London-New York: Exchanges and Cross-Cultural Influences in the Arts and Literature

International Conference

1-2 April 2011

Université Nancy 2

London-New York: Exchanges and Cross-Cultural Influences in the Arts and Literature

Call for paper

The Research Groups I.D.E.A. (“Interdisciplinarité dans les études

anglophones”), Nancy-Université) and ECRITURES, Université Paul

Verlaine–Metz are announcing a call for papers for their international

conference on the theme: “London-New York: Exchanges and Cross-Cultural

Influences in the Arts and Literature”.

London and New York are two contrasting metropolises. They have been the

cultural centres of many fruitful meetings, confrontations and exchanges

since the colonial period. In the field of art and literature, what

immediately comes to mind are the cultural exchanges between Paris and

New York or between Paris, London and New York. The twentieth century

saw the great “Paris-New York” exhibition held at the Pompidou Centre in

1977, followed by the “Paris-Berlin” and “Paris-Moscow” exhibitions in

1978 and 1979. Prior to the 20th century, one may also evoke the

Paris-London axis and the strong artistic links that existed between the

two capitals. At the dawn of the twentieth century, with the rise of

modernism, the city of New York became the emblem and focal point of

modernity. As a result, the exchanges between the three cultural

capitals developed considerably.

The aim of this international conference is to study and analyze the

cultural links and influences between London and New York in the arts

and literature, a field which seems to have been overlooked by critics

and academics alike. The relations between the two cities will be

tackled in terms of dynamics and exchanges of ideas on the one hand, and

of cultural, literary and artistic echoes and interactions, on the

other. The conference will be the opportunity to examine the following

issues: how does the work of an exiled writer, musician, playwright,

director, or painter convey his/her sense of exile? How can uprootedness

be a source of intellectual and creative emulation and stimulation for

artists? This may concern the expatriate literary circle composed of key

figures such as Henry James, Ezra Pound or T. S. Eliot in London, and

the meetings between English and American artists and writers in New

York. Other topics may include the opening of workshops in London

(Benjamin West) and in New York (Stanley William Hayter), the

cosmopolitan spirit that was very much alive at different times in both

cities, and the exchanges between musicians (for instance, the influence

of jazz on so-called serious music). How did/do the migrations from one

city to the other contribute to the emergence of new forms of writing

(stylistic and formal experimentation in poetry, painting and music)?

How does one culture interact with the other? In what ways is the city a

place of artistic fecundity, hybridization and crossbreeding? Will a

work conceived for Broadway or the West End be performed and staged in

the same way on both sides of the Atlantic? What are the modes of

cultural transfer between the two cities? Finally, in our era of

globalization, are the intercultural links and exchanges between London

and New York still relevant today or are they just the resurgence of

bygone days?

We insist that submitted proposals should focus on the intercultural and

interdisciplinary links between the two metropolises.

Possible topic areas include:

– Literature

– Visual arts

– Music: musicals, jazz, opera, etc.

– Dance

– Other performing arts

– Architecture and urban planning

– Cinema

– Art and literary journals

Half-hour presentations can be delivered in English or in French. A

selection of papers will be published in “Regards croisés sur le monde

Anglophone,” by Presses Universitaires de Nancy. Please send your

proposals (title and 300-word abstract) as well as a biographical note

of 150 words to Claudine Armand (, Pierre

Degott ( and Jean-Philippe Heberlé

( Deadline for proposals: Thursday

30 September 2010.