Centre for Modernist Studies

Welcome to the Centre for Modernist Studies


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. This 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.

The Centre for Modernist Studies brings together faculty and students to explore key questions relating to the cultural forms of Modernism. Researchers in English, History, American Studies, History of Art, Film and Media, Music, and Philosophy contribute to an ongoing programme of conferences, seminars, readings and performances. In the recent past, amongst other events, we’ve hosted the Sussex Poetry Festival; a performance of “A”-24 by Louis Zukofsky, and one-day colloquia on Frank O’Hara, Elizabeth Bowen, and Mina Loy. We’ve sponsored talks by critics and theorists of Modernism including Rachel Bowlby, Gabriel Josipovici, Jean-Michel Rabaté and Michael Levenson. In 2013 we hosted the annual Modernist Studies Association conference and in 2014, Here by Sea and Sand: a symposium on Quadrophenia.


Coming soon!


Professor David Trotter (University of Cambridge)


Becoming Media: Modernist Writing, Hollywood Cinema, and the Scene of  Female Toilette


Thursday, 16 April


5-7 Jubilee G 36



Sussex Modernism


The Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex in Association with the Towner

Lecture Programme at the Towner Gallery, Eastbourne: April/May 2015


Faculty from the Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex and from the University of Brighton in association with the Towner Gallery will be sharing their research in a series of open lectures  at the Towner Gallery in April and May 2015. We hope you can join us. 

Wed April 15th 2.15 – 3.15 Dr Alistair Davies (University of Sussex):  Sussex modernists: why Sussex?

Wed April 29th 2.15-3.15 Martin Ryle (University of Sussex): E. M. Forster’s The Longest Journey: Eastbourne and Education

Wed May 13th  2.15-3.15  Dr Theodore Koulouris (University of Brighton): Virginia Woolf and Sussex

Wed May 27th 2.15-3.15 Dr Sam Cooper (University of Sussex): Sussex Surrealists

For further information, please contact Dr Alistair Davies: H.A.Davies@sussex.ac.uk



Modernism’s Child


One-Day Conference


Sponsored by the Sussex Centre for Modernist Studies


April 20th 2015


 Keynote Speakers: Professor Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Natalia Cecire (Sussex)

 More information available here: https://modernismschildconference.wordpress.com/