The Modern School is the department's research home for scholars whose interests centre on the period from 1850 to the present. The Modern School has close links with the interdisciplinary Centre for Modern Studies, which was launched in 2009 and is located in the Humanities Research Centre.
CModS brings together staff and postgraduates with interests in the period since 1850 in the Departments of English, History, and History of Art.
The array of interests covered by Modern School staff is extraordinarily diverse.
They range from theoretical considerations of language and psychoanalysis to studies of literary institutions and consumer culture; from the Victorian novel to postcolonial theory; from early cinema to international cinema during the Cold War; from Holocaust testimonies to the relationship between drama and avant-garde music and painting; and from modern poetry to 21st-century fiction. This diversity is reflected in the interests of its current research students.
The Modern School sponsors lectures and research seminars each term, including the annual Jacques Berthoud Lecture in Modern Studies.
In 2006, the prestigious Writers at York initiative was launched. The series offers a lively programme of readings and workshops, and aims to celebrate and explore the work of both emerging and established contemporary writers. Each term, a writer is invited to give a public reading of their work, and also to lead a workshop for postgraduate students.
- Derek Attridge
- David Attwell
- Alex Beaumont
- John Bowen
- Trev Broughton
- Judith Buchanan
- Matthew Campbell (Director)
- Claire Chambers
- Victoria Coulson
- Ziad Elmarsafy
- Alice Hall
- Hugh Haughton
- Michelle Kelly
- Emilie Morin
- Bryan Radley
- Lawrence Rainey
- Erica Sheen
- Ben Tyrer
- Geoffrey Wall
- Richard Walsh
- Claire Westall
- James Williams
Books recently published by members of the school include:
Lawrence Rainey is the Commissioning Editor of Modernism/Modernity, the leading international journal of modernist studies, editing one to two issues of the journal per year and also running the book review section, which appears quarterly.
Geoffrey Wall is joint editor of The Cambridge Quarterly, and members of the Modern School serve on a large number of journal editorial boards.
The Modern School currently has over sixty MA and MPhil/PhD students. Its MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture begins with a core module exploring concepts of modernism and modernity through close reading of literary and theoretical texts drawn from fields such as narratology, psychoanalysis, feminism, post-colonialism, and their many connections. Students then choose three optional modules from a wide variety of offerings.
The School also offers an MA in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, which explores the engagement of nineteenth-century literature with a wide range of political, social and aesthetic issues, its variety of styles and genres, and both contemporary and modern critical perspectives. Its core module introduces key thematic areas and problems in the interpretation of nineteenth-century literature, whilst other modules offer the flexibility to specialize within the Victorian period or to explore a range of research interests across the nineteenth century.
The MA Cultures of Empire, Resistance and Postcoloniality offers a wide exploration of colonial conquest, anti-colonial resistance and post-colonial struggles. Its core module, in the autumn term, introduces and explores theoretical debates concerning imperialism, nationalism, globalisation, diaspora, cosmopolitanism, and neo-colonialism. Students take three other modules from an array that includes interdisciplinary courses in politics and history, and courses that explore diverse cultures of film, literature and visual art.
The MA in Film and Literature offers students the chance to reflect in detail on two vibrant and influential modes of artistic expression - film and literature - separately and in combination. The first core module 'Film/Literature Encounters' provides grounding in theories of adaptation and inter-medial engagement across cinematic and print media, each studied through specific case-study. The other core module, 'British Cinema', gives a historicised, chronologically organised account of one national film industry from the early silent period to the present, including questions of heritage cinema, literary cinemas, counter-culture and censorship. Option modules may be chosen from a diverse line-up of film-based and literature-based courses, including one on American cinematic genres (the Western and film noir) and another on literary adaptation in European cinemas. The dissertation may be written on any aspect of film-literature encounters or of film studies.