The Modernist Podcast is a monthly discussion of art, literature and culture in the early twentieth century, providing academics with a platform to share their research with the wider community. Our aim is to bring critical debates beyond the bindings of the journal and out from within the walls of the conference, into the airwaves and across digital media. We believe that this is a great way for scholars to have their voices heard in a thought provoking and fresh format that is accessible to a diverse audience.

Our episodes are proudly international, with panelists from across the UK, the USA, Japan, Canada, Australia and beyond. So no matter where you are in the world, don’t hesitate to contact us – all you need to get involved is a recording device. The podcast is committed to a broad discussion of modernism, located throughout the globe, spanning the late 19th century to new modernism(s) and encompassing forms as diverse as poetry, music, prose, newspapers, dance, painting, drama, photography, radio, sculpture and film. We are invested in a dialogue that considers high modernism alongside non-fiction and the middlebrow, Bloomsbury with rural England, Harlem with Berlin, the Americas with the Middle East.

We can be found on Soundcloud and iTunes. Our host is Séan Richardson, a first year PhD student at Nottingham Trent University. You can find out more about him here.

Panel 1

Virginia Woolf

Panel: Matthew Holliday, Rosie Reynolds, Anne Reus


Matthew Holliday | University of Nottingham

Matthew is a first-year doctoral researcher in English Literature at the University of Nottingham, where he is undertaking a revisionist study of Virginia Woolf’s aesthetics through the lens of Impressionism, focusing on grief as it manifests through objects. Born in London, he gained a BA at Southampton Solent (2016) and an MA from the University of Nottingham (2017) before winning an AHRC-funded Midlands3Cities studentship to work under the supervision of Dr Leena Kore-Schroder, Professor Martin Stannard and Dr Gaby Neher.

Rosie Reynolds | University of Westminster

Rosie is a second year English PhD student at the University of Westminster. She works primarily on Virginia Woolf, with a focus on the role of the aunt and its representation across her writing. She aims to explore the relationship between fictional aunts and their real life counterparts over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – a time in which the changing demography of Britain resulted in a proliferation of aunts. As well as studying for her PhD, Rosie works in HE Outreach and is collaborating with various organisations on prisoner education, including a current teaching project at HMP Pentonville.

Anna Reus | Leeds Trinity University

Anne is a third year PhD Student at Leeds Trinity University. Her thesis examines the representations of nineteenth-century women writers in Virginia Woolf’s journalism, focussing on the influence of Victorian biography and changing definitions of female professionalism. Her research interests also include mid-Victorian sensation and domestic fiction. She was co-organizer of Virginia Woolf and Heritage conference at Leeds Trinity University in 2016 and editor of the Selected Papers on this topic (Clemson UP, 2017), and is on the organizing team for the BAMS postgraduate conference New Work in Modernist Studies 2017.

Panel 2

The Politics of Modernism

Panel: Joseph Owen, David Young, Ava Dikova

Joseph Owen | University of Southampton

Joseph is a first year English PhD student at University of Southampton. His focus is on aesthetics in the work of political theorist Carl Schmitt. He aims to introduce literary modernism into discussions of Schmitt’s thought.

David Young | Duqesne University

David is a fourth year PhD candidate at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. His dissertation focuses on fascist violence in twentieth century British fiction. He is investigating how this violence is presented as a literary form in narrative.

Ava Dikova | University of Essex 

Ava is a second year PhD candidate at University of Essex. Her thesis develops a modernist concept of personal autonomy and traces its representation in the work of Virginia Woolf.

Panel 3

Modernism In The Archives

Panel: Nissa Cannon, Bret Johnson, Emma West

Nissa Cannon | University of California, Santa Barbara

Nissa is an Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Pre-doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is completing her Ph.D. in English. Her dissertation, “Paper Identities and Identity Papers” argues that the documents of interwar itinerancy are responsible for creating a distinct mode of migratory identity: expatriation. She has published on Jean Toomer’s Cane, and has an article forthcoming in symploke on Claude McKay’s Banjo and the modern passport system

Bret Johnson | University of Loughborough

Bret is a fully-funded researcher at Loughborough University, with an interest in the role of literary prizes, small publishers, and the avant-garde. His work currently looks at literature throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a focus one Modernism and its legacy within contemporary fiction and combines archival research with oral history interviews. He gained a BA at Goldsmiths (2012) and an MA at the University of Birmingham (2014) before winning a studentship at Loughborough University in 2016 to work under the supervision of Dr Lise Jaillant and Professor Nigel Wood

Emma West | University of Birmingham

Emma is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Her postdoctoral project, Revolutionary Red Tape: How state bureaucracy shaped British modernism, examines how public servants and official committees helped to commission, disseminate and popularise British modernist art, design, architecture and literature. She has published essays on modernism, periodicals, fashion and theory and is the organiser of several conferences, including Alternative Modernisms (2013), A Century On (2015) and Twentieth-Century British Periodicals (2017). She is the Founder and Chair of Modernist Network Cymru (MONC).

Featured NTU Researcher: Hannah Cooper-Smithson


Panel 4

Modernism, Medicine and the Body

Panel: Meindert Peters, Lisa Banks, Julia Sutton-Mattocks, Samraghni Bonnerjee


Meindert Peters | University of Oxford

Meindert E. Peters is doing a DPhil in German Studies at New College, University of Oxford. His work focuses on the articulations of embodiment in German Modernity. Heidegger’s understanding of the body in Being and Time (1927) shapes the background to his reading of literature (esp. Rilke and Döblin) and dance (esp. Berber and Droste) of the period. Meindert is a former professional ballet dancer and occasionally writes for the Oxonian Review.

Lisa Banks | McGill 

Lisa is a PhD student at McGill University in Monteal, Quebec. Her research deals with questions of illness, aging, and dying in modernist women’s writing, while her dissertation will focus on the end-of-life creative output of H.D., Elizabeth Bishop, and Kay Smith.

Julia Sutton-Mattocks | University of Bristol

Julia is a SWW DTP-funded PhD student at the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, where she is researching the impact of medical advance on Czech- and Russian-language literature and cinema of the 1920s and early 1930s. Her research explores the role medicine played within the widespread project of regeneration that followed the First World War and Russian Revolution, and its interaction with the perceived degeneration of the fin de siècle. She is particularly interested in narratives that investigate aspects of public health.

Samraghni Bonnerjee | University of Sheffield

Samraghni is a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar at the University of Sheffield, reading for a PhD in English Literature. For her thesis, she is working on a comparative study of British and German nurses of the First World War. She read English and German at Calcutta, and was twice the Goethe Stipendiatin to Berlin and Hamburg. She is a member of International Society for First World War Studies (ISFWWS), International Network for the History of Hospitals (INHH), UK Association for the History of Nursing (UKAHN) and Centre for Archival Practices, University of Sheffield.

 Featured NTU Researcher: Daniel Bilton