Dr Chris Mourant BA, MA, PhD

Photograph of Dr Chris Mourant

Department of English Literature
Lecturer in Early Twentieth-Century English Literature
Co-Director of the Centre for Modernist Cultures

Contact details

Address
Room 242, Arts Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

I research twentieth-century literature and culture, with particular emphasis on modernist prose, periodical studies, media history, women’s writing and postcolonial criticism.

Qualifications

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (2019)
  • PhD, King’s College London (2015)
  • BA and MA, University of Warwick (2009 and 2010)

Biography

Before joining the University of Birmingham in 2016, I studied for my BA and MA at the University of Warwick, completed my PhD at King’s College London (with a year abroad studying at the University of Stuttgart and the Sorbonne, Paris), and taught for a year as a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University.

Teaching

I am the Director of the MA Literature and Culture programme and I teach widely across the discipline, from nineteenth-century to contemporary literature. In 2020–21, I am delivering teaching and lectures on the following modules:

  • LC Prose: Cultural and Critical Contexts / LC: Analysing Prose
  • LI Decadents and Moderns
  • LH Orwell’s Books
  • LM Modernism and Contemporary Literature
  • LM Research Skills for English Literature

In previous years, I have delivered the specialist LH/LM modules Modernism in the Magazines and The Modern Short Story.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2018 and 2019, students nominated me for the University of Birmingham Outstanding Teaching Award.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquires from prospective MRes and PhD students with research proposals relating to my areas of specialism.


Find out more - our PhD English Literature  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.

Research

I research twentieth-century literature and culture, with particular emphasis on modernist prose, periodical studies, media history, women’s writing and postcolonial criticism.

My first monograph, Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture (EUP 2019), returns to the venues in which Mansfield first published – ‘little magazines’ and literary periodicals – in order to shed new light on her life and work. The project situates Mansfield's writings in conversation with the work of contemporaries such as D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, and reflects my abiding research interests in print media, text/image, gender, colonialism, the institutions of literary production, networks of influence, and the transnational contexts of post-1900 literature. I argue that, as a New Zealand-born colonial woman writer working both within and against the London literary establishment, Mansfield occupied an ambiguous, precarious position in metropolitan writing communities. The book has received positive reviews from leading scholars in the field, in Modernism/modernity, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Women: A Cultural Review, Modern Languages Review and Katherine Mansfield Studies. I have presented research from this project to wider audiences in the Times Literary Supplement and on BBC Radio 4, and a video of me talking about this research is available to view here.

My other recent publications include an edited essay collection, The Modern Short Story and Magazine Culture, 1880–1950 (EUP 2021); peer-reviewed journal articles on the writings of Rebecca West and Beatrice Hastings; chapters in Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in Britain, 1890s–1920s (EUP 2019) and Aphoristic Modernity (Brill 2019); as well as numerous contributions to recent books on Mansfield.

Building on my existing scholarship on print media, my current research focuses on the place and function of letter writing in the ‘new media’ ecology of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Other activities


I am a co-editor of the journal Modernist Cultures, the UK’s leading journal in the field of modernist studies. Together with my colleague Nathan Waddell, I co-direct the Centre for Modernist Cultures (CMC) at the University of Birmingham. I am also an active member of the Centre for Literary Editing and the Materiality of the Text (CLEMT) at the University of Birmingham, the Midlands-based Periodicals and Print Culture Research Group (PPCRG), the international Katherine Mansfield Society (KMS), and the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS). I served on the BAMS executive committee for a number of years, first as Postgraduate Representative (2013–15) and then as Post-PhD Representative (2017–19). In these roles, I co-organised several major international conferences, including ‘Modernism Now!' (London, 2014) and ‘Modernist Life' (Birmingham, 2017).

Publications

Recent publications

Book

Mourant, C & D'hoker, E (eds) 2021, The Modern Short Story and Magazine Culture, 1880–1950. Edinburgh University Press.

Mourant, C 2019, Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture. Edinburgh University Press. <https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-katherine-mansfield-and-periodical-culture-hb.html>

Article

Mourant, C 2019, 'Beatrice Hastings in Paris', Katherine Mansfield Studies, vol. 11, pp. 181-92.

Mourant, C 2019, 'Rebecca West, the forgotten Vorticist?', Modernist Cultures, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 469-497. https://doi.org/10.3366/mod.2019.0268

Mourant, C 2018, 'Fireworky: Beatrice Hastings as editor, critic and “crusading, anti-philistine woman”', Times Literary Supplement, no. 5991, pp. 16-17.

Mourant, C 2015, 'Parodic Translation: Katherine Mansfield and the “Boris Petrovsky” Pseudonym', Katherine Mansfield Studies, vol. 7, pp. 15-30.

Mourant, C 2013, ''A Little Episode': The Forgotten Typescripts of Katherine Mansfield, 1908–11', Katherine Mansfield Studies, vol. 5, pp. 154-66.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Mourant, C & D'hoker, E 2021, Introduction. in E D'hoker & C Mourant (eds), The Modern Short Story and Magazine Culture, 1880–1950. Edinburgh University Press, pp. 1-24.

Mourant, C 2020, Katherine Mansfield and American Modernism. in A Gasston, G Kimber & J Wilson (eds), Katherine Mansfield: New Directions. 1st edn, Historicising Modernism, Bloomsbury, pp. 92-109. <https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/katherine-mansfield-new-directions-9781350135505/>

Mourant, C 2020, Katherine Mansfield as Critic. in T Martin (ed.), The Bloomsbury Handbook to Katherine Mansfield. Bloomsbury, pp. 199-213.

Mourant, C & Periyan, N 2019, Home and Homeland: English National Identity in the Women’s Magazines of Newnes and Pearson. in F Binckes & C Snyder (eds), Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in Britain, 1890s-1920s : The Modernist Period. The Edinburgh History of Women's Periodicals and Print Culture in Britain, Edinburgh University Press, pp. 60-73.

Mourant, C 2019, We Moderns: Katherine Mansfield and Edwin Muir in The New Age. in K Boyiopoulos & M Shallcross (eds), Aphoristic Modernity: 1880 to the Present. Brill, pp. 94-112.

Mourant, C 2017, Modernist Emotions: The Critical Writings of Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf. in T Martin (ed.), Katherine Mansfield and the Bloomsbury Group. Bloomsbury, pp. 161-80.

Mourant, C 2016, “Alors, Je Pars”: Katherine Mansfield and the New Age, 1915–17. in C Davison & G Kimber (eds), Katherine Mansfield's French Lives. Brill, pp. 108-124.

Chapter

Mourant, C 2020, Mark Gertler. in C Davison & G Kimber (eds), The Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield. vol. 1, pp. 594-7.

View all publications in research portal