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

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 2

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 3

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

Panel 4

Modernism and Technology

Panel: Jennifer Janechek, Tamara Radak, Leonie Thomas

Jennifer Janechek | University of Iowa

Dr. Jennifer Janechek is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Iowa. Her dissertation and now book project, “‘A Machine to Hear for Them’: Telephony, Modernism, and the Mother Tongue,” traces a new aurality in British literary modernism that emerged in response to contemporary advances in communication engineering, particularly those related to telephony. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, The Conradian, Dickens Studies Annual, The Victorian, Literature/Film Quarterly, and Nineteenth-Century Disability: Cultures & Contexts. She is also the recipient of the Bruce Harkness Young Conrad Scholar Award from the Joseph Conrad Society of America.

Tamara Radak | University of Vienna

Tamara Radak is a lecturer and PhD candidate at the University of Vienna. She is currently preparing a monograph on anti-closural narratives in the novels of James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway, titled No(n)Sense of an Ending? Modernist Aporias of Closure. She was the host organiser of Irish Modernisms: Gaps, Conjectures, Possibilities (University of Vienna, 2016) and has published in James Joyce QuarterlyEuropean Joyce  StudiesJames Joyce Literary Supplement, and the Flann O’Brien-themed The Parish Review. Her most recent essay, forthcoming in Flann O’Brien: Problems with  Authority (Cork UP,  2017), applies hypertext and possible worlds theory to Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman.

 Leonie Thomas | University of Bristol

Leonie Thomas is an AHRC funded PhD student, co-supervised at the Universities of Exeter and Bristol. Her doctoral project, entitled “Wireless Women: Listening-In to Forgotten Female Voices at the BBC, 1922-1955”, explores the influence of a diverse range of female writers on the cultural output of the BBC. She has presented at The Space Between Society’s annual conference in McGill in 2016, as well as at the “Radio Modernisms” conference hosted by the British Library in June 2016. She has a forthcoming article, entitled “Making Waves: Una Marson at the BBC”, in Media History and she has been invited to speak as part of Kings College London’s celebration of the BBC World Service in October 2018.

Featured NTU Researcher: Amy Williams | @amywills923001