Mystic Modernity: Yeats and Tagore
Dr Claire Chambers and Prof Matt Campbell
I am a PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of English and Related Literature. Before coming to York, I was a Fulbright scholar at Montclair State University, USA, where I did my M.A. in English Literature. Funded by an Overseas Research Scholarship (UK), my doctoral project looks at the intersection of mysticism and modernity in the writings of W. B. Yeats and Rabindranath Tagore. The relationship dynamics of these two poets from Ireland and India as well as their analogous ambivalence about the nationalist politics of their respective countries have received some critical attention. My thesis, on the contrary, explores how, due to their poetic
interests in mystical spirituality, they both resisted and appropriated what they understood to be a bourgeois, materialist, and metropolitan modernity. I want to demonstrate how, trying to forge an alternative modernist consciousness, they founded it upon mystical sensibilities of both orthodox and heterodox kinds.
Apart from studying for my PhD, I have also taught seminars and given lectures for undergraduate modules in our Department at York. My PhD-related essays have been published in such scholarly journals as International Yeats Studies (May 2018) and Gitanjali and Beyond, a journal of the Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies (November 2016). Besides my PhD authors, my academic interest includes modernist literature (esp., Virginia Woolf and T. S. Eliot), Romantic poetry, and American Transcendentalist writers.