Call for Papers: BLAST 2014, Interdisciplinary Conference, Bath Spa University, UK


This will be of interest to McLuhanists and students of Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot and modernist art and literature …

The publication of the London-based modernist magazine BLAST in June 1914 was the most important artistic event in Britain that year and a transformative moment in the wider milieu of European modernist art and literature. The launch of the Vorticist movement was the culmination of a series of noisy dissociations from other modernist trends in art (most notably the Bloomsbury Group and the Futurists) and marked the creation of England’s first real avant-garde art movement. Published a mere seven weeks before the Britain’s entrance into the First World War, BLAST also gives a fascinating insight into the combative cultural temper in London immediately prior to the outbreak of war.

The guns of the Western Front effectively silenced the rhetorical aggression of the Vorticist manifesto; yet despite this, the two issues of BLAST that were published provided a platform for some the most significant figures in the development of British High Modernism, including the artwork of Wyndham Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, Jacob Epstein, Spencer Gore, Gaudier Brzeska, Helen Sanders, Jessica Dismorr, Christopher Nevinson and William Roberts, and the writings of Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound, Ford Madox Ford, Rebecca West, and T. S. Eliot (whose first poems to be published in the UK appeared in the pages of BLAST 2: The War Number).

The bellicose rhetoric of BLAST was of its time, but the Vorticist manifestos also envisioned a new social function for art. As Wyndham Lewis explained, “It was more than just picture-making: one was manufacturing fresh eyes for people, and fresh souls to go with the eyes.”


 Details –


We invite proposals for 20 minute papers on any aspect of BLAST and Vorticism, and positively encourage research emanating from a diverse range of disciplines, particularly:

o   Literary criticism, Cultural criticism, Art, Art history, History, Sociology

Please send a 250-word abstract, with title, to by 15th April 2014.

Themes of the conference include:

–          Can there be a 2014 equivalent to the Vorticist moment of 1914?

–          The lives and works of individual Vorticists.

–          Visual and Literary Vorticism.

–          BLAST and other modernist magazines.

–          Origins and legacies of *BLAST *and Vorticism.

–          BLAST and World War One.

–          The effect of World War One on the Avant-Garde

–          Vorticism: Nationalist or Internationalist?

–          BLAST and women.

–          *Enemy of the Stars* and Expressionist drama.

–          The philosophical origins of Vorticism, and their transformation in Wyndham Lewis’s later works.

–          We also invite artists who have been influenced by (or who feel their work interacts with) Vorticism, and we welcome suggestions for             round-table discussions.

The deadline for proposals is 15th April 2014. All submissions will be reviewed in April and May and delegates will contacted by early June 2014. Please include institutional affiliations, society membership and contact details.


See also On Vorticism & Wyndham Lewis, Influencers of McLuhan on this blog at .

Wyndham Lewis photo by George Charles Beresford 1913.jpg

Wyndham Lewis – photo by George Charles Beresford, 1913

No Responses Yet to “Call for Papers: BLAST 2014, Interdisciplinary Conference, Bath Spa University, UK”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: