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Modernist Prolegomena

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Organizer: Anna Torres-Cacoullos

Co-Organizer: Stacey Mitchell

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As prefatory interventions, paratexts such as prologues, prefaces,  preambles, dedicatory letters, and addresses to readers have largely been neglected by scholars of modernist literatures despite their ubiquity and variance. As such, this panel aims to position prolegomena as noteworthy sites of aesthetic experimentation at the critical intersections of the literary, epistemological, and philosophical. In their unique threshold position, straddling the worlds of the discursive and the fictional, opening texts occupy a unique locus between two orders of cultural practice and perception that deserves closer investigation.
 
Possible topics for this panel include, but are not limited to, opening texts that: 

Act as sites in which the literary and the discursive overlap and where the literary, pedagogical, epistemological, philosophical, and/or aesthetic intersect; 
Challenge conventions in form, genre, and style of prolegomena as a set of formal, ideological, conceptual, and aesthetic expectations;
Evince metaliterary preoccupations with the nature of literature, the condition of writing itself, and the tasks confronting the reader; 
Function pedagogically, or anti-pedagogically, in their efforts to reconfigure author-character-reader relations;
Depict authors' transgressive approaches towards their work, their readers, and/or characters (e.g. playfulness, hostility, noncompliance).

Open to all geographical contexts and texts dating from 1890-1940. Especially welcome are proposals that consider texts emerging from the Iberian peninsula and Latin America (including Brazil). Proposals in English or Spanish.


Organizers:
Stacey Mitchell (Loyola University Maryland), smitchell3@loyola.edu
Anna Torres-Cacoullos (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), ait5095@illinois.edu
 

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