Dr Chris Mourant BA, MA, PhD

Photograph of Dr Chris Mourant

Department of English Literature
Teaching Fellow in Twentieth-Century English Literature
Director of the Centre for Modernist Cultures

Contact details

Address
Room 135, Arts Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

I work on late nineteenth and early twentieth-century literature, with particular focus on the textual histories of British modernism. My research traces networks of influence across magazines, periodicals, and publishing coteries, and I am especially interested in the history of women’s writing, travel/colonial writing, and the development of the modern short story.

Qualifications

  • BA, University of Warwick (2009)
  • MA, University of Warwick (2010)
  • PhD, King’s College London (2015)

Biography

Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in 2016, I worked as a Lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University. I was awarded my PhD from King’s College London in 2015. As a member of a research network with the University of Stuttgart and the Sorbonne, I studied at both partner institutions in 2013, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. I completed my BA and MA at the University of Warwick.

Teaching

I am the programme lead for the MA Literature and Culture, and convene the programme's Modernism module.

I also convene the following modules:

  • Aspects of Modernism
  • Shakespeare’s Sisters
  • The Modern Short Story
  • Modernism in the Magazines

Together with Andrzej Gąsiorek, I co-supervise a PhD thesis on John Middleton Murry. I would welcome expressions of interest from prospective doctoral students.

Research

I work on late nineteenth and early twentieth-century literature, with particular focus on the textual histories of British modernism. My research traces networks of influence across magazines, periodicals, and publishing coteries, and I am especially interested in the history of women’s writing, travel/colonial writing, and the development of the modern short story.

I am currently preparing my first monograph for publication with Edinburgh University Press, Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture. This book will situate Mansfield’s writings within the original historical contexts of publication, analysing her contributions to the political weekly The New Age, the avant-garde little magazine Rhythm, and the literary journal The Athenaeum. Positioning Mansfield’s periodical contributions in dialogue with those made by contemporaries such as Beatrice Hastings, D. H. Lawrence, and Virginia Woolf, this study looks to extend our understanding of Mansfield’s life and work beyond the limitations of biographical analysis. By examining how periodical culture helped to enact conversations and controversies, moreover, the book interrogates the ways in which magazines and periodicals functioned as sites of negotiation. I am particularly interested in Mansfield’s ambivalent, liminal position as a colonial woman writer working both within and against the London literary establishment.

I have spoken about my archival discovery of unknown works by Mansfield on BBC Radio 4 and I was the winner of the Katherine Mansfield Society Essay Prize in 2014.

In addition to this research on Mansfield, I have published or have work in preparation on the writings of Virginia Woolf, Beatrice Hastings, Rebecca West, Stevie Smith, Jean Rhys, and Olive Moore.

Other activities

I am the Director of the Centre for Modernist Cultures (CMC), together with Nathan Waddell. The Centre holds a range of events throughout the year. Please see the webpage for further details.

I am the ECR Representative on the executive committee of the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS). Together with Dan Moore, I organised the BAMS conference ‘Modernist Life’ held at Birmingham in June 2017, and I was also on the organising committee for the major international conference ‘Modernism Now!’ held in London in 2014.

I was a co-founder and co-convenor of the Modernist Magazines Research Seminar at the Institute of English Studies, and I organised the first postgraduate symposium of the Katherine Mansfield Society (KMS).

I am a member of the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS), the European Society for Periodical Research (ESPRit), the Katherine Mansfield Society (KMS), the Modernist Studies Association (MSA), and the French Society for Modernist Studies / Société d’études modernistes (SEM).

Publications

Books

2018 Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018)

Journal articles and book chapters

2018 ‘We Moderns: Katherine Mansfield and Edwin Muir in The New Age’ in Aphoristic Modernity, ed. by Kostas Boyiopoulos and Michael Shallcross (Amsterdam: Rodopi/Brill, 2018)

2018 ‘Home and Homeland: English national identity in the women’s magazines of Newnes and Pearson’ in Women, Periodicals, and Print Media in Britain, 1890s–1920s, ed. by Faith Binckes and Carey Snyder (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018) – co-authored with Natasha Periyan

2017 ‘Modernist Emotions: The critical writings of Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf’ in Katherine Mansfield and the Bloomsbury Group, ed. by Todd Martin (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), pp. 161-80

2016 ‘“Alors, Je Pars”: Katherine Mansfield and the New Age, 1915-17’ in Katherine Mansfield’s French Lives, ed. by Claire Davison and Gerri Kimber (Amsterdam: Rodopi/Brill, 2016), pp. 108-124

2015 ‘Parodic Translation: Katherine Mansfield and the “Boris Petrovsky” Pseudonym’ in Katherine Mansfield Studies, 7 (2015): 15-30

2013 ‘“A Little Episode”: The Forgotten Typescripts of Katherine Mansfield, 1908-11’ in Katherine Mansfield Studies, 5 (2013): 154-66

Reviews

2016 ‘Katherine Mansfield, The Urewera Notebook on the New Zealand Studies Network website (2016)

2013 The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II, North America, 1894-1960 in Media History, 19.2 (2013): 230-33