Tag Archives: School of Advanced Study

IES SAS Comparative Modernisms, ‘From Avant-Garde to Architecture (and Back)’

Comparative Modernisms Seminar, Institute of English Studies- School of Advanced Study, University of London.

21 November 2016, Room 246, Senate House, Malet St, London, Room 246, 18:00 – 20:00

Professor Tyrus Miller (University of California-Santa Cruz)

From Avant-Garde to Architecture (and Back)

Abstract: This paper considers the complex interactions of the historic avant-gardes with the symbolic idea, theory, and practice of modern architecture. Considering a number of cases including Malevich, Mondrian, Van Doesburg, Lajos Kassák, Moholy-Nagy, and El Lissitzky, I will discuss and assess Reyner Banham’s classic hypothesis that the avant-gardes played a crucial role for modern architecture in providing an “aesthetic discipline,” from outside of the architectural discipline, to make sense of various technical innovations, new materials, and emergent idioms of design. At the same time, for several avant-gardists architecture was invested with the dream of reinventing a totality lost among the multiplicity of incommensurable metropolitan sign-systems and forms: as a kind of utopian meta-art in which the autonomous languages of the various art-media, and even various extra-artistic dialects and functional idiolects, might be subsumed into a new, architectonic metalanguage assuring inter-translatability and social efficacy.

Tyrus Miller is Professor of Literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is author of Late Modernism: Politics, Fiction, and the Arts Between the World Wars (U of California P, 1999); Singular Examples: Artistic Politics and the Neo-Avant-Garde (Northwestern UP, 2009); Time Images: Alternative Temporalities in 20th-Century Theory, History, and Art (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009); and Modernism and the Frankfurt School (Edinburgh UP, 2014). He is the editor of Given World and Time: Temporalities in Context (Central European UP, 2008) and the Cambridge Companion to Wyndham Lewis (Cambridge UP, 2016). He is the translator/editor of György Lukács, The Culture of People’s Democracy: Hungarian Essays on Literature, Art, and Democratic Transition (Brill, 2012) and series co-editor of Brill’s Lukács Library series.

The seminar is  free and open to all.  However, for reasons of room capacity, please register your participation by contacting  the Seminar convenor, Dr Angeliki Spiropoulou, Visiting Research  Fellow at IES/SAS and Assist. Professor at Peloponnese University at  angeliki.spiropoulou@sas.ac.uk

IES SAS Comparative Modernisms Seminar, ‘Ghostmodernism’

IES Comparative Modernisms Seminar

Stephen Ross (University of Victoria), Ghostmodernism

Monday 17th October 2016, 16.00 – 18.00, School of Advanced Study, University of London

(Torrington Room, 104, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU)

“[I]t occurs to me that entire libraries of enigmas in literature would yield up their key, were we but to reconsider the ‘supernatural element’ responsible for them: to be precise, the appearance of a Specter” (Nicholas Abraham “The Intermission of ‘Truth’” 188)

Though actual ghosts are in exceedingly short supply in modernist novels, ghostly figures manifest with shocking abundance. It may in fact be one of the most striking features of the modernist novel that almost without regard to who the author is or what the novel is mainly concerned with, a certain rhetoric of spectrality permeates. All of Joseph Conrad’s major novels feature numerous such figures, as do most of the novels of Wyndham Lewis, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Djuna Barnes, Aldous Huxley, and James Joyce – not to mention the less dense but still sizeable representation in the works of Mary Butts, Elizabeth Bowen, Sylvia Townsend-Warner, HD, and May Sinclair. Put simply, the modernist novel is amongst the most haunted sites in all literature. In this paper, I both outline some of the ways in which modernist prose fiction mobilizes this rhetoric of spectrality, and argue that it serves as means by which a wide range of novelists engage with a wide range of issues, from the nature of reality to sex and sexuality, and from history and heritage to being and the body. The spectral provides the common medium of engagement with these issues. Its inherent link to ethics gives that medium its significance: through the rhetoric of spectrality, modernist novelists establish the ethical as the overarching horizon for all these concerns.

Stephen Ross is  Professor of English and Cultural, Social, and Political Thought at the University of Victoria, Canada. He is the General Editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (2016), co-editor of The Modernist World (2015) as well as editions of Dorothy Richardson’s novels Pointed Roofs and The Tunnel (both 2014), editor of Modernism and Theory (2009), and author of Conrad and Empire (2004). He is Director of the Modernist Versions Project and of Linked Modernisms, both digital humanities approaches to the cultural heritage of aesthetic modernism. He is finally at work on a book on ghostmodernism, a work whose topic has haunted him for nearly twenty years now.

The seminar is  free and open to all. However, for reasons of room capacity, please register your participation by contacting  the Seminar convenor, Dr Angeliki Spiropoulou, Visiting Research  Fellow at IES/SAS and Assist. Professor at Peloponnese University.

For information on the Historical Modernisms Symposium, a one-day event as part of the Comparative Modernisms Seminar Series, please click here

Workshop: The Transnational Circulation of Women’s Writing

Under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) based at the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London and Travelling Texts, 1790-1914: The Transnational Reception of Women’s Writing at the Fringes of Europe (Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain), a half-day workshop entitled ‘The Transnational Circulation of Women’s Writing (1780-2014): Archives, Libraries, Translation’ will be organised on 26 June 2015 in Senate House, London. The event is sponsored by HERA – Humanities in the European Research Area.

This cross-cultural half-day workshop sets out to discuss different ways of approaching the history of women’s writing during the long 19th century and to explore how these roots can shape and inform contemporary praxis. The aim is to establish a productive dialogue between the past and the present of women’s participation in literary culture, bringing together the remits of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing and the historical focus of the HERA-funded collaborative research project Travelling Texts, 1790-1914. Special attention will be paid to the important role of libraries as institutions that conserve, shape and present our literary heritage for contemporary users, with contributions from Dr Gillian Dow, Chawton House Library, and Donna Moore, Glasgow Women’s Library.

Visit the website for details and registration.