Actions and Detail Panel
Violence, Cruelty, Avant-Garde: One Day Conference
Fri 21 April 2017, 10:00 – 18:00 BST
Keynote speakers: Professor David Marriott (UC Santa Cruz), Dr Sarah Hayden (University of Southampton)
This conference will consider the historical association between violence and the avant-garde, looking in particular at the Modernist moment in Europe and its legacy. We are especially interested in how this historical association intersects with and is problematised by contemporary discourses around sexual, gendered and racialised violence and the deployment of narratives of terror for political purposes. We also invite participants to reflect on how the question of violence is framed in critical discussions of avant-garde texts. Crucially, we will be asking questions about the historical configurations of violence and the avant-garde that are pertinent to our increasingly violent present. How are different forms of violence and cruelty addressed by the Modernist avant-garde? How has the avant-garde’s engagement with violence changed in the wake of Modernism? How can we understand violence as an avant-garde strategy that has been adopted by both right-wing and left-wing writers? In what ways can cultural avant-gardes contest systemic forms of violence such as capitalism, sexism, racism and colonialism? What would an avant-garde of empathy or compassion as opposed to cruelty look like?
Organisers: Tom Bamford-Blake, Byron Heffer, Dominic Walker
Supported by the Centre for Modernist Studies