Affect’s vocabularies: literature and feeling after 1890

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Colleges, School and Institutes


Affective states and their representational forms have been as crucial to critical constructions of modernism as to the writing we associate with its multiple movements, moments, and legacies. At the confluence of represented feeling and registrations of affect, ambitions of otherwise historically distinct writers come into conversation. To see how this conversation might enhance modernist studies’ critical-affective literacies, this chapter follows a transhistorical rather than a discretely periodized arc, gauging the conceptual challenges and interpretive opportunities that come with close reading affective representation as it interlaces modernism’s stylistic aspirations and political valences. It considers how changing disciplinary priorities are transforming the ways in which modernist studies addresses affect’s critical purchase. And it encompasses both early twentieth- and twenty-first-century figures (Virginia Woolf, Wyndham Lewis, Storm Jameson, Ian McEwan, and Rachael Cusk) to explore analytical synergies between vocabularies of feeling and evolving strategies of experimental form.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Modernist Studies
EditorsDouglas Mao
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Publication series

NameTwenty-First-Century Critical Revisions