Welcome to the Journal of Modern Literature news and information site.

Check here for updates about our latest issues, calls for papers, submission guidelines and tips, as well special online-only content. Our issues themselves are available at Project Muse and are archived on JSTOR . Check out the "Read for Free" page to enjoy some featured content.

More than four decades after its founding, the Journal of Modern Literature remains a leading scholarly journal in the field of modern and contemporary literature and is widely recognized as such. It emphasizes scholarly studies of literature in all languages, as well as related arts and cultural artifacts, from 1900 to the present. International in its scope, its contributors include scholars from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceana, and South America.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Book News: Future studies' relevance to literary studies



Oxford UP, 2021

ISBN: 9780198806820


Futures examines the relevance of futures studies to literary studies. It demonstrates how the growing interest in futures thinking is opening up multidisciplinary conversations and initiatives, examining historical and contemporary forms of futures knowledge, the methodologies and technologies of futures expertise, and the role played by different institutions on legitimizing, deploying, and controling anticipatory practices.

BOOK NEWS is an online-only feature announcing new publications in modernist and contemporary literary studies. These announcements do NOT constitute an endorsement by the Journal of Modern Literature.

Bringing together emerging perspectives on the future from diverse disciplinary perspectives including critical theory, design, anthropology, sociology, politics, and history, this book places the provocation of power at the heart of the book through an investigation of futures as both objects of science and objects of the human imagination, creativity, and will. A multidisciplinary team of contributors challenge and debate the varied ways in which futures are conjured and constructed, exploring issues as diverse as the utopian imagination, history and philosophy, literary and political manifestos, artefacts and design fictions, and forms of technological and financial forecasting, big data, climate modelling, and scenarios.

The book positions the future as a question of power, of representations and counter-representations, and forms of struggle over future imaginaries. Forms of futures-making depend on complex processes of envisioning and embodiment. Each chapter investigates the critical vocabularies, genres, and representational methods -- narrative, quantitative, visual, and material -- of futures-making as deeply contested fields in cultural and social life.

Sandra Kemp is director, The Ruskin—Library, Museum and Research Centre at Lancaster University. She is professor in the history department at Lancaster University and visiting professor at Imperial College London. As an academic and curator, her futures-related work spans the exhibition and monograph Future Face: Image, Innovation, Identity (2004-6) at the London Science Museum and subsequent South Asian exhibition tour; The Future Is Our Business: The Visual History of Future Expertise project at the V&A (2013); and Ruskin: Museum of the Near Future at The Ruskin, Lancaster University in 2019. She is Principal Investigator for the AHRC/Labex-funded Universal Histories and Universal Museums project on the role of the museums in Europe in building knowledge about the future.

Jenny Andersson is professor of the History of Ideas and Science at Upsala University, Sweden.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Eliot's "things that cling": A Closer Look at JML 45.3


Take a closer look at JML 45.3. Author Rachel Murray shares how Eliot's gripping crustaceans help us understand attachment in his writing in THIS POST for the Indiana University Press blog

Her essay, “Things That Cling: Marine Attachment in Eliot” is now available for FREE on Project Muse.

Monday, July 25, 2022

JML 45.3 (Spring 2022) is LIVE!

JML 45.3 (Spring 2022) on the theme "New Materialisms" is now live on Project Muse at https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/48204


Content includes:

Jennifer Yusin

Editorial Changes


Marit Grøtta

Showing Seeing: The Study of Faces and Portrait Photographs in Virginia Woolf’s Early Novels 

Rachel Murray

Things that Cling: Marine Attachments in Eliot 


Emma Felin

Faith and Fabrication in To the Lighthouse: Virginia Woolf’s Table-Cloth(s)

Olga Zolotareva

The Image Responds: Photographic Aura in Aleksandr Ivanov’s “Stereoscope” 

Matt Prout

Art or Shit: Value, Sincerity, and the Avant-garde in David Foster Wallace 

Zackary Vernon

Faulkner’s Charismatic Megaflora: Critical Plant Studies and the US South

Quan Zhou and Qiping Liu

Agentic Things and Traumatized People in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

Aaron McCullough

Sheaths, Molds, and Shards: The Formation of an Anthropological Aesthetics in Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark

Alyson Brickey

“Fragments of cloth, bits of cotton, lumps of earth”: Object-Oriented Lists in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men 

James Draney

W.G. Sebald’s Paper Universe: Austerlitz and the Poetics of Media Obsolescence 


Zachary Kinsella

Becoming Bewildered

Tim Clarke

Modernist Women’s Writing and the Gift of Literature 

Karina Jakubowicz

From Waste Lands to Farmhands: T.S. Eliot and the Organic Husbandry Movement 

Jeffrey Careyva

The Evanescence of Lyric: A Review of John Wilkinson’s Lyric in Its Times: Temporalities in Verse, Breath, and Stone


Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Book News: How D.H. Lawrence established a writing career

D. H. Lawrence and the Literary Marketplace: The Early Writings


Edinburgh UP, 2021

ISBN: 9781474458009


Despite the materialist turn in modernist studies, the extent and depth of D. H. Lawrence’s engagement with the literary marketplace has not been considered. The labelling of him as a working class ‘genius’ has concealed the question of how he became a published writer. Analyzing the literary marketplace of the long Edwardian period, this book assesses the circumstances for becoming an author at this time, examining Lawrence’s changing conceptions of what kind of writer he wanted to be and who he wanted to write for. It reconsiders the significance of Lawrence’s literary mentors Ford Madox Hueffer and Edward Garnett and recovers several figures (including Violet Hunt and Ezra Pound) whose significance for Lawrence’s career has been underestimated. The book evaluates how Lawrence’s work was marketed and received by the reading public in Britain and America, examining publishing houses (including Heinemann, Duckworth, T. Fisher Unwin and Mitchell Kennerley) and literary journals and magazines (such as the New Age, the English Review, Madame and Forum).

BOOK NEWS is an online-only feature announcing new publications in modernist and contemporary literary studies. These announcements do NOT constitute an endorsement by the Journal of Modern Literature.

"Grice provides a finely-tuned assessment of how Lawrence shaped his identity as a writer early on, through strategies and negotiations, and assistance from professional and social networks. For a comprehensive account of how Lawrence developed his talents and attained legitimacy in the literary marketplace, this book is key." – Judith Ruderman, Duke University

Annalise Grice is senior lecturer in English literature at Nottingham Trent University. She specializes in the work of D. H. Lawrence and the literary marketplace during the long twentieth century; her research interests extend to the professionalization of women’s writing, the Edwardian and early modernist sex novel, literary censorship, May Sinclair and Violet Hunt, Marie Stopes and literary representations of women's reproductive rights.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Brief hiatus on submission processing


JML will not be processing new submissions received after 2 p.m. EDT on July 12 through July 18, due to staff vacation. We recommend that you delay submissions until after that time period.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Book News: W.S. Merwin's lifelong engagement with infinity

 Desire and Infinity in W. S. Merwin's Poetry


LSU Press, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8071-7611-5


In the first monograph on W. S. Merwin to appear since his death in 2019, Feng Dong focuses on the dialectical movement of desire and infinity that ensouls the poet's entire oeuvre. His analysis foregrounds what Merwin calls "the other side of despair," the opposite of humans' articulated personal and social agonies. Feng finds these presences in Merwin's evocations of what lingers on the edge of constantly updated socio-symbolic frameworks: surreal encounters, spiritual ecstasies, and abyssal freedoms. By examining Merwin's lifelong engagement with psychic fantasies, anonymous holiness, entities both natural and supernatural, and ghostly ancestors, Feng uncovers a precarious relation with the unarticulated, unrealized side of existence.

BOOK NEWS is an online-only feature announcing new publications in modernist and contemporary literary studies. These announcements do NOT constitute an endorsement by the Journal of Modern Literature.

Drawing on theories from Lacan, Žižek, Levinas, and Heidegger, Desire and Infinity in W.S. Merwin's Poetry reads a metaphysical possibility into the poet's work at the intersection between contemporary poetics, philosophy, and psychoanalysis.

"As he considers the ever-evolving dynamic between notions of finitude and oblivion in Merwin's poems, Feng Dong reveals not only the consequences of Merwin's genius, but also the sources of his melancholy."—Susan Stewart, Avalon Foundation University Professor in the Humanities, Princeton University

“It is no surprise to discover a Lacanian poet in W. S. Merwin, for whoever has glanced at his towering mass of poems will have noted the relevance of terms like the Thing, the Real outside language, or an Other jouissance, but what is truly surprising is to see how subtly and lightly, how deftly and deeply these concepts can limn an entire body of work. Feng Dong’s brilliant synthesis conjures up the figure of an American Hölderlin who avoided visionary madness by realizing an erotic ecology, by making one with his sexual paradise.”—Jean-Michel Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania, author of Lacan in America

“As he traces the dynamic of propulsion toward the infinite—followed by necessary withdrawal—Feng reveals the nuances of Merwin’s profound grief and yet relentless mysticism. Like Merwin’s decade-spanning poetry, Feng’s work is a gift: it’s focused, and yet expansive; it’s a much-needed inflection point in Merwin scholarship; and though it is not a primary aim, Feng provides one of the most illuminatory ways of seeing Merwin’s ecopoetics to date.”—Aaron M. Moe, author of Ecocriticism and the Poiesis of Form: Holding on to Proteus

FENG DONG is associate professor of English at Qingdao University in China. His essays and reviews have appeared in College Literature, Critical Inquiry, Journal of Modern Literature, and other journals.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Book News: Opinion Polls in Interwar British Literature

Public Opinion Polling in Mid-Century British Literature: The Psychographic Turn


Oxford UP, 2021

ISBN: 9780192898975


Whereas modernist writers lauded the consecrated realm of subjective interiority, mid-century writers were engrossed by the materialization of the collective mind. An obsession with group thinking was fuelled by the establishment of academic sociology and the ubiquitous infiltration of public opinion research into a bevy of cultural and governmental institutions. As authors witnessed the materialization of the once-opaque realm of public consciousness for the first time, their writings imagined the potentialities of such technologies for the body politic. Polling opened new horizons for mass politics. Public Opinion Polling in Mid-Century British Literature traces this most crucial period of group psychology's evolution--the mid-century--when "psychography," a term originating in Victorian spiritualism, transformed into a scientific praxis. The imbrication of British writers within a growing institutionalized public opinion infrastructure bolstered an aesthetic turn towards collectivity and an interest in the political ramifications of meta-psychological discourse. Examining works by H.G. Wells, Evelyn Waugh, Val Gielgud, Olaf Stapledon, Virginia Woolf, Naomi Mitchison, Celia Fremlin, Cecil Day-Lewis, and Elizabeth Bowen, this book utilizes extensive archival research to trace the embeddedness of writers within public opinion institutions, providing a fresh explanation for the new "material" turn so often associated with interwar writing.

BOOK NEWS is an online-only feature announcing new publications in modernist and contemporary literary studies. These announcements do NOT constitute an endorsement by the Journal of Modern Literature.

  • Provides a cultural genealogy of public opinion polling in canonical and non-canonical literary works from the 1920s to the 1940s
  • Demonstrates the propensity for sociologically inflected literature to flatten distinctions between high and low cultures by including experimental fiction, science fiction, detective fiction, and war fiction
  • Presents the first history of polling as a cultural phenomenon as well as an institutionalized practice, which builds on growing interest in the complex relationship between modernism and institutionalism
  • Adds to scholarly discussions of aesthetic transformation in the interwar period by introducing group psychology as a dominant cultural influence
  • Integrates archival research from Home Intelligence Reports, Mass Observation Surveys, Wartime Social Survey Research, and BBC Listener Research Reports
  • Provides interdisciplinary avenues for understanding changing cultural representations of psychological interiority that extend beyond literary modernism

Megan Faragher is an associate professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus. She received her PhD in English literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2012, where she specialized in twentieth-century English and Irish literature. She joined Wright State University Lake Campus in 2013 after completing a post-doctoral teaching fellowship at East Tennessee State University. Her research and teaching interests center on British literature between the world wars, and the intersection between technology, information, and culture.