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The University of Southampton
Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing


Our research reflects our interdisciplinary approaches to modern and contemporary writing.

Our publications reflect our interdisciplinary approaches to researching modern and contemporary writing: its practice, history, performance, reception and theorization.

Some very recent publications from writers involved in the Centre include Devorah Baum’s Feeling Jewish (A Book for Just about Anyone) (2017), Peter Middleton’s Physics Envy: American Poetry and Science in the Cold War (2015), William May’s All the Poems - Stevie Smith (2014), Stephen Morton’s States of Emergency: Colonialism, Literature and the Law (2013), and Clare Hanson’s Eugenics, Literature and Culture in Postwar Britain (2012).

Our academics work closely with our creative writers, whose recent works for stage, screen and page include Philip Hoare’s RISINGTIDEFALLINGSTAR (2017), Devorah Baum’s The New Man (with Josh Appiganesi), Rebecca Smith’s The Jane Austen Writer’s Club (2016), Evan Placey’s Consensual (2015), Carole Burns’, The Missing Woman & Other Stories (2015).

Many staff members also maintain creative practices or work in collaboration with visual artists, musicians and other creative practitioners. We co-curate festivals and live performances, contribute to art exhibitions and perform our writing live.

All of our individual publications are listed under CMCW staff pages.

Staff at the Centre have also been involved in several large externally funded projects:

History of Financial Advice

History of Financial Advice is a three-year AHRC-funded project that is writing the first comprehensive history of the genre of personal financial advice. The team includes economists, historians and literary critics as well as partnerships with a financial think tank, a financial library and the key providers of financial literacy education in the UK.

Calling the Shots

Calling the Shots is a four-year, AHRC-funded research project that investigates what is distinctive about the work of women in British cinema and what obstacles women face in the industry. Working with project partners including the BFI, Women in Film and Television UK, BECTU, Birds Eye View, and Harbour Lights Cinema, the project team are conducting primary research through a detailed statistical analysis of British films from 2000-2015, and conducting interviews with 50 women in six key filmmaking roles.

Show Me the Money

In 2014 the Centre supported the AHRC and Arts Council funded exhibition Show Me the Money: the Image of Finance from 1700 to the present when it toured to the John Hansard Gallery and Chawton House Library. The Centre was involved with the events accompanying the exhibition when it was in Hampshire, including a two-day event, The Image of Finance: Why Jane Austen on the £10 Note Matters, a public talk by activist Caroline Criado-Perez, an artist’s evening on the subject of ‘Shadow Money’ and a Poetry symposium JHG3.

Beyond the Gene

In 2012, Beyond the Gene, an AHRC-funded project led by Professor Clare Hanson, held a workshop and public event at the Linnaean Society headquarters in London, at which Tim Spector, Evelyn Fox Keller and Jeannette Winterson gave talks. Beyond the Gene is the result of a collaboration between English and researchers in the Faculty of Medicine.

Writing in Tongues

Between 2007 and 2010 Caroline Bergvall joined us as an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded Creative Writing Fellow. Her project was entitled Writing in Tongues: Multi-Media and Poetic Projects and led to exhibitions at the Arnolfini in Bristol and the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, as well as a volume of poetry.

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