Tag Archives: middlebrow

Event: Rural Modernity at MSA16

Ebenezer Howard's plan for the Garden City

Ebenezer Howard’s plan for the Garden City

Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following seminar, which will form part of the forthcoming Modernist Studies Association conference in Pittsburgh (for more information on the conference see here).

Rural Modernity (MSA Seminar, open to 15 participants all of whom present 5-7 page position papers in advance and discuss this work at the conference in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 6-9 November 2014). Kristin Bluemel, Organizer

This seminar invites participants to move beyond analysis of rural representation in modernist works to a theoretical formulation of rural modernity as an interpretive category. What is to be gained for twentieth-century arts and culture studies by shifting our attention from the modernization of the city to modernization of the country, by theorizing rural modernity in relation to existing theories of modernism, middlebrow, and modernity?
Invited participant: Ysanne Holt, Art History, Northumbria University.

Review: Elizabeth von Arnim: Beyond the German Garden


Elizabeth von Arnim: Beyond the German Garden by Isobel Maddison (Ashgate 2013)
ISBN: 9781409411673

Type ‘Victorian Literature’ into Google, noted Simon J. James in his keynote lecture for ‘Beyond the Garden Party’, and you’ll find almost eight-million search results for sites hosting scholarly journals and university-affiliated projects. Try the same thing with ‘Edwardian Literature’ and you’ll get just over a million hits, the first of which is a Facebook page. It has six ‘Likes’.

The perception of Edwardian literature – particularly Edwardian fiction – as a literary backwater seems always to have been with us. As early as 1923 Virginia Woolf was pinpointing the Edwardian era as ‘the fatal age’ in literature, naming and shaming ‘Mr Wells, Mr Galsworthy, and Mr Arnold’ as ‘the culprits’ of this literary demise. Such dismissals have proved surprisingly difficult to shake off, no more so than in the case of female Edwardian novelists (who, tellingly, Woolf’s ‘Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown’ didn’t even bother to cite). Continue reading