New MODERNITAS Publication

Research project "When Rural Meets Urban" funded by Fondation Wiener-Anspach

"Pastoral" and "Regional" Modernisms in Nordic and Slavic Literatures (1900s-1930s)

Dossier spécial de la Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire dirigé par Petra James, ULB/MSH/Modernitas & Harri Veivo, ULB/MSH/MODERNITAS, Université de Caen

Sortie en décembre 2022

The present special issue of Revue Belge de Philologie et Histoire brings together contributions from literary scholars and art historians and historians of culture, who reflect on representations of modernity from the point of view of regional centres, “secondary” capitals (semi-peripheries) or rural settings in Europe, between 1900s and 1930s. As the articles show, these representa-tions play a role in the strategies of emerging national identities and point to one of the inherent paradoxes of modernism, which positions itself on the crossroads of cosmopolitan and national aspirations. Indeed, the representations of urban-rural dynamics and of nature offer revealing regional variants of modernism. With a critical eye on the idea that “central” modernisms are generally associated with urban topoi, the articles pay closer attention to the less explored topic of nature, rurality, countryside and small regional towns and industrial centres. The authors fo-cus on the relation between rural and urban metaphors and imagery (fusion or opposition) and the dynamics between urbanity and rurality, reflections around the experience of nature in a modernist project and images of industrialization of rural areas. Likewise, they explore the na-ture of alternative networks existing in and between the regional centres of Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic countries as well as to the role of Russia in the modernist imagination and the relationship of Russian avant-garde artists to philosophical and spiritual impulses, less frequently studied in this context.

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