Central European Modernisms

Organiser: Scientific Committee; Chair: Bart Keunen (Ghent University)

This panel seeks to redraw the map of modernism. Taking the global turn in modernist studies as its starting point, it argues the case for the relevance of Central and Eastern Europe to a developing experimental aesthetic. In doing so, the three papers on this panel gesture to places such as Hungary and Poland, but also to diasporic milieus in Europe’s metropolitan centres, especially Paris and Vienna. Katarzyna Deja (Jagiellonian University) considers the peculiar place of Poland in discussions of global modernism, which is neither in the centre, nor entirely at the margins. In her paper, she asks a two-folded question: Where do we place Poland in the expanding field of modernist studies, and how have these methodological reflections played out, locally, in Poland? Gábor Bednanics (Eszterházy Károly Catholic University), in turn, examines Hungarian poetry by Lajos Kassák and Mihály Babits—one an avant-garde poet, the other a firm believer in tradition. Bednanics shows that the experience of peripherality serves as a source for and topic in their work. In a final paper, Mindaugas Kvietkauskas (Vilnius University) puts pressure on the idea of centre (West) and periphery (East) by exploring networks of East-Central European diaspora communities in Paris. His particular case focuses on the Lithuanian, Polish and Jewish networks forged around the magazines MUBA and L’Art Contemporain.


Katarzyna Deja (Jagiellonian University) – The Global Turn in Modernist Studies: A Polish Perspective

Gábor Bednanics (Eszterházy Károly Catholic University) – The Local Strives to Be Global: Following, Resisting, and/or Remodeling Modernism in Hungarian Literature

Mindaugas Kvietkauskas (Vilnius University) – Hybrid Diaspora: Lithuanian, Polish and Eastern European Jewish Modernist and Avant-Garde Milieu in Paris in the Late 1920s