CFP: Synge And Transnational Modernisms

Recent scholarship on Synge by Gregory Castle (2001) Sinéad Garrigan Mattar (2004), Hélène Lecossois (2021) and Seán Hewitt (2021) have all examined how J.M. Synge’s reflections on rapid and uneven modernity in Ireland can be seen as a modernist aesthetic. Most recently of all, Hewitt has argued that ‘Synge’s influence on twentieth-century modernism (and on postmodernism) is yet to be fully explored, and has the potential to reveal more clearly the interrelation between Revivalism and modernism both in Ireland and more broadly’.[1] This proposed collection of essays seeks to do just that.

Following what Douglas Mao and Rebecca L. Walkowitz have termed ‘the transnational turn’[2] in modernist studies, Synge and Transnational Modernisms examines the transnational networks between Synge’s Irish modernism and global modernisms. As Jahan Ramazani reminds us, transnationalist approaches to modernisms are ‘alert to how such art and literature interlace localities and nationalities with one another in a globally imagined space.’[3] In adopting this approach, this collection of essays will place Synge on a global crossroads of modernisms that extends out from Ireland and to the world. We know that Synge’s work engaged with burgeoning modernisms in Dublin, London, Paris, Berlin and Prague during his lifetime, but where else did his work have an effect? How can our knowledge of Synge’s work be furthered by placing his work in a transnational relationship to other modernisms? Subject of interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Synge’s global afterlives across the long twentieth century
  • The dialectical interchange between the local and the global in the production/reception of Synge’s works
  • Synge’s relationship with global modernists in literature and drama
  • Synge’s influence on other modernisms beyond literature and drama (music, dance, visual arts sculpture, performance art, film and cinema)
  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Synge, decolonisation and the transnational challenge to instutionalised knowledge
  • Synge, the avant-garde and postmodernism

If you are interested in contributing to this collection, please submit an abstract of 400 words to Chris Collins by 9 January 2023: Essays of 7,000 words will be due in January 2024.

[1] Seán Hewitt, J.M. Synge: Narture, Politics, Modernism (Oxford: Oxford Univeristy Press, 2021), 2021.

[2] Douglas Mao and Rebecca L. Walkowitz, “The New Modernist Studies”, Modern Language Association of America, Vol. 123, no. 2 (2008): 738.

[3] Jahan Ramazani, A Transnational Poetics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 15.