Back to the Twenties
Modernism Then and Now

Edited by Paul Poplawski

Yearbook of English Studies 50

Modern Humanities Research Association

15 July 2020

ISBN: 978-1-781889-88-6 (paperback)

Access online: At JSTOR


The Yearbook of English Studies for 2020, edited by Paul Poplawski, is devoted to scholarly essays which take a fresh and probing look at the literary modernism of the 1920s and which, in many cases, also reflect critically on its afterlife through to our own time at the start of the 2020s. As this might suggest, one broad aim of the volume is to set the 1920s in dynamic dialogue with the nascent 2020s. Thus, on the one hand, the volume explores some of the ways in which the inspirations and influences of the 1920s have continued to shape the art, literature and culture of the intervening century, while, on the other hand, it tests the extent to which our contemporary conceptions of modernism can give rise to new readings of the authors, works and movements of the 1920s.

Other than these broad parameters, there is no strong programmatic purpose that unites the essays presented here and the volume should be seen, rather, as a collection of free-standing and highly individual and original studies that seek, each in their own way, to throw into detailed relief some significant features of the modernism of the 1920s as these resonate down the decades to the present.

Engaging in close analysis of a range of texts and topics within international modernism and across several genres (fiction, poetry, drama, film, TV, popular culture and music), the essays in the volume draw on a variety of critical perspectives — including the sociology of literature, ecocriticism, feminism and gender studies, film theory, postcolonialism and print culture studies — and they consider the works of both canonical and less frequently discussed figures from the 1920s and beyond. The writers dealt with include T. S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Hugh MacDiarmid, Marianne Moore, Toni Morrison, Ezra Pound, Jean Rhys, Zadie Smith, Tristan Tzara, Virginia Woolf and W. B. Yeats, but also the murder mystery writer, J. J. Connington, the Russian film pioneer, Sergei Eisenstein, the Welsh modernists, Dorothy Edwards and Rhys Davies, and the working-class writers, Harold Heslop and Ellen Wilkinson.


Paul Poplawski
Small Presses and Little Magazines: A Print Culture Perspective on Modernism
Lynda Prescott
The Charisma of ‘The Second Coming’
Ronan McDonald
Tristan Tzara, Cabaret Voltaire and Dada: A Theatrical Avant-Garde, 1916-1924
Sue Wilson
‘Black obsidian Diana’: Moore, Pound, and the Curation of Race
Fiona Green
‘[P]art of the nature of things’: Towards an Archipelagic and Maritime History of Literary Modernism
John Brannigan
Eisenstein: Revolutionary and International Modernist
Nigel Morris
Murders in the Cathedral and the Maze: The Case-Books of T. S. Eliot, J. J. Connington and Others in the Golden Age of Detective Fiction
Alex Davis
‘The swing's the thing’: Literary Legacies of 1920s Jazz
Bethan Jones
Welsh Modernism and the Arts of Camouflage: Dorothy Edwards and Rhys Davies in the 1920s
Katie Gramich
The Refusal to Work and the Representation of Political Subjectivity in the 1920s and 2020s
Morag Shiach
‘In Process of Fabrication’: Queer Time and Trans* Selves in Orlando and Transparent
Loretta Stec

Bibliography entry:

Poplawski, Paul (ed.), Back to the Twenties: Modernism Then and Now (= Yearbook of English Studies, 50.1 (2020))

First footnote reference: 35 Back to the Twenties: Modernism Then and Now, ed. by Paul Poplawski (= Yearbook of English Studies, 50.1 (2020)), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Poplawski, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Poplawski, Paul (ed.). 2020. Back to the Twenties: Modernism Then and Now (= Yearbook of English Studies, 50.1)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Poplawski 2020: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Poplawski 2020: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

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