The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism

The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism (Cambridge University Press, 2007) is intended for an audience of undergraduates and general readers. It fills the need for a general introduction to English-language modernism in a comparative and interdisciplinary context. Over the last generation, literary historians have challenged the postmodernist conception of modernism as the product of an arrogant elite. “Modernist studies” has embraced a broader historical and cultural conception of the movement. Scholars have traced the roots of modernism back to the mid-nineteenth century, found modernist currents outside the European mainstream, and explored the interaction among the various arts. They have also shown an increasing interest in the relationship between the arts and social history. This book updates previous standard reference works by offering a synthesis of these new trends in modernist scholarship.


“This often elegant study makes a valuable contribution to the critical literature of modernism and will no doubt take its place alongside the classic works that are perhaps its two closest precedents: Modernism: 1890–1930, edited by Malcolm Bradbury and James Walter McFarlane (New York: Penguin, 1976); and Peter Nicholls’s Modernisms: A Literary Guide (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)…The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism represents a thought-through and thought-provoking response to the current state of modernist studies, one that will make scholars of the field want to read what they have missed and to reread some old favorites with new eyes. More impressively, however it offers a compelling and richly textured account of modernism that will be accessible to undergraduates or general readers taking up the subject for the first time or for the first time in a very long time.”

-Christopher Bush, Northwestern University, Modern Philology