Grad Student Futurism Conference at UCLA


Futurism: The Invention of a Primordial Tomorrow TRADITION + LEGACY

October 9th and 10th, 2009

In 1909 on the front page of Le Figaro Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published the “Founding Manifesto” of Futurism, thus inciting the age of the European avant-garde. The consequences of a Futurist perspective were to be felt throughout the European cultural landscape, however Futurism’s greatest contribution, arguably, (being the first avant-garde movement) was that of defining the scope, the means and the modalities of the avant-garde. As part of this definition, Futurists struggled with establishing genealogies and selecting posterity. On the one hand, Futurism rejected the literary tradition that preceded it, only sparing select cultural references; and on the other, Futurism addressed an audience not yet born, that the Futurists helped to create.

This conference intends to explore the relationship of Futurism with the traditional literary canon while also investigating the strategies Futurists employed to create a proper audience for a revolutionary approach to art. What authors and artists did Futurism salvage from the “ruins of Rome and Athens”? Who were Futurism’s unacknowledged predecessors? What kind of audiences did Futurism envision in the creation of a ‘new’ art? Are we now in a better position to appreciate the aesthetic pursuit of the Futurists? What does the contemporary art world owe to the Futurist legacy?

Topics included:

Futurism and Its Ancestors: Tradition

  • Futurism and the Classics
  • Futurism and the Italian Canon
  • Futurism and Africa
  • Futurism and Stereotypes (Forgotten Futurist Practitioners)
  • Futurism and Fascism

Futurism and Its Audiences: Legacy

  • Futurism and Popular Culture
  • Futurism and the other Avant-garde Movements
  • Futurism and the Neo-Avant-garde
  • Futurism and Stereotypes (Forgotten Futurist Audiences)
  • Futurism and Fascism

Participants will have the opportunity to publish full-length versions of their papers in a special edition of the UCLA Department of Italian’s graduate student journal CARTE ITALIANE, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010.

For further information, contact:

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