Matthew Levay

Matthew Levay is Associate Professor of English at Idaho State University. He is the author of Violent Minds: Modernism and the Criminal (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and Co-Editor of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies. In Spring 2022, he served as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at the American Studies Center, University of Warsaw.

Twitter: @MatthewLevay


Frame by Frame: A Materialist Aesthetics of Animated Cartoons by Hannah Frank

One cannot review Hannah Frank’s Frame by Frame without observing that it is a book marked by tragedy, specifically its author’s passing in 2017. That might have meant the end of the present volume—a lightly edited revision of Frank’s dissertation—had it not been for a few prominent advocates who saw it through to publication, even as they cautioned that, without much opportunity for revision, readers should consider Frame by Frame a work in progress. In his editor’s introduction, Daniel Morgan explains that the book “is basically the dissertation that Frank defended in August 2016,” and “not the book that she would have published,” as Frank had already begun planning extensive changes to the manuscript that she did not live to complete (xxii).

“New Modernisms,” edited by Sean Latham and Gayle Rogers

There are a number of books yet to be written that modernist studies desperately needs. Many of us no doubt keep mental lists of the titles we hope to write ourselves, as well as longer lists of those we hope others will complete, preferably sooner than later. These hypothetical books exist for various reasons—to fill gaps in the critical record, to reassess or depose a well-established approach, to illuminate one of the remaining dark corners of modernism’s history— but my list is largely populated with books I want to place in my students’ hands even more than my own.