Anticipating Modernities

Mi06Jul(Jul 6)15:00Fr08(Jul 8)19:30Anticipating ModernitiesAnnual Conference 2022VeranstaltungsartJahrestagung


In an age of so-called globalisation and dramatically deteriorating environmental conditions, the concept of modernity has come under ever-increasing scrutiny, not least for its traditional links to specifically Western grands récits. Because of literature’s fundamental involvement with issues of temporality and especially because of its tendency to construct temporalities of its own, literature, too, must be affected by these debates. How many modernities are there, how are they constructed and how are they related to the cultural modernisms they are associated with?

EXC 2020’s annual conference „Anticipating Modernities” (July 6th–8th, 2022) will critically address these issues, inquiring how literary temporalities engage with their own futures and pasts beyond oppositions such as „old” vs. „new”. Our conference seeks to explore how the process of „doing literature” is always involved in developing and transforming its own historical and temporal forms of signification, how imagined futures can only be established by relying on past models, how current cultural productions are haunted by the suppressed lines of tradition embedded within them, and how visions of literature go out of date. Is it possible to think modernity within a broad variety of cultural and historical settings without simultaneously falling prey to the anticipatory, teleological and self-fulfilling tendencies so dominant in the Western grand récit of modernity?

EXC 2020’ annual conference „Anticipating Modernities” is organised by its Research Area 3 „Future Perfect” (Anne Eusterschulte, Beatrice Gründler, and Andrew James Johnston). The conference will take place in a hybrid format, with discussants meeting on campus in Berlin. Participation online is open to the public. For participation and all relevant information and accesses, please register by June 30th.   

  • Online via Webex: The access data will be circulated upon registration via this platform.
  • In-Person-Participation (for Cluster members only):
    Freie Universität Berlin
    Habelschwerdter Allee 45,
    14195 Berlin (Silberlaube)

Wednesday, July 6th 2022

3:00 p.m. Check-In
3:15 p.m. Conference Opening – Welcome
(Directors Andrew James Johnston & Anita Traninger)  
 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Panel 1:  Communities in Time  
Andrew James Johnston, Beowulfian Anticipations: Wealhtheow’s Conflicted Modernisms

Bernd Roling, To Free a Soul from Hell: The Debate on Trajan’s Salvation between Late Antiquity and Early Modern Theology

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Panel 2: Planetary Modernities, Modern Temporalities  
Carolyn Dinshaw, White Times: The Many Temporalities of the Arctic

Susan Stanford Friedman, “What we do not forget is forever in the future”: Modernities of Oceania   


Thursday, July 7th 2022

1:30 – 3:30 p.m Panel 3: Global Anticipations
Thomas Fröhlich, Shifting Temporalities in Chinese Discourses on the Modern West in the Early Twentieth Century and Early Twenty-First Century

Jahan Ramazani, World Elegy, Anticipatory Mourning, and Ecocritique

4:00 – 6:00 p.m Panel 4: Mapping Modernities  
Vilashini Cooppan, Time-Maps: Modernity, Spatiotemporality, and Postcolonial Futures

Prathama Banerjee, Disorienting Times and the Crisis of Modernity: South Asian Reflections  

6:30 – 8:30 p.m Panel 5: Projections
Sanja Bahun, Active Thought and Future Perfect: Reading History and Expression with the Belgrade Surrealist Circle

Ana Rocío Jouli, The Neo-Baroque as Writing Community

Friday, July 8th 2022

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.   Panel 6: Encounters  
Sonja Mejcher-Atassi, Encounters in Works on Paper: Beirut, Baghdad, Beijing

Alexandra Chreiteh, Anticipating the Arab(ic) Gothic: a Forgotten Prehistory of the Modern Novel 

4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Panel 7: Liminal Anticipations  
Simon Godart, Francis Bacon Against Anticipation

Mark Currie, Anticipation in an Age of Uncertainty    

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6. Juli 2022 15:00 - 8. Juli 2022 19:30(GMT+02:00)

Freie Universität Berlin

Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin

Freie Universität Berlin