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Modern and Contemporary

Third edition (left) and first edition (right) of Kew Gardens The Modern and Contemporary Research Group focuses on literature and culture from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first. The Group’s wide-ranging expertise runs from the fin de siècle to contemporary poetry, with particular strengths in the areas of Modernism, including T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf; women’s writing and gender studies; crime fiction; contemporary critical theory; modern and contemporary poetry; British and American theatre; Scottish literature; science fiction and fantasy; war writing; literature of the 1940s; British cinema and music.

The Group and its members have recently attracted funding from the AHRC, the British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust, the Carnegie Trust, the Hosking Houses Trust, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh for projects including The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf, a new biography of T. S. Eliot, ‘Developing the Douglas Dunn Archive’ (held at Special Collections, St Andrews University Library), ‘War, Postwar and “Peace”: A literary history of the 1940s’ and ‘Edwin Morgan’s use of Old English’.

The Group is home to a thriving postgraduate community, with staff and students involved in the organisation of conferences both within the university and in collaboration with other institutions. Recent events include the Crime Fiction Masterclass, the interdisciplinary ‘Sexualities In and Out of Time’ conference, conferences dedicated to the work of David Mitchell and T. S. Eliot, the Opera and the novel seminar, the inaugural meeting of WAR-Net and the Forum for Modern Language Studies Colloquium with Elizabeth Bronfen, Emma Wilson and Lucia Ruprecht; the first conference dedicated to the work of Maggie Gee, and an international conference on the Harry Potter phenomenon.


Dr Christina Alt, Dr Lorna Burns, Dr Jim ByattProfessor Robert Crawford, Dr Sam Haddow, Dr Oliver Hazzard, Dr Chris Jones, Dr Emma Jones, Dr Peter MacKay, Professor Gill Plain, Dr James Purdon, Dr Anindya RaychaudhuriProfessor Susan Sellers, Dr Emma Sutton

Research Projects

A selection of the new additions to the growing collection of early Virginia Woolf and Hogarth Press worksThe group is home to a number of significant research projects and its members are also actively involved in a range of networks and collaborative ventures. Professor Susan Sellers and Dr Emma Sutton are involved the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf, a massive undertaking that presents the most authoritative, most fully collated and annotated texts of Woolf’s works available to scholars to date; Professor Robert Crawford is currently working on a new life of T. S. Eliot, funded by a British Academy/ Leverhulme Senior Research fellowship; Professor Gill Plain is the co-founder and co-ordinator of WAR-Net, an interdisciplinary, transhistorical network for scholars working on any aspect of war and representation. See links below for more information about our work:

The Cambridge University Press edition of Virginia Woolf
Scottish Network of Modernist Studies
British Association of Modernist Studies
Forum for Modern Language Studies


Modern and Contemporary postgraduate students work on projects ranging from food and modernism, to music and politics in the work of E. M. Forster, to interwar women’s crime writing, to contemporary science and contemporary poetry, and the music lesson in 19th and 20th century fiction. Postgraduates in the school are encouraged to organise research events, for which there is dedicated funding available. For more information, please visit our Conference and Event Funding page.

Katherine Bone, Will Bower, Anna Campbell, Rosa Campbell, Sohni Chakrabarti, Aaron Day, Siobhan Dooley, Parker Gordon, Lucy Hall, Jessica Orr, Meha Pande, Cuilin Sang, Jonathan Todd, Adam Welstead

All images on this page are courtesy of Department of Special Collections of the University of St Andrews Library:

A selection of the new additions to the growing collection of early Virginia Woolf and Hogarth Press works.

T.S. Eliot in St Andrews

Third edition (left) and first edition (right) of Kew Gardens