Centre for Modernist Studies


Centre Directors:

 Dr. Sara Crangle is a senior lecturer in English and has been at the University of Sussex since 2007. She completed her PhD at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and then undertook a research fellowship at Queens' College, Cambridge. Her work has predominantly focussed on ideological intersections between high modernist writers: Joyce, Stein, Woolf, Beckett; and philosophical thought. Her book on this topic, Prosaic Desires: Modernist Knowledge, Boredom, Laughter, and Anticipation, was published with Edinburgh University Press (2010). She has published articles on Dada, bathos, Mina Loy, Ivy Compton-Burnett, Christine Brooke-Rose, and Veronica Forrest-Thomson. Her article on Woolf and boredom won the Margaret Church Modern Fiction Studies Memorial Prize in 2009. She co-edited a book of essays with Peter Nicholls entitled On Bathos: Literature, Art, Music (Continuum 2010). Her poetry can be found in Wild Ascending Lisp (chapbook; Critical Documents) and Cambridge Literary Review (1:2): 2010. She has been a director of the Centre for Modernist Studies since 2007.

Dr. Hope Wolf is a Lecturer in British Modernist Literature at the University of Sussex. Previously she worked at the University of Cambridge (Girton College), King’s College London and the Human Rights Consortium (School of Advanced Study, London). Hope’s research tends to explore the relationship between modernist and popular form; she also has an interest in cultural heritage and in the ways in which voices, memories and other aspects of people’s lives are collected, archived, curated and interpreted. Hope has explored these topics in publications (past and forthcoming) on war memory, life writing and space, and the work of poet and artist David Jones. She is currently working on two new projects: one on the theme of measurement; another on modernism and ideas of the 'local'. She would be glad to hear from Sussex-based cultural and educational organisations, and makers of all kinds, with interests in modernism.



Professor Peter Nicholls is Professor of English and American Literature, now at New York University. His publications include Ezra Pound: Politics, Economics and WritingModernisms: A Literary GuideGeorge Oppen and the Fate of Modernism, and many articles and essays on literature and theory. He recently co-edited with Laura Marcus The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature and is editor of the journal Textual Practice. (Founding Director).

Professor Laura Marcus is Goldsmith’s Professor of English Literature and Fellow of New College. She was previously Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Her research and teaching interests are predominantly in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture, including life-writing, modernism, Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury culture, contemporary fiction, and literature and film. Her book publications include Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice (1994), Virginia Woolf: Writers and their Work (1997/2004), The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (2007; awarded the 2008 James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association) and, as co-editor, The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature (2004). She is on the editorial boards of a number of journals and is one of the editors of the journal Women: a Cultural Review. Her current research projects include a book on British literature 1910-1920, and a study of the concept of 'rhythm' in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, in a range of disciplinary contexts. (Founding Director).

Dr. Pam Thurschwell is a senior lecturer in English at Sussex and has previously taught at University College London. She has worked on the intersection of psychoanalysis, interest in the supernatural at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, and new technologies. She has also published on popular culture and film. Her books include Sigmund Freud(Routledge, 2000), Literature, Technology and Magical Thinking, 1880-1920 (Cambridge University Press, 2001), The Victorian Supernatural, co-editor with Nicola Bown and Carolyn Burdett (Cambridge University Press, 2004), and Literary Secretaries/Secretarial Culture, co-editor with Leah Price (Ashgate Press, 2005). Her current project, about representations of adolescence in literature and culture, is titled Keep your Back to the Future. (Director 2007 - 2015).

Modernist Faculty at Sussex: 


Professor Peter Boxall is a professor at the University of Sussex and has published widely on the work of Samuel Beckett. His books include Don DeLillo: The Possibility of Fiction (London: Routledge, 2006) and Since Beckett: Contemporary Writing in the Wake of Modernism (London: Continuum, 2009). He is currently working on Twenty-First Century Fiction: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) and The Oxford History of the Novel, vol 7, British and Irish Fiction since 1940, edited with Bryan Cheyette (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). He is the general editor of Textual Practice.

Dr. Susan Currell is a reader in American Literature and was previously a director of the Centre for Modernist Studies. Her publications include American Culture in the 1920s (2009), The March of Spare Time (2005) and Popular Eugenics (2006). Her work examines the intersections between intellectual discourse and popular culture in America of the early 20th century. She has written essays on leisure during the Great Depression, on the development of speed reading between 1870-1940, the growth of self-improvement literature in the 1930s and the relationship between eugenics and popular culture in America of the 1930s. She is currently working on several projects including American drama of the interwar period, eugenics and city planning and the political linguistics of the 1930s writers.

Dr. Alistair Davies has research interests in Modernism, film and literature, and has published on Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Yeats and Eliot. He is co-editor of British Culture of the Post-War and is currently writing a book on post-war fiction.

Dr. Natalia Cecire is a lecturer in English and American literature at the University of Sussex. She specialises in American literature since 1880 and the theory of minor knowledges. Her research interests include history of science, poetics, gender and sexuality, childhood, media, and visual culture. She has previously taught at Yale University, Emory University, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Douglas Haynes has research interests in Modernist, postmodernist and avant-garde writing, visual art and music, particularly as these interact with critical theory. He has published on French Surrealism and on American Modernism.

Dr. Daniel Kane has written extensively on poets affiliated with the New York Schools (including John Ashbery, Ted Berrigan, and Bernadette Mayer). His most recent book, entitled "We Saw the Light": Conversations Between The New American Cinema and Poetry, focuses on the aesthetic exchanges between 'New American' filmmakers and poets of the 1950s and 1960s,  examining how the work of filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger, Alfred Leslie, Rudy Burckhardt and Robert Frank influenced and intersected with poets such as Frank O'Hara, Robert Duncan, John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Creeley.

Professor Nicholas Royle has research interests in modern literature and literary theory. He is author of numerous books, including Telepathy and LiteratureE.M.ForsterJacques Derrida, The Uncanny and (with Andrew Bennett) Elizabeth Bowen and the Dissolution of the Novel. He has also recently published his first novel, Quilt. He is an editor of the Oxford Literary Review.

Professor Lindsay Smith has research interests in 19th- and early-20th-century aesthetics, literature and visual culture. She is the author of Victorian Photography, Painting and Poetry, and The Politics of Focus: Women, Children and Nineteenth-Century Photography. She is currently writing books on Lewis Carroll and John Ruskin.

Dr. Keston Sutherland is a poet and critic. His publications include Hot White AndyNeocosisNeutralityThe Rictus Flagand Antifreeze, plus articles and essays on Marx, Prynne, Adorno, O'Hara, Rodefer and on British and American contemporary avant-garde poetry in general. He is the editor of Barque Press and of QUID.

Martin Ryle is a reader at the University of Sussex. His areas of special interest include: The idea of 'culture' and its representation in literature; place, landscape, environmental politics and writing; Irish writing in English since 1880; modernism and its precursors in late nineteenth-century fiction; contemporary fiction. Recent publications include chapters and articles discussing John McGahern, Ali Smith, Michel Houellebecq, Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro.He is co-editor (with Kate Soper and Lyn Thomas) of The Politics and Pleasures of Consuming Differently (Palgrave Macmillan, November 2008).