Regarding the Popular: Modernism, the Avant-Garde and High and Low Culture

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Sascha Bru, Laurence Nuijs, Benedikt Hjartarson, Peter Nicholls, Tania Ørum, Hubert Berg
Walter de Gruyter, Nov 30, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 502 pages

The avant-garde and modernism take centre-stage within European academia today. The experimental literatures and arts in Europe between ca. 1850 and 1950, and their aftermath, figure prominently on curricula, while modernism and avant-garde studies have come to form distinct yet interlocking disciplines within the humanities in recent years. These disciplines take on various guises on the continent. Within French and German academia, "modernism" remains a term rather alien – "die Moderne" and "modernité" coming perhaps the closest to what is meant by "modernism" within the English context. Here, indeed, modernism has acquired a firm place in research, signaling above all a period in modern poetics and aesthetics, roughly between 1850 and 1950, during which a revolt against prevalent traditions in art, literature and culture took shape. Similarly, the term "avant-garde" comes with an array of often conflicting connotations. For some, the avant-garde marks the most radically experimental arts and literatures in modernism from the nineteenth century onward – the early twentieth-century vanguard movements of Futurism, Expressionism, Dada and Surrealism, among others, coinciding with the avant-garde's most "heroic" phase. For others, the avant-garde belongs to a cultural or conceptual order differing altogether from that of modernism – the vanguard exploits from the 1950s onward marking that avant-garde arts and literatures can also perfectly abide outside modernism.

European Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies, far from aiming to reduce the complexity of various European research traditions, aspires to embrace the wide linguistic, terminological and methodological variety within both fields. Publishing an anthology of essays in English, French and German every two years, the series wishes to compare and relate French, German and British, but also Northern and Southern as well as Central and Eastern European findings in avant-garde and modernism studies. The series gathers the best and most thought-provoking recent research and devotes itself to the study of the European avant-garde and modernism throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. European Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies promotes interdisciplinary and intermedial research on experimental aesthetics and poetics, and aims to encourage an interest in the cultural dimensions and contexts of the avant-garde and modernism in Europe. Essays accepted by the editorial board are subjected to blind peer-review by international experts.

Editors-in-chief: Sascha Bru (Leuven University) and Peter Nicholls (New York University).

Editorial Board: Jan Baetens (Leuven University), Hubert van den Berg (University of Groningen), Benedikt Hjartarson (University of Iceland) and Tania Ørum (University of Copenhagen).

Advisory Board: Dawn Ades (University of Essex), Wolfgang Asholt (Universität Osnabrück), Karlheinz Barck (Zentrum für Literaturforschung Berlin), Henri Béhar (Paris III, Sorbonne nouvelle), Timothy O. Benson (LACMA), Günter Berghaus (University of Bristol), Stefano Boeri (Multiplicity & Università luav di Venezia), Endre Bojtár (Central European University, Budapest), Christina von Braun (Humboldt Universität), Peter Bürger (Universität Bremen), Matei Calinescu (University of Indiana), Claus Clüver (University of Indiana), Antoine Compagnon (Collège de France), Maria Delaperrière (INALCO, Paris), Pascal Dethurens (Université de Strasbourg), Eva Forgács (College of Design, Pasadena), Hans Günther (Bielefeld University), Cornelia Klinger (Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen), Rudolf Kuenzli (University of Iowa), Bruno Latour (Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris), Paul Michael Lützeler (Washington University of St. Louis), Laura Marcus (University of Edinburgh), Richard Murphy (University of Sussex), François Noudelmann (Université de Paris VIII), Krisztina Passuth (University of Budapest), Marjorie Perloff (Stanford University/University of Southern California), Michel Poivert (Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne), Susan Rubin-Suleiman (Harvard University), Rainer Rumold (Northwestern University), Jean-Yves Tadié (Paris IV, Sorbonne), Brandon Taylor (University of Southhampton), Andrew Webber (Churchill College, Cambridge).


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Sascha Bru and Laurence van Nuijs, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; Benedikt Hjartarson, University of Iceland; Peter Nicholls, New York University, USA; Tanja Ørum, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Hubert van den Berg, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland.

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