Centre for Modernist Studies

Welcome to the Centre for Modernist Studies

The Centre for Modernist Studies at Sussex organises events and supports projects on a wide range of modernist themes, authors and artists.

The explosion of literary and artistic activity at the beginning of the twentieth century provoked a fundamental rethinking of cultural and social values, the reverberations of which continue to be felt. The new aesthetic of experiment and rupture affected all forms of expression and shaped the ways in which modernity was experienced and understood. Critics and theorists have increasingly understood modernism as a plural phenomenon, one comprising many avant-garde movements and competing political agendas. New research on modernism focuses on many previously neglected questions, including the interaction of aesthetic modernisms with forms of nationalism and internationalism; the exploration of modernist publishing, patronage and networks of support; and the continuation of modernism within contemporary literary and artistic culture.

Current and planned events include:.

We have a Centre for Modernist Studies reading group, organised by two of our postgraduate students. The first meeting will be on 9th November 2018, and the next on 7th December 2018. Please click here for more information.

We will be hosting several speakers throughout this year, and will also be holding a Study Day at the Keep, an archive holding many modernist collections

We are hosting a conference: 'Virus of Hate: Responses to Fascism in Psychoanalysis, Surrealism and Modernism', January 12, 2019 at the De La Warr Pavilion. Please contact the Centre Directors, at sussexmoderniststudies@gmail.com, for further information. 

The conference is attached to a current exhibition: 'A Tale of Mother's Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism', opening at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill in October 2018 and touring to Camden Arts Centre in April 2019. 

Past events:

The Centre for Modernist Studies organised and hosted MSA 15 –the largest event on modernism in the UK to date.

Recent events have included Sussex Modernism, an exhibition in London, a symposium on 'Craft Modernism', 'Vanguard Women: A Welcome to the Anna Mendelssohn Papers', talks by Benjamin Kahan, Iain Sinclair, Kate Mcloughlin, Sarah Wilson, Nicholas Gaskill and Alison Light, an international symposium on 'Mina Loy: Radium of the World' (hosted at New York University); multiple conferences on a variety of modernist topics including an interdisciplinary conference on 'Modernism's Child', and graduate led conferences on 'Hospitable Modernism' and 'Modernist Criticisms'; multiple single author events including celebrations of Gertrude Stein (hosted at the University of Sheffield) and Anna Mendelssohn, and, as part of the Sussex Modernism series: 'Bloomsbury in Sussex: a One-Day Conference Marking 100 Years at Charleston'. We have co-sponsored events with New York University, the University of Sheffield, and Queen Mary University of London. 




Centre Directors:

Dr Hope Wolf

Dr Helen Tyson


Previous Directors:

Professor Sara Crangle

Dr Pamela Thurschwell

Professor Peter Nicholls

Professor Laura Marcus