The explosion of literary and artistic activity at the beginning of the twentieth century provoked a fundamental rethinking of cultural and social values the reverberations of which continue to be felt. This new aesthetic of experiment and rupture affected all forms of expression and shaped the ways in which modernity was experienced and understood. Critics and theorists have increasingly understood modernism as a plural phenomenon, one comprising many avant-garde movements and competing political agendas. New research on modernism focuses on many previously neglected questions, including the interaction of aesthetic modernisms with forms of nationalism and internationalism; the exploration of modernist publishing, patronage and networks of support; and the continuation of modernism within contemporary literary and artistic culture.
Since its inception over ten years ago, the Centre for Modernist Studies at Sussex has endeavoured to hold events on a wide range of modernist themes and authors. Notable amongst these is the organisation and hosting of MSA 15 – the largest event on modernism in the UK to date.
Other recent events have included an international symposium on “Mina Loy: Radium of the Word” (hosted at New York University); multiple conferences on a variety of modernist topics including an interdisciplinary conference on “Modernism’s Child”, and graduate led conferences on “Hospitable Modernism” and on “Modernist Criticisms”; an event to celebrate the Opening of the Anna Mendelssohn Papers; and multiple single author events including celebrations of Gertrude Stein (hosted at the University of Sheffield) and Anna Mendelssohn.