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Royal Irish Academy Grant for Valerie McGuire

24 February 2021

Valerie McGuire has been awarded a Royal Irish Academy Grant for her project, "Rethinking Gramsci and the Avant-Garde" in collaboration with Dr Molly Pucci at Trinity College Dublin. The grant, worth 1940 euros, will fund a network and workshop.

Do emotions, intuition, and uncertainty have a place in our political world? Researchers Valerie McGuire (Modern Languages, St Andrews) and Molly Pucci (History, Trinity College Dublin) have received a grant to explore this question in the context of interwar Europe. While the notion that the polarization between the left (communism) on the one hand and the right (fascism) on the other has long been held a key feature of the interwar period, most research overlooks how the explosion in the arts at this time, synonymous with movements ranging from surrealism to social realism, may combine elements of both ‘right’ and ‘left’ leaning political thought. A grant awarded by the Royal Irish Academy will support an interdisciplinary network of scholars with the aim to excavate unseen links between culture and politics, philosophy and activism, arts and language of the interwar period—in Europe and more globally. In challenging the notion that there ever was such a fixed entity as a European ‘avant-garde’, the researchers intend to contribute to the history of arts and ideas in the twentieth century and to consider historical connections to the present-day expressions of polarization and radicalism.