Centre for Modernist Cultures

The Centre for Modernist Cultures seeks to open up literary and artistic modernism to new kinds of inquiry, new subjects, and new arguments, and to examine the interdisciplinary and international contexts of modernism and modernity.

About us

Members of the Centre for Modernist Cultures are working in diverse ways on concepts in literary and artistic modernism. Modernism, broadly understood as the literary and artistic response the tumultuous changes to social, political and technological life during the years 1900-1950, has, in the past, been treated narrowly by criticism to rest on the achievements of a handful of canonised writers and artists in the 1910s and 1920s. While scholars continue to explore the products of these central figures today, the study of modernism has been broadened recently to include works from a much longer time period, and from a transnational archive. Members of the Centre have been actively involved in what has been called (by Douglas Mao and Rebecca L. Walkowitz) ‘The New Modernist Studies’: in archival projects on less well-known writers and artists, in conferences that have given rise to new concepts and ideas, and in publications that explore innovative and exciting aspects of modernism.

Members of the Centre also edit the journal Modernist Cultures (published by Edinburgh University Press), which publishes articles on all aspects of literary and visual modernism.

The Centre provides a hub for academics and postgraduate researchers to host and participate in events (symposia, workshops, conferences) on any aspect of literary and visual culture in the period 1900-1950, and for external stakeholders to become involved in academic projects in collaboration with University of Birmingham researchers.

We are active researchers on a wide range of writers, artists and concepts in modernist studies and we supervise postgraduate students working in the period, too. We are always interested working with prospective research students in the period – more information about our research programmes is available within the English Literature postgraduate study page.

Postgraduate study

The following postgraduate courses, taught in the College of Arts and Law, fit within the broad remit of the research centre:

Literature and Culture MA

Studying English Literature at postgraduate level opens up a whole host of vibrant and intellectually stimulating avenues to explore.

At this level, English literary texts from the medieval period to present day are studied in and [more...]

Modern British Studies MA

This programme provides an intellectually rigorous introduction to Modern British Studies through two core modules and your choice of optional modules.

You will benefit from the expertise of a large number of British historians [more...]


Contact us

For more information about the events and activities of the centre, contact the Centre's director, Dr Chris Mourant.