Modernist Art Writing/Writing Modernist Art
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24-25 June 2019


to be confirmed


University of Nottingham


There will be a fee to attend the conference; we will aim to keep this as low as possible to ensure that the conference is accessible to all. A reduced rate will be available for PGs/unwaged/unaffiliated delegates.




Is this for you?

The sometimes fruitful, sometimes fraught relationships between literature and the visual arts within modernism and the avant-garde have provided rich terrain for scholarly investigation, and for understanding both art and literature within the broader field of cultural production. And yet the various ways in which modernist writers respond to, object to, defend, query, and seek to represent the visual arts through writing have not yet been fully investigated. If, as Jennifer Pap (1997) has argued in relation to Cubism, modernist works of art are resistant to exhaustive explanation and to narrative entry, then how can writing – produced from within modernism or in response to it – best set about representing it?

This conference will examine the relationship between modernism and art writing, both in the past and in the present moment. It will consider the ways in which different forms and genres of modernist writing responded to the visual arts; the legacy of modernism in contemporary practices of art writing; and the ways in which writers, whether academic, curatorial or creative, have engaged with modernist works of art.  


Call for papers

Call for papers

We invite:

  • Proposals for complete panels (3 x 20 minute papers) or roundtables (5 x 8-10 minute papers)
  • Proposals for individual scholarly papers, creative and/or critical interventions (20 minutes)
  • Posters or digital exhibits (to be accompanied by 5 minute flash presentations)

We also plan to organise practice-based art writing sessions; proposals to run these are very welcome, as are other ideas.

Please send proposals and queries to the conference email address:

The deadline for all proposals is Friday 30 November 2018. 





The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 7410