Modernism research group

Modernism@Manchester is a Research Group based in the Division of English, American Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. We are interested in addressing power structures historically at work during the modernist period and ideologically central to the very conception of ‘modernist studies’ as a disciplinary field.

Modernism poster

Manchester has a strong and collaborative research group working in modernist studies.

Our research focuses on authors of the period, including:

  • D.H. Lawrence
  • W.B. Yeats
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Samuel Beckett
  • Radclyffe Hall
  • Djuna Barnes
  • Laura Riding 
  • Sylvia Townsend Warner
  • E.M. Forster
  • James Joyce
  • Claude McKay
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Richard Bruce Nugent

As a research group, we address the concept of modernism, and such concerns as:

  • Capitalism and modernity
  • Postcolonial and world modernisms
  • Gender, sexuality and the modern movement
  • The radical cultures of modernism
  • Intertextuality in modernism
  • Periodising the modern
  • The discourse of psychoanalysis

Postgraduate study

In addition to co-taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses on modernism, we have a number of doctoral students working as part of the research group on projects spanning from obscenity trials in modernism, to modernism and mathematics.


The staff in the modernist studies group are:

Other colleagues in English Literature and Creative Writing and American Studies have closely related research interests.



In addition to its impressive collection of books and journals on modernist literary subjects, the John Rylands Library houses a number of Special Collections which support research in this field, including:

  • The Carcanet Press Archive, which includes material by H.D., Mina Loy, Wyndham Lewis, Laura (Riding) Jackson, Edward Carpenter, T.E. Hulme, Kathleen Raine, Ford Madox Ford, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Charlotte Mew, Wallace Stevens
  • The Annie Horniman Papers, which chronicle the history of the Abbey and Gaiety Theatres
  • The Basil Dean Archive
  • Papers of C.E. Montague
  • Papers of Allan Monkhouse
  • The Katharine Tynan Collection
  • The Guardian Archive, which includes a complete hard-copy set of the Guardian newspaper from 1821 to 1991, the records of the newspaper as a business, and editorial correspondence and despatches from reporters. It also includes Charles Prestwich Scott's correspondence (1872-1929) with many of the leading political and cultural figures of the time, from Herbert Asquith and David Lloyd George to Emmeline Pankhurst, W.B. Yeats, and George Bernard Shaw.
  • The Walt Whitman Manuscript Collections


Recent and upcoming events include:

Visit our events section to find out more about upcoming and past events.