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Month: November 2010 (page 1 of 2)

Scott Herring: Regional Modernism

http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/mfs/summary/v055/55.1.herring.html
Herring PDF

MFS Modern Fiction Studies
Volume 55,  Number 1,  Spring 2009

E-ISSN: 1080-658X Print ISSN: 0026-7724

DOI: 10.1353/mfs.0.1596
Afterword:
Regional Modernism and Transnational Regionalism

In lieu of an abstract, here is a preview of the article.

“Europe,” crowed Iowa-based painter Grant Wood in a lesserknown modernist manifesto, “has lost much of its magic. Gertrude Stein comes to us from Paris and is only a seven days’ wonder. Ezra Pound’s new volume seems all compound of echoes from a lost world. The expatriates do not fit in with the newer America, so greatly changed from the old” (19). Wood—he of American Gothic fame—titled his snippy comments Revolt against the City, and in this 1935 essay argued for a quiet revolution that would stymie metropolitan-based modernisms: “But if it is not vocal—at least in the sense of issuing pronunciamentos, challenges, and new credos—the revolt is certainly very active. In literature, though by no means new, the exploitation of the ‘provinces’ has increased remarkably; the South, the Middle West, the Southwest have at the moment hosts of interpreters whose Pulitzer-prize works and best sellers direct attention to their chosen regions” (8). “Because of this new emphasis upon native materials,” Wood went on to explain, “the artist no longer finds it necessary to migrate even to New York, or to seek any great metropolis. No longer is it necessary for him to suffer the confusing cosmopolitanism, the noise, the too intimate gregariousness of the large city” (22–23).
I do not want to dismiss Wood’s anti-urbanism, his insufferable claims against cosmopolitanism, his social and most likely racial conservatism, and his emphatically American exceptionalism. But I do want to highlight that in the midst of these questionable politics lays an inchoate theory for a “regional modernism” decades before the phrase achieved wide currency in academic circles. The term “regional modernism” first originated in architecture studies, where it came— and where it continues—to characterize building design that opposed the

Regional Literary Cutures and Modernism: University of Nottingham Conference 2011

http://www.humanitiescentral.com/regional-literary-cultures-modernism/

Paper sub­mis­sions of 20 min­utes are invited for this one-day post­grad­u­ate con­fer­ence hosted by the Cen­tre for Regional Lit­er­a­ture and Cul­ture at the Uni­ver­sity of Not­ting­ham on 14 April 2011. The event will be fol­lowed by a one-day sym­po­sium of invited speak­ers,  includ­ing Prof. Patrick McGuin­ness (Uni­ver­sity of Oxford), Prof. Andrew Thacker (De Mont­fort Uni­ver­sity), and Dr Nadine Holdsworth (Uni­ver­sity of Warwick).

Recent crit­i­cal work on region­al­ism in lit­er­a­ture has sought to reassess both its scope and its con­tin­u­ing impor­tance over the course of the twen­ti­eth and twenty-first cen­turies. For instance, Scott Her­ring has recently empha­sised ‘the impor­tance of local­ity to modernism’s world-imaginary’, echo­ing Ray­mond Williams’s call for the equa­tion between mod­ernism and the met­ro­pol­i­tan to be reassessed.

This col­lo­ca­tion of local­ity and moder­nity can be seen in the fic­tions of, among oth­ers, D.H. Lawrence, Storm Jame­son, George Moore, Caradoc Evans, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and Lewis Gras­sic Gib­bon. Even James Joyce’s Ulysses derives its cos­mo­log­i­cal uni­ver­sal­ism from a micro­scopic atten­tion to the local details of its provin­cial urban set­ting. In the post-war period, the cur­rency of regional themes in British fic­tion is appar­ent in nov­els by writ­ers like Alan Sil­li­toe, Muriel Spark, Ray­mond Williams, Gra­ham Swift, Pat Barker, and Jim Crace.

A sim­i­lar rich­ness of inter­ests in ideas of place and intra-national iden­ti­ties can be found in the late mod­ernist poetry of Hugh Mac­Di­armid, David Jones, and Basil Bunting, and Patrick Kavanagh’s advo­cacy of the ‘poetry of the parish’ has also had a wide and last­ing influ­ence. Regional themes, set­tings, and dialects strongly colour the work of Ted Hughes, R.S. Thomas, George Mackay Brown, Paul Mul­doon, Gillian Clarke, and Roy Fisher, amongst many oth­ers. In the work of a younger gen­er­a­tion of poets and nov­el­ists there is a strik­ing con­ver­gence between local expe­ri­ence and the pres­sure of inter­na­tional con­texts and relations.

British and Irish drama saw a resur­gence of local pride at the start of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. From 1904, the act­ing and play-writing ener­gies of Dublin’s Abbey The­atre were emu­lated by a num­ber of other regional reper­tory the­atres in Man­ches­ter, Birm­ing­ham, Liv­er­pool, Glas­gow, and Belfast. And in recent years, com­pa­nies includ­ing The­atre Work­shop, Druid, Knee­high, and Field Day have attempted to stage work that speaks to audi­ences away from the usual cen­tres of the­atri­cal power and influence.

It will be the pur­pose of this sym­po­sium to explore the vari­ety and diver­sity of expres­sions given to region­al­ism in British and Irish lit­er­a­ture and cul­ture dur­ing the twen­ti­eth and twenty-first cen­turies, with a par­tic­u­lar empha­sis upon mod­ernism and its after-effects. Con­trib­u­tors are also encour­aged to con­sider the inter­sec­tions and con­ver­sa­tions that occur between region­al­ism, nation­al­ism, inter­na­tion­al­ism, and cosmopolitanism.

Con­firmed Keynote Speak­ers:
Prof. Luke Gib­bons (NUI Maynooth)
Prof. Dominic Head (Uni­ver­sity of Nottingham)

We would there­fore wel­come papers on a wide vari­ety of themes and top­ics, such as:
• The loca­tions of mod­ernism
• Regional lit­er­ary geo­gra­phies
• Region­al­ism, form, and lan­guage
• Arch­i­pel­agic rela­tions and the cul­tures of the ‘Four Nations’
• Gen­der and regional iden­tity
• Writ­ing, read­ing, and the poet­ics of place
• Region­al­ism and glob­al­i­sa­tion
• The pol­i­tics of regional cul­tures
• Crit­i­cal genealo­gies of ‘region­al­ism’
• Map­ping and cul­tural car­togra­phies
• The phe­nom­e­nol­ogy of the ‘local’
• ‘Parochial­ism’ and ‘provin­cial­ism’ in con­tem­po­rary writing

Please sub­mit an abstract of 300 words to neal.alexander@nottingham.ac.uk by 28th Jan­u­ary 2011, ensur­ing that you include the fol­low­ing details: your name; your affil­i­a­tion; your email address; the title of your paper.

We are also able to offer one bur­sary of £100 towards the costs of fees, travel, and accom­mo­da­tion for the con­fer­ence. If you wish to apply for this bur­sary, please also sub­mit a state­ment of 500 words explain­ing how your cur­rent research engages with the themes of the con­fer­ence. This should also arrive no later than 28th Jan­u­ary 2011.

The con­fer­ence fee will be £50 for both days. Please note that this does not include accommodation.
Related Posts

* Styl­is­tics across disciplines
* Bridg­ing the Gaps, Mind­ing the Context
* Spaces of Alter­ity: Con­cep­tu­al­is­ing Counter-Hegemonic Sites, Prac­tices and Narratives
* Lan­guage, Lit­er­a­ture and Cul­tural Poli­cies – Cen­tres and (Ex-) Centricities

Regional Modernism?

Accessed 24.11.2010
http://gradworks.umi.com/32/72/3272054.html

Regional modernism: The vanishing landscape in American literature and culture, 1896–1952
(Sarah Orne Jewett,  Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison)

by Shimotakahara, Leslie, PhD, BROWN UNIVERSITY, 2007, 0 pages; 3272054

Abstract: For traditional literary criticism, the term ‘Regional Modernism’ no doubt represents a contradiction in terms. By idealizing communities tied to the soil, regional fiction gratifies the tastes of urban middle-class readerships that could still imagine their origins in this kind of locale at the fin-de-siècle. Modernism, by sharp contrast, addresses an international readership detached from any soil or homeland. Coining the term ‘regional modernism’ is my way of suggesting that, during the early twentieth century, major American novelists appropriated the language of regionalism and reworked it by means of aesthetic strategies we now characterize as modernist. Modernism simultaneously offers the reader a sense of experience specific to an American place and yet renders that place a phantasm that an individual carries within his consciousness. Beginning with Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firs, I argue that this famous regional novel acknowledges a problem in representing a place of origins: as rural New England is flooded by mass culture, it loses its semblance as a unique folk culture and thus its ability to designate origins. The next chapter considers how Wharton’s The House of Mirth imagines a high culture distinct and apart from the economy as a means of resurrecting the culture of ‘Old New York’ that mass culture effaced. Turning to The Professor’s House, I show how Cather seeks a form of aesthetic compensation for the way that conspicuous consumption disfigures the Midwest. She creates a purely imaginary landscape that her protagonist contains within his head as a fantasy of the primitive origins of universal man. My next chapter proposes that Faulkner appropriates this method in Absalom! Absalom! to represent the South as the white nation’s authentic identity. His fiction collaborates with a sociological school called the ‘New Regionalism’ in mystifying the South’s economic history of slave labor and remaking it as an organic folk culture. The dissertation concludes by asking what an African-American writer has to do to write as a modernist. I argue that Invisible Man seizes on cosmopolitan modernism’s stereotype of the African as nature incarnate and reshapes it into a black subject characterized by unique individuality.

Advisor: Armstrong, Nancy
School: BROWN UNIVERSITY
Source: DAI-A 68/07, p. 2947, Jan 2008
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: American literature
Publication Number: 3272054

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MFS Modern Fiction Studies
Volume 55, Number 1, Spring 2009

E-ISSN: 1080-658X Print ISSN: 0026-7724

DOI: 10.1353/mfs.0.1596
Afterword:
Regional Modernism and Transnational Regionalism
Marjorie Pryse

At the 2002 Modernist Studies Association Fourth Annual Conference, several of us participated in a seminar titled “Regionalism and the Modern.”1 In the discussion that revolved around previously shared position papers, seminar participants considered the idea that regionalism allows modernism to be understood as a crisis of definition. The seminar developed the idea of modernism as a process of layering—in space, of regions; in the social world, of identities; and in narrative, of time—a sedimentation that excavates the regionalist bedrock of the modern text. Earlier in the conference we had listened to Simon Gikandi note (in his plenary talk “Africa and the Epiphany of Modernism”) that “the process of developing categories in modernity depends on the purification of categories.” He argued that modernism derives its energy from the “other,” but that the institutions of modernism “separate out and ‘tame’ the sources” of that very energy, as when museums of modern art categorize African art as “primitive” instead of as integral to the history of art. For Gikandi, the region of Africa creates an epiphany of “what the ‘other’ is for the moderns.” Modernism becomes transnational when Gikandi explores the relationship between regional—African—art and modernism. At the same time, modernism becomes regional, and the challenge to modernism becomes one of including heterogeneity and global regions in its categories. [End Page 189]

Accessed: 24.11.2010
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/modern_fiction_studies/v055/55.1.pryse.html

James B. Thompson: Painting as a verb


Review: James B. Thompson’s ‘painting’ as a verb at Hallie Ford Museum in Salem
Frank Miller, capsule Willamette University

http://www.willamette.edu/cla/arts/faculty/thompson/index.php

Accessed: 24.11.2010

James B. Thompson, treat “Swale,” 2008, acrylic on canvas.

As painters immersed in the 20th century’s abstract revolution stopped painting things that looked like things, several interesting things happened.

First, art — or this type of art — relinquished its sense of place. Even if the artist was thinking about a mountain or a street corner or a pillow on a bed, there was no mountain or corner or pillow to be seen. Impressionists fuzzed up the landscape. Cubists diced it and reassembled it in funny ways. Abstract artists packed it in a steamer trunk and sent it off on a one-way voyage to Yesterdayland.

Second, space became intellectual, not actual. Painting had always been an illusionary act – how can we fool the eye into seeing what we want it to see? — but now the illusion was that spatial relationships as we ordinarily think of them didn’t exist. Artists such as Mondrian and Klee were consumed with the idea of how space works – they could be downright mathematical about it – but they produced a geometry, not a landscape, and it was a geometry of the mind. (As a side benefit, abstraction also strengthened realist painting, because for the first time serious painters had to ask themselves why they were painting realistically, and then either come up with a good answer or start doing something else.)

Third, painting became accidental. Yes, Jackson Pollock had ideas in mind, and no, not every one of his drip paintings worked the way he wanted it to. But the chance of the throw became a central aspect of the process. It was the I Ching-ing of the art.

Except.

As abstraction became less a revolutionary act and more a way of approaching art – in other words, as it matured it also opened up. It could be about all sorts of things, including landscape or whatever else was in the artist’s mind, whether anyone looking at the finished product realized it or not. And that’s an interesting question: If viewers don’t know there’s a level of thought below the surface of the paint, how can they tell what they’re seeing?

The paintings and prints in “The Vanishing Landscape,” James B. Thompson’s exhibition that continues through May 17 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, raise precisely that issue. They’re ravishing things, especially the paintings — the sort of work that people like to call eye candy, although that’s a curiously dismissive way to think about art: What’s wrong with pleasing the eye, especially if you’re also doing other things at the same time? And Thompson’s art does a lot of other things, even if you’re only thinking about its surfaces. It’s a considered and sophisticated grappling with matters of space, color and mark-making — the difference, you might almost say, between a mar and a mark.

Underneath those lovely surfaces, marring is very much on Thompson’s mind. A native Chicagoan, Thompson has been on the art faculty at Willamette University in Salem since 1986, and he’s come to think of himself very much as a Westerner. What he sees, as he puts it in his artist statement for this show, is the transformation and disappearance of the region’s landscape “as planned developments, agribusiness and even golf resorts replace small town life, rural communities, family farms and forests.”

The tradition of landscape painting doesn’t deal adequately with the disappearance of land, he believes: Instead, it tends to depict idealized, unsullied evocations of what remains, so that we see a romanticized pastoral dream instead of the radically altered reality. A long tradition in photography has witnessed and recorded the sometimes brutal reshaping of the land, and representational painters such as Michael Brophy have tackled the issue of land use and abuse head-on.

But Thompson seems to want something at once deeper and more subtle — a philosophical undercurrent that transforms the act of artmaking into a reflection of the way we change the land. “The method of rendering abstract paintings and prints,” he writes, “is a celebration of the very act of change since this creative process involves the kind of continual mark-making that generates new sets of problems on the surface of each piece.”

In other words, you make marks – on the canvas or the land – and each mark is a risk. After all, the landscape of small towns and family farms that Thompson laments in passing was itself a reshaping of an earlier landscape far less decided by human intervention; one that might itself have been lamented as it faded before the ax and plow. So you think out each step, varying your mark-making according to some sort of loose plan, and you aim to come out with something beautiful. You don’t destroy the canvas. Chance, in the Pollock sense, is part of it. But instead of a big burst – a strip-mining of the image – it’s a considered improvisation, like good chamber jazz, each change partly determining what the next change will be.

How do Thompson’s paintings and prints emerge from this philosophical improvisation? Well, they’re gorgeous – and gorgeous in a way that invites repeated looking, because the more you look, the more you see. That’s a bit like looking, really looking, at the land.

The show’s 14 paintings, which range from about 2 feet square to 3 feet by 5 feet, are acrylic on canvas, and they’re richly layered, with a thick surface shine that makes them look almost like brightly fired ceramic tile. Yet they’re also nubbled, mottled like leather, with a suggestion of rises and hollows, or of something granular, like dirt. Their color is immediate, deep, voluble, seductive: oranges, reds, blues and greens that shout out their identities. Streaks, marks, splotches, running fences, finely scratched swirls like calligraphy, viewed in a certain frame of mind, seem topographical. It’s as if you’re seeing a landscape from an overflying airplane: lakes, rivers, roads, rises, habitations. The two dozen smaller intaglio prints are less deeply saturated in color but more significantly and lavishly marked, and at times they seem almost biological, in a microscopic way: They increase the illusion of some sort of exotic map-making.

Thompson suggests his underlying concerns through his titles: “Prairie,” “Wetland, “Aquifer,” “Range,” “Ridge,” “Karst” and the like. Yet the question remains: Does the viewer get any of these connections from looking at the art? You can easily view these prints and paintings and appreciate them as beautifully executed works that are simply about themselves. They’re abstracts – question marks. And their beauty raises another question: Are they, then, any less romanticized about the state of the land than the traditional landscapes Thompson finds so misleading?

Perhaps an answer lies in Thompson’s sense of movement, of making marks that lead to other marks in a dance of continuing small decisions. It’s a way of thinking about how we interact with the rest of the world, and it applies to intereactions far beyond canvas and paper. It’s “painting” as a verb, not as a noun. And it’s how we paint – how we make our marks – that makes the difference.

— Bob Hicks

First image added to paintmap

http://trailerstar.paintmap.com/

my page on paintmap with first test image added

Paintmap! Spanish guys got there first…

http://www.paintmap.com

Such an obvious idea not surprised this already exists but done very well and with full google support looks like rather than a hack.

Now it remains to be seen whether these guys will let me somehow manipulate/interact with images. The screenshot below shows no activity in the area of railway track I chosen so it remains a blank canvas so to speak. maybe I can configure my own APP to both work with and display separately from the paintmap one.

I have also contacted Google with idea – leaning more to a ‘contained’ and ‘curated’ version which is what I will have to do now the worldwide one exists. Seen quite a few steet art ‘curated’ versions as obviously straight photography of graffitti can be located direct on google maps/earth.

Designing my research:

Using Freemind to create image map of the fields operating on borders of the investigation.

Interesting, I spent an afternoon doing this after Tom Fisher’s lecture on Designing research.. Familiar with what he said but the process of mind mapping has presented something new quite clearly. The actual design and build is but first part (literally development) after I have prototype then maybe I can investigate the right hand side of the map. Until something created and deployed none of the second are of research can apply . It very much a two stage project.

Media Ecology: Definition

Media ecology – Definition

Media ecology involves the study of information environments. According to the Media Ecology Association, media ecology can be defined as “the study of the complex set of relationships or interrelationships among symbols, media and culture.”

In 1977, Marshall McLuhan said that media ecology “means arranging various media to help each other so they won’t cancel each other out, to buttress one medium with another. You might say, for example, that radio is a bigger help to literacy than television, but television might be a very wonderful aid to teaching languages. And so you can do some things on some media that you cannot do on others. And, therefore, if you watch the whole field, you can prevent this waste that comes by one canceling the other out.” (Source: Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews, by Marshall McLuhan, edited by Stephanie McLuhan and David Staines, Foreword by Tom Wolfe. MIT Press, 2004)

In 1971, Neil Postman founded the Program in Media Ecology at the Steinhardt School of Education of New York University.

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Media_ecology

EMERSON : Weaver becomes the web

http://www.davemckay.co.uk/philosophy/emerson/emerson.php?name=emerson.07.society.07
SOCIETY AND SOLITUDE:
CHAPTER VII. WORKS AND DAYS

Many facts concur to show that we must look deeper for our salvation than to steam,  photo-graphs,  balloons or astronomy.’ These tools have some questionable properties. They are reagents. Machinery is aggressive. The weaver becomes a web, the machinist a machine. If you do not use the tools, they use you. All tools are in one sense edge-tools, and dangerous. A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life: he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days.2 A man has a reputation, and is no longer free, but must respect that. A man makes a picture or a book, and, if it succeeds, ‘t is often the worse for him. I saw a brave man the other day, hitherto as free as the hawk or the fox of the wilderness, constructing his cabinet of drawers for shells, eggs, minerals and mounted birds.
It was easy to see that he was amusing himself with making pretty links for his own limbs.

Residencia en la Tierra: Neruda

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