Listening to modernism

Arts Building Main Lecture Theatre (Room 120)
Friday 22 March 2019 (05:30-19:30)

The Centre for Modernist Cultures (University of Birmingham, UK) is delighted to welcome Professor Anna Snaith (King's College London) for its 2019 guest lecture. The lecture series features talks on a range of subjects by leading modernist scholars from across the world.

Anna's talk will be on the subject of 'Listening to Modernism'. How is the literary text a place of 'sounding out' and what are the implications of listening in to the ways in which the literary anticipates, archives, and amplifies the acoustic? This lecture will open by investigating questions germane to the burgeoning field of literary sound studies before narrowing its focus to the interwar period as one characterised by a preoccupation with noise. Practitioners working across a range of disciplines--the creative arts, medicine, acoustics, and industrial psychology--attempted to define, measure, represent, and legislate against noise. Modernist writers did not just evoke their noisy environment on the silent, printed page, they tuned in to the aesthetic, cultural, and political possibilities of found or mechanical sound. To illustrate this, Anna will explore the late modernist texts of Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys and their complex engagement with the production and reception of 'excess' sound.

Anna Snaith is Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at King's College London. Her recent publications include Modernist Voyages (CUP, 2014) and editions of Virginia Woolf’s The Years (CUP Edition of Virginia Woolf, 2012) and A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas (Oxford, 2015). She is currently editing a volume on Literature and Sound (CUP) and working on a monograph on noise in interwar British writing.
You can register for this event here.

***Please arrive by 5.45pm for a prompt 6pm start.***

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities