What is Sexual Modernity?

While Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality (1976) is known primarily for its pathbreaking description of the emergence of sexuality, it offers an equally important account of modernity. In his history of modernity, Foucault describes a shift from the sovereign’s “right to take life or let live” to the state’s biopolitical concern with “the right to make live and...

Oct 25, 2016

Teaching Modern Poetry

Introducing a collection of pedagogy essays in 2008, Helen Sword noted an ironic discrepancy. As teachers of modernism, we spend much of our professional lives engaged in a common and challenging pursuit: guiding students through notoriously difficult texts. Nevertheless, teaching is often what we don’t talk about when we come together to talk about modernism. Listen for mention of the...

Mar 1, 2016


Thick Time: William Kentridge, Peripheral Modernisms, and the Politics of Refusal

In the final room of Thick Time , the William Kentridge show recently on at the Whitechapel Gallery in London , viewers encountered yet another of the installation environments those familiar with the South African artist’s work have come to expect from this fascinating—mercurial, polymath—contemporary global art-maker. [1] We imagine we are in a room in a villa near the sea. On one...

Mar 15, 2017

“The Inconvenient Critics”: Institutional History and Political Economy

In Mary McCarthy’s 1952 academic novel The Groves of Academe, the protagonist Henry Mulcahy is let go from Jocelyn College, a self-described sanctuary of academic freedom in a world haunted by the specter of Joseph McCarthy. The facts of the matter are undisputed: Mulcahy writes an article for Marxist Quarterly about dialectical materialism in James Joyce, donates money to...

Mar 15, 2017



A venue for responses to articles and other content in Modernism/modernity .

Mar 2, 2016

What Are You Reading?


Older books, new again—or encountered for the first time.

Feb 9, 2016

Recent Scholarship

A What Are You Reading? forum on recent publications in the field.

Feb 9, 2016