Long considered epistemologically naive, realism has, in the last ten years or so, undergone something of a rehabilitation, as scholars such as Anna Kornbluh, Caroline Levine, and Matthew Beaumont have shown realism to be, in Kornbluh’s words, “a mode of production rather than a mode of reflection.”  If this work has often focused on nineteenth-century texts, another set of scholars has...
Jan 25, 2021
Twenty years after the publication of Lawrence Rainey’s Institutions of Modernism , our field once again finds itself wrestling with its troubled relationship with institutionalism. But where once Rainey argued, incisively, that literary modernism was self-aware of its own marketability and commodification, cocreating modernism as a discrete institution in its own right, we now find...
Nov 9, 2020
When I first saw this image on the National Gallery of Australia’s website, I wasn’t quite sure who, or what, I was seeing (fig. 1). What is the shadowy form lurking in the bottom-left-hand-corner of the image? Is it a person emerging out of the basement, a playful photographic superimposition, or something more banal: just another painting propped in the corner?
Jan 21, 2021
This is about failure: my own failure to think forward, my own failure to see the future. Perhaps this piece can provide an opportunity to reflect on what can emerge from individual failures as well as our field’s reckoning with its wider failures: failure to grapple with racism and white supremacy, failure to support emerging scholars, failure to intervene meaningfully in the dismantling of...
Jan 14, 2021