Anna Mendelssohn Papers

Vanguard Women:

A Welcome to the Anna Mendelssohn Papers

Vanguard Women Poster

16th October 2015

The Keep, Brighton

The Centre for Modernist Studies was honoured to hold an event to celebrate the opening of the Anna Mendelssohn Papers archive at The Keep (Sussex Special Collections). Anna Mendelssohn (1948-2009) was a prolific poet, artist, and activist. A biography of Anna Mendelssohn can be found on this page below the schedule for the event.
The Centre for Modernist Studies is grateful to the family of Anna Mendelssohn for their generous donation of this magnificent archive. Thanks also go to the Research Development Fund for their assistance with the cost of cataloguing, and the School of English, Sussex, via the CMS, for the same.


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A series of talks, open to the public, were given by academics talking on the theme of “Feminism and Vanguardism” in different historical moments, covering the fin de siècle and modernist periods, post 9-11, and 1968 and its environs.

Jill Richards (Yale)

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Liz Sage (Sussex)
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Sara Crangle (Sussex) Anna Mendelssohn Event-161

To listen to the speaker’s please click on the relevant link below.




 Pre-Talk Workshop: 

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Led by Fiona Courage, the Head of Special Collections at The Keep, this pre-talk workshop allowed participants to have a hands-on experience with a representative selection from the Anna Mendelssohn archive. There was also the opportunity to discuss the archive and the cataloguing process with the collection’s archivist Simon Coleman.

To read a blog post about the Anna Mendelssohn Papers by archivist Simon Coleman please click here.

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(Photo Credits: Philip Hardman Photography)

 Anna Mendelssohn Biography

Born in 1948, Anna Mendelssohn was an activist and a highly regarded avant-garde writer and artist. In 1972 she was sentenced to prison for her political activities; post prison she was accepted to Cambridge to read English and had a family whilst studying. Among her publications are the volume Implacable Art (Folio/Equipage 2000), a series of chapbooks, predominantly with Rod Mengham’s Equipage press, and contributions to anthologies including Iain Sinclair’s Conductors of Chaos (Picador 1996).

When she died in 2009, Mendelssohn left behind a vast, glorious collection of manuscripts and drawings which her family generously donated to Sussex Special Collections. Mendelssohn’s timely and resonant archive is open to the public as of September 2015.