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Vaclav Paris
City College of New York (New York, NY 10016-4309)
Epic after Evolution: Modernism's National Narratives

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on selected works of early 20th-century modernist prose and their relationship to national identity, treating examples in English, Portuguese, and Czech.

Epic after Evolution is a book project that tells the history of the modernist epic from 1900 to 1930. Although recent work in transnational modernist studies suggests that modernism can be understood as a global phenomenon, my book points out that many of the founding narratives of modernist prose are nation-specific. Studying five such texts in detail, Epic after Evolution places modernist epic back into its local contexts. In doing so, however, it also proposes a more general common feature of the genre: namely that modernist national epics of this period all explore alternatives to biological, racial, or ethnic modes of defining and narrating nationality. Discussing the ramifications of this finding, my book models a way of studying modernist epic within and without national canons. During the period of my grant, I will complete two chapters for this book and submit them both to peer-reviewed journals.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Comparative Literature

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
2/1/2016 – 7/31/2016