Modernism in Wartime: Avant-Gardes, Revolutions, Poetries
The talk centers on Apollinaire and the fate of the avant-garde in war, a story that taps into the history of failed revolutions in European history for the preceding century.
Speaker: Vincent Sherry,
Howard Nemerov Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the English Department at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
Visiting Scholar for the McGillicuddy Humanities Center Symposium
“War without End: World War I and its Legacy”
Speaker: Vincent Sherry is the Howard Nemerov Professor of the Humanities and Chair of the English Department at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. An eminent modernist scholar, Professor Sherry writes work that is historically informed, but is open to theoretical and topical approaches, which range from the politics of aesthetics to gender and science. The Great War and the Language of Modernism (Oxford UP, 2003), recovers the substance of the debates within the British Liberal party on the ethics and rationale of the war. He locates a crisis that drives deep down into the intellectual traditions of liberal modernity and, in this dissonance, establishes the provocative circumstance for some of the most important literary inventions in British modernism. He broadens this historical perspective on the literature of the war to an overview of pan-European and trans-Atlantic writing in the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the First World War (Cambridge UP, 2005), for which he was Editor. In the same frame of reference, his current research involves work on A Literary History of the European War of 1914-1918, currently under contract to Princeton UP, which puts the literatures of the various national protagonists in the war (Britain, Germany and Austria, France, and Italy) into conversation with each other. His recent book Modernism and the Reinvention of Decadence(Cambridge UP, 2015) also engages with culture, politics, and the Great War. Most recently, he has served as Editor of the Cambridge History of Modernism (Cambridge UP, 2017), a work of nearly 1000 pages, which, in 45 chapters, provides a comprehensive history of the major cultural productions of modernism, featuring not only its literature but also its music, visual arts and architecture, philosophy, and science. He has also written two seminal works on James Joyce and works on Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and Geoffrey Hill.
Contact: Laura Cowan, 581-3830