Rachel Eames | In the second year of her Midlands3Cities funded PhD in English at the University of Birmingham, Rachel is working on the relationship between early 20th Century physics, literature and culture, looking particularly at the ways physics was experienced and adopted by Modernist poets | Website | Twitter


Séan Richardson | In his second year at Nottingham Trent University, Sean’s work focuses on the the relationship between sexuality and cartography within the Modernist period. He hosts the Modernist Podcast, is curating the Forster50 museum exhibition and likes biscuits | Website | Twitter

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Hannah Comer | Hannah is undertaking her PhD at the University of Birmingham, working on literature and art, looking at Romantic Modernism through the Modernist engagement with Pre-Raphaelitism and William Morris, focusing on Yeats, Lawrence, H.D. and David Jones | Twitter


Bret Johnson | Bret is a fully-funded researcher at Loughborough University, with an interest in the role of literary prizes, small publishers, and the avant-garde. His work currently looks at literature throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a focus one Modernism and its legacy within contemporary fiction and combines archival research with oral history interviews. He gained a BA at Goldsmiths (2012) and an MA at the University of Birmingham (2014) before winning a studentship at Loughborough University in 2016 to work under the supervision of Dr Lise Jaillant and Professor Nigel Wood | Twitter


Elizabeth O’Connor | Elizabeth is a third year PhD student at the University of Birmingham, researching the presence and significance of shore imagery in the poetry and prose of H.D. Her research interests are in modern poetry, modernism, ecocriticism, ecofeminism and nature-writing. She is Book Review Editor for the postgraduate research publication The Birmingham Journal of Literature and Language, and her recent publications include ‘”Pushing on Through Transparencies”: H.D.’s Shores and the Creation of New Space’, antae 3.1 (April 2016): 36-46 | Twitter


Matilda Blackwell | Matilda is in the first year of her PhD in English Literature at the University of Birmingham, funded by the Midlands3Cities doctoral training partnership. Her research focuses on the bathroom as a performative/political/hygienic space in early twentieth- century British literature, particularly as it intersects with themes of queerness and the materiality of the body | WebsiteTwitter

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Abbey Rees-Hales | Abbey is in the first year of her Midlands3Cities funded PhD in History of Art at the University of Birmingham. Her research explores the international network of modernist women artists, including Renée Sintenis, May den Engelsen, Lettice Sandford, Toyen and Clara Tice, who during the interwar period transgressed notions of bourgeois female propriety as illustrators of (homo)erotic texts from Sappho and Lucian to the Marquis de Sade and Charles Baudelaire. Whilst the complexities and contradictions of the New Woman have been amply discussed by art historians, how this is exemplified by the New Woman artist negotiating the ‘male domain’ of erotica has been overlooked. Abbey’s research aims to illuminate an understanding of how these artists, artists who have largely been written out of the art historical and modernist canons, negotiated their positions as women artists in male-dominated circles | Website Twitter


Dr Emma West | Emma is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Her postdoctoral project, Revolutionary Red Tape: How state bureaucracy shaped British modernism, examines how public servants and official committees helped to commission, disseminate and popularise British modernist art, design, architecture and literature. She has published essays on modernism, periodicals, fashion and theory and is the organiser of several conferences, including Alternative Modernisms (2013), A Century On (2015) and Twentieth-Century British Periodicals (2017). She is the Founder and Chair of Modernist Network Cymru (MONC) | Twitter


Lauren Terry | Lauren is an Arts and Humanities Research Council and Midlands3Cities funded PhD researcher at Nottingham Trent University, undertaking a critical-creative study into the connection between memory, modernist poetic language, and the material object. She currently working on her first poetry collection | Website | Twitter


Matthew Holliday | Matthew is a first-year doctoral researcher in English Literature at the University of Nottingham, where he is undertaking a revisionist study of Virginia Woolf’s aesthetics through the lens of Impressionism, focusing on grief as it manifests through objects. Born in London, he gained a BA at Southampton Solent (2016) and an MA from the University of Nottingham (2017) before winning an AHRC-funded Midlands3Cities studentship to work under the supervision of Dr Leena Kore-Schroder, Professor Martin Stannard and Dr Gaby Neher | Website | Twitter


Rhiannon Cogbill | Rhiannon is a PhD student in English Literature based at the University of Birmingham and funded by the Midlands3Cities AHRC doctoral training partnership. Her research focuses upon representations of illness and ill bodies in the work of early twentieth-century women writers, in particular Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson and May Sinclair | Website | Twitter

Previous Members

Chris Doyle | Chris studied for his PhD thesis at Sheffield Hallam University, entitled ‘Reluctant Heroes, Ambivalent Patriots : Ambler, Greene and Middlebrow Leftist Thrillers 1932­-1945’. The thesis is concerned with the espionage novel in the early twentieth century, with special reference to the leftist thriller as it developed in response to the global political situation and the changing nature of popular middlebrow literature in the 1930s | Website | Twitter