The Centre for Modernist Cultures has a background in research excellence, demonstrated by its various research projects, journals, and publications.

Research projects

‘The Art of Identification’

Rex Ferguson has been awarded an AHRC Networking Grant, for the project ‘The Art of Identification’. In the modern period, the practical identification of individuals has taken a number of forms: from early-modern badges and insignia, to contemporary retinal scanners. Whilst this topic has been of recent interest in historical, social, scientific and biological scholarship, Dr Ferguson believes that the fundamental connections that exist between identification methods and the literary and artistic depiction of personal identity have been neglected. This research network (awarded £35,342) therefore seeks to address this scholarly gap by examining identity documents alongside a range of written and visual media. The project will advance a fresh explanatory model for both identification practices and the artistic depiction of identity.

Collected Works of Wyndham Lewis

Nathan Waddell and Andrzej Gąsiorek are on the editorial board of a complete critical edition of the written works of Wyndham Lewis, which will be published by Oxford University Press over the next ten years. The edition will run to some 42 volumes; will be authoritative, critical, and uniform, based on bibliographical investigation into the main archives; and will contain a full record of textual variants and revisions. The edition will trace the genesis, composition, publication, and reception of Lewis’s prolific written oeuvre, explaining its cultural and intellectual contexts.

Dorothy Richardson Scholarly Editions Project

Deborah Longworth is an editor on the Dorothy Richardson Editions Project, an AHRC funded collaboration between four universities: Keele University, the University of Birmingham, the University of Oxford, and Birkbeck College, London. The objective of the project is to produce ten volumes of scholarly editions of the letters and fiction of the pioneering modernist writer, Dorothy Richardson.

‘Revolutionary Red Tape: How state bureaucracy shaped British modernism’

Emma West has been awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship for the project ‘Revolutionary Red Tape: How state bureaucracy shaped British modernism’. Drawing on extensive archival resources (including reports, memos and minutes), this project examines how public servants and official committees helped to commission, disseminate and popularise modernist art, design, architecture and literature in Britain. From vanguard exhibitions in local restaurants to innovative sanatoria on the Welsh coast, these committees masterminded dozens of schemes to bring modernism’s radical aesthetics to a general audience. Through an examination of six case studies from architecture, town planning, literature, theatre, ballet and painting, I argue that committees should be seen alongside publishers, magazines and galleries as key mediating institutions between the artistic elite and the British public.

Previous projects funded by the British Academy and AHRC include Dan Moore’s ‘The Politics of Taste: Modernism and the Reception of Art and Literature, 1900–1939’ and Deborah Longworth’s ‘The Sitwells: Ornamental Modernism’.


modernist-cultures-coverModernist Cultures

Modernist Cultures is a leading journal in the field of modernist studies, encouraging interdisciplinary enquiry in an attempt to reanimate the discourses through which modernism’s diverse cultures have hitherto been conceived. As a result of its growing reputation for publishing cutting-edge scholarship, the journal has now moved to a four-issue format. Key features include:

  • ‘Modernism Under Review’ essays that re-examine landmarks of modernist criticism 
  • Regular special issues (recent subjects include ‘Modernism and the First World War’, ‘Modernism in Public’, and ‘New Transatlanticisms’) 
  • Authors including Fredric Jameson, Laura Marcus, Marjorie Perloff, and David Trotter 

The editors of Modernist Cultures are Andrzej Gąsiorek (Birmingham), Deborah Longworth (Birmingham), Michael Valdez Moses (Duke University), and Daniel Moore (Birmingham).

The next issue of Modernist Cultures, 12.3, will include the following articles:

  • Tyrus Miller, ‘Modernism Under Review: Reyner Banham’s Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1960)’
  • Michael Kindellan, Joshua Kotin et al, ‘The Cantos and Pedagogy’
  • Jamie Callison, ‘David Jones’ “Barbaric-fetish”: Frazer and the “Aesthetic Value” of the Liturgy’
  • Nan Zhang, ‘“Solemn Progress”: Woolf, Burke, and the Negotiation of Virtue’
  • Katharine Perko, ‘Gossip at Work: Professionalism, Oral Communities, and Narratives of Scandal in Lord Jim
  • Book Review: Steve Ellis, ‘The Poems of T. S. Eliot, ed. by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue, 2 vols (London: Faber & Faber, 2015)’

The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies

The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies (JWLS), co-edited by Louise Kane and Nathan Waddell, is the primary scholarly journal devoted to the painting and writing of Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), featuring essays on Lewis’s work alongside reviews of exhibitions and relevant publications. JWLS is published once a year by the Wyndham Lewis Society in an open-access format. Since 2014 it has published the winning essay of the Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust Essay Prize, a competition aimed at postgraduates and early career scholars.


For recent publications by Centre members, please see individual staff profile pages.