Reading Groups

The Centre for Modernist Studies is the proud supporter of reading groups orchestrated and directed by graduate students. Recent reading groups have included a series dedicated to James Joyce’s Ulysses, an Ezra Pound reading group, and Contraaposto. If you would like to suggest a future reading group for the centre to study please contact the centre’s director Dr. Sara Crangle.


Ulysses Reading Group – 2014/5

The Ulysses Reading Group was organised by graduate student Chelsea Olsen and ran biweekly over the course of the Autumn 2014 and Spring 2015 terms. During each hour-long session, both undergraduates and postgraduates came together to discuss two episodes from the modernist epic.  Discussions ranged from close readings to dissections of scholarly articles pertaining to Ulysses. Refreshments were also served, courtesy of the Centre for Modernist Studies.

Contrapposto Reading Group – 2014/5

Contraaposto is a feminist reading group that is facilitated by the Centre for Modernist Studies. Organized and run by Sussex graduate students Natalie Wright and Eleanor Careless. The group meets in London and readings are posted in advance on the Contrapposto Website.

contrapposto 6 // DEATH // DAVIS, PHILIP

[to] resurrect the ‘ghost’ of slavery in order to let the dead speak to the living, in order to allow silence to manifest language — Patricia Holland, Raising the Dead

  • ‘Reflections on the Black Woman’s Role in the Community of Slaves’ – Angela Davis
  • extracts from Zong! – M. NourbeSe Philip

contrapposto 5 // MASCULINITY // ROBERTSON, PRECIADO

‘Testosterone isn’t masculinity’ — Preciado, Testo Junkie

‘Men, we are already people.’ — Robertson, The Men

  • The Men, ‘MEN DEFT MEN’ – Lisa Robertson
  • Testo Junkie, ‘The Drag King Plan of Action’ and ‘The Devil in Gel Form’ – Paul B. Preciado

contrapposto 2 // RESISTANCE // LESSING, KRISTEVA, MENDELSSOHN

red room, it means nothing other than resistance,

and remember her back into my living.

Jennifer MOXLEY, from Often Capital, 1996/2005

  • extract from The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
  • ‘Women’s Time’ – Julia Kristeva
  • poetry is the lack, the arrested poem, from Implacable Art – Anna Mendelssohn

contrapposto 1 // SEX // LOY, RUBIN, MYLES

It is always the wrong linguistic moment
So how can I speak of sex?

Lisa ROBERTSON, ‘A Cuff’, from R’s Boat, 2010

  • Sonnet XXIX, ‘Songs to Joannes‘ from The Last Lunar Baedeker  – Mina Loy
  • ‘Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality’ – Gayle Rubin
  • ‘Peanut Butter’ from Not Me – Eileen Myles