Rural Modernity in Britain: A Critical Intervention

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Kristin Bluemel, Michael McCluskey
Edinburgh University Press, 2018 - Great Britain - 302 pages

Defines the interdisciplinary field of Rural Modernity through analysis of British literature, art and culture

Rural Modernity in Britainargues that the rural areas of Britain were impacted by modernisation just as much - if not more - than urban and suburban areas. It is the first study of modernity and modernism to focus on rural people and places that experienced economic depression, the expansion of transportation and communication networks, the roll out of electricity, the loss of land, and the erosion of local identities. Who celebrated these changes? Who resisted them? Who documented them?

Essays in this collection make the case that the rural means more than just the often-studied countryside of southern England, a retreat from the consequences of modernity; rather, the rural emerges as a source for new versions of the modern, with an active role in the formation and development of British experiences and representations of modernity.

Key Features

  • Introdues readers to concept of rural modernity that locates its critical intervention in fields of modernism and modernity studies
  • Split into five sections addressing Networks, Landscapes, Communities, Heritage, and War
  • Includes "In dialogue with" suggestions to guide readers across interdisciplinary contents of diverse chapters
  • Contributors from England, Scotland, USA, New Zealand and Canada, representing fields of literature, art history, history, geography, and cultural studies

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About the author (2018)

Kristin Bluemel is Professor of English and Wayne D. McMurray Chair in the Humanities at Monmouth University in New Jersey. She is the author of books on modernist Dorothy Richardson and intermodernist George Orwell; articles and chapters on regional and middlebrow writers; editor of Intermodernism: Literary Culture in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain(EUP, 2011), and past editor of the journal The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945. Her work in progress examines interwar women wood engravers.

Michael McCluskey is Lecturer in English and Film Studies at the University of York. Among his published articles are: 'Humphrey Jennings in the East End: Fires Were Started and Local Geographies' for London Journal, and 'The Postman's Daily Round: English Journeys in 1930s Documentary Film' for The Space Between, Literature and Culture 1914-1945 6.1(2011): 105-23.

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