Introduction [to Colloquy, issue 4 (2000): 'Curious Eyes: Sites and Scenes of Modernism']

"This special issue of Colloquy is devoted to papers arising from the postgraduate conference, 'Curious Eyes: Sites and Scenes of Modernism,' held at The University of Sydney on 28th September, 1999. The motivation behind this conference was to provide a forum for current innovative and challenging postgraduate work in the field of Modernist Studies, in its literary, social, political, artistic and philosophical contexts. Our aim was to supply a space—a real and discursive 'site and scene', if you like, in which postgraduate students from all over Australia could speak, first and foremost as Modernists—an apt intent given Modernism's association with coterie, the group, the network and the web. In this way, 'Curious Eyes' can be seen in the wider context of the reemergence of Modernist Studies as an active and piquant area of critical dialogue, discussion, debate and disputation. A number of recent phenomenal successes in Modernist Studies gatherings suggest this: in The United States, the newly formed Modernist Studies Association's inaugural 'New Modernisms' conference held at Penn State University in October last year boasted figures of more than five hundred participants. Meanwhile, in New York, The Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective exhibition entitled 'Modernstarts: People-Places-Things.' Across the Atlantic, in London, The Royal Academy of Art's '1900: Art and the Crossroads' and the Tate Gallery's reassessment of the art of the Bloomsbury Group evince the fact that Modernism is, now more than ever, subject to the curious eyes of commentators everywhere."