CFP MLA 18: Henri Bergson and Transnational Modernism, NYC, Jan. 4-7

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Call for Papers
January 4, 2018
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, European History / Studies, French History / Studies, Languages, Modern European History / Studies

Henri Bergson and Transnational Modernism

Much has been said about Henri Bergson’s philosophy of time and its influence on modernist writing. He is an important figure in discussions of modernists’ borrowing from philosophy and his work unmistakably changed the way modernists represented time in fiction. However, aside from a small number of studies, Bergson’s influence outside of French and English speaking worlds has remained largely unexplored. His well-attended lectures at College de France in Paris had a large cosmopolitan audience among which were Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein and T.S.Eliot, as well as Yayha Kemal, M.A. Voloshin and Muhammad Iqbal. His work was one of the most widely translated philosophical texts in the early decades of the twentieth century, including Romanian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Russian, Arabic, German and Spanish. Despite this widespread and varied international interest in Bergson’s work, his transnational afterlife is yet to be examined. Following the ‘transnational turn’ in modernist studies and recent works such as Bergson Postcolonial and Understanding Bergson, Understanding Modernism, this session aims to address this gap, combining an attention to historical specificity of Bergson’s philosophy with concepts and methods it offered across national literatures. We invite papers engaging Bergson’s influence on transnational and peripheral modernisms, as well as those on core modernisms with a transnational and comparative approach. The session will be chaired by Souleymane Bachir Diagne. Please send 250-word abstract and brief bio by March 15, 2017, to Ozen N Dolcerocca (

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Ozen N Dolcerocca

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