Second Modernist Network Cymru (MONC) conference – Call for papers

Please find details below of the second Modernist Network Cymru (MONC) conference, which I hope will be of interest to you. The theme of the conference is ‘Word and Image’ and it aims to interrogate the symbiotic relationship between the visual arts and the written word in works of modernism.

The conference will feature a keynote address from Professor Laura Marcus (University of Oxford) and we will also bring together a roundtable of critics, curators, historians and practitioners to discuss Welsh art history/art history in Wales.

Please do share the CFP with colleagues and contacts.

Please see below and also:
In English:
In Welsh:

With best wishes.

Elaine Cabuts
MONC Secretary


The Drwm, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
The School of Art, Aberystwyth University
12 – 13th September 2017

Keynote speaker: Professor Laura Marcus (University of Oxford)

For its second conference, organised in conjunctions with Aberystwyth University’s David Jones Centre for Word and Image, the National Library of Wales and the Aberystwyth School of Art, Modernist Network Cymru (MONC) aims to interrogate the symbiotic relationship between the visual arts and the written word. How did modernist artists respond to literary texts? How did writers incorporate visual elements into poetry and prose? How did author and artist collaborations arise? And how did modernist texts, from collages to magazines to scrapbooks, combine word and image in radical new ways?

In Wales, figures such as David Jones, Brenda Chamberlain and Margiad Evans worked across art and literature, whether in poetry and painting or short stories and illustration. Texts such as Chamberlain and Alun Lewis’s Caseg Broadsheets juxtaposed modern poetry with experimental woodcuts; more recently, the photographer Aled Rhys Hughes and the Welsh National Opera have both produces multimedia responses to Jones’s prose poem In Parenthesis.

Over the course of two days, we aim to explore the multitudinous connections between word and image in a range of modernist texts from Wales and beyond. We invite interdisciplinary responses to any aspect of word and image in modernism, but we particularly welcome scholars working on Welsh modernist writers and artists, as well as modernist art and writing in Wales. The full story of the visual arts in Wales is only just beginning to unfold; this conference provides us with an opportunity to discuss future research in this developing field. What should a Welsh modernist art history be, and what relationship should it have to its sister arts, especially literature?

Although we are a Welsh Network, we have an international outlook. We are interested in Welsh art and literature’s international connections, as well as how place, language and history affected experiments in word and image elsewhere, especially in other ‘small nations’.

With these histories in mind, we invite proposals on topics including but not confined to:

  • Literary responses to art
  • Artistic responses to literature
  • Artist-writers (and vice versa)
  • Radical combinations of word and image
  • Cross media projects, e.g. magazines, posters, graphic novels
  • Book design / illustration / illustrated books
  • Similarities and differences between visual and verbal forms of art
  • Visual, film or literary adaptations
  • Interdisciplinary collaborations
  • Images and titles / captions
  • Film and /or intertitles
  • Architectural interventions
  • Colour in literary and visual forms
  • Photography and photographer’s books / travel guides
  • Contemporary inter- / multi-disciplinary responses to modernism
  • Opportunities and challenges of visual arts practice-based PhD

The National Library of Wales and the School of Art welcome researchers who wish to explore their extensive archives, with the aim of presenting a conference paper based on their research.

Proposals for papers (20 minutes) should include a summary of the proposed paper (300 words), the speaker’s contact details and a short biography (100 words). Papers can be delivered in English or Welsh with simultaneous translation; please indicate the language in which you wish to deliver your paper. If you wish to submit your abstract and biography to us in Welsh please also send a copy in English.

Proposals should be sent to by 31st January 2017.

Since 2014, MONC has aimed to showcase a range and diversity of research into modernism happening in Wales today. Through its website, mailing list and conferences, it brings together scholars and professionals working on modernism in Wales and beyond to encourage collaborations and communication. For more information, please visit

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