Sascha Bru (Leuven): The Formless Infant: The Avant-Garde, Children, Play.

Publié le 11 mars 2019 Mis à jour le 11 mars 2019

Rencontre bi-annuelle de la Société d'études modernistes


le 29 mars 2019

17h-19h  // 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Salle 12, l'Institut du Monde Anglophone, 5 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, Paris 6e
Where or what was the child, really, in the avant-gardes? This is a question we have barely posed so far in modernism and avant-garde studies. Our understanding of how the classic avant-gardes viewed childhood and infancy is partial and superficial at best. The relationship between the avant-gardes and children has not been studied from up close in a systematic fashion. After all, for a formation that set out to transform the world through art, surely children might have been prime receptors, if not the potential instigators of the aesthetic revolution envisioned. In the seminar I aim to bring out certain apparitions and variants of the ‘phantom of liberty’, the formless infant, as I will eventually call it, in the classic avant-gardes. I by no means aim to be exhaustive—the more I invest in my search for infants and children in the avant-gardes, the more I discover. Instead, I would like to sketch the contours of at least some of my findings so far.

Sascha Bru teaches in the Literary Studies and Art History programmes at the University of Leuven, where he is also head of the Department of Theory and Cultural Studies and a director of the MDRN research lab ( He has produced over a dozen books on European modernisms and avant-gardes, including Democracy, Law and the Modernist Avant-Gardes (2009), The European Avant-Gardes, 1905-1935 (2018) and the co-edited Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines, Europe 1880-1940 (2013).

Respondant:  William Marx (Paris Nanterre).

Mis à jour le 11 mars 2019