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English Studies: Special Issue on Metamodernism

Interview with Guest Editors Dennis Kersten and Usha Wilbers

In October 2015 a group of scholars from Belgium, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom convened for a research seminar at Radboud University, Nijmegen to discuss the perceived resurfacing of Modernism in contemporary literature. They examined the literary strategies of authors such as Eimar McBride, Marilynne Robinson, Ian McEwan, David Mitchell, Tom McCarthy, Zadie Smith, Paul Muldoon and a selection of North-American poets, who all seem to be in dialogue with early twentieth-century Modernism.

Scholars recognise that Modernist narratological strategies and themes have re-emerged in twenty-first-century fiction, but the deeper implications of what is now beginning to be known as “Metamodernism” are still unclear. This special issue of English Studies aims to be a first step towards charting and identifying how Metamodernism manifests itself in contemporary fiction in English. By bringing together the work of a diverse group of international scholars—who study a group of equally international authors—the editors, Dennis Kersten and Usha Wilbers, hope to shed light on Modernism’s continuing vitality and the place of its legacy in twenty-first-century literary culture.

In this video, the two guest editors introduce the concept of Metamodernism and explain how it finds itself at the centre of an emerging and rapidly expanding scholarly debate. By offering a platform for discussing such new directions in international English Studies scholarship, English Studies – now in its hundredth year – continues to assert its vital role in the discipline.

After watching the video, you can read the full Introduction:Metamodernism article here. 

English Studies

For nearly a century now, the periodical English Studies has been one of the defining publications in the field of ‘English’. Unique in the range and quality of its coverage, it attracts contributions from leading scholars worldwide on the language, literature and culture of the English-speaking world from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day.

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