The relationship between modernism and pedagogy has long been a central concern of New Modernist Studies. As MSA members, we are well aware of the effect of pedagogy on “modernism” and its canon. At the 2013 conference in Brighton, the seminar led by Peter Howarth also invited us to think of modernism as a kind of pedagogy. The experience of teaching and having works taught profoundly affected the imagination of modernist writers – including, of course, Ezra Pound. This panel will further the discussion by focusing on academia, an institution that many modernists regarded as hopelessly traditional and isolated from real life. “By the time their formal educations were complete, Pound and Eliot dreaded the deadening lives academia seemed to hold out of them” – as Gail McDonald put it in her pioneering monograph Learning to be Modern. “Making it new” seemed impossible in the Ivory Tower, and yet, modernists continued to be fascinated by the university system.

Responding to the theme of the 2015 conference – “Modernism and Revolution” – this panel will address modernist writers’ attempts to change pedagogy from outside academia as well as the invention of modernist studies within academia and its impact on younger writers.