Jessica Hannah (UCL) - 2018-19 Students

Anglophone Modernisms and Avant-Gardes: Materiality, Transmission and Contact in Experimental Literature 1914-1979

My thesis will consider continuities and tensions within the development of twentieth-century formal and material reflexivity in literary works, foregrounding the work of modernist and avant-garde writers from Gertrude Stein to Samuel Beckett, and concluding with a consideration of their impact upon experimental writers in subsequent decades. My research aims to be interdisciplinary and transnational; I will build on the work of those who have demonstrated the global character of the experimentations I wish to foreground, and those who have developed new understandings of what and who were “modern” or “avant-garde.” My central aesthetic and political question will involve asking what constitutes these experimental literary forms and how they circulate; in particular, I will draw on the work of Agamben, Sedgwick, Glissant, and Rancière in order to situate my line of enquiry in relation to new media theory, postcolonial studies, and the philosophy of language.

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