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Laura Marcus

University of Oxford
Rhythmical Subjects: the measures of the modern
01 February 2020 -
30 June 2020

Laura Marcus is Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature and Professorial Fellow of the New College at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She was formerly Professor of English at Sussex University and Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. She has received grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and from the Leverhulme Trust, and awards including the James Russell Lowell prize of the Modern Languages Association for The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (2007). Her recent publications include Dreams of Modernity: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Cinema (2014) and Autobiography: a very short introduction (2018).


Research Interests

19-21 century literature and culture; modernism and modernity; Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury culture; early film and film theory; life-writing and autobiography; rhythm-studies; history of psychoanalysis.

Rhythmical Subjects: the measures of the modern

My research project explores the intense attention paid to, and abundant literature on, "rhythm" in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in a wide variety of disciplinary and cultural contexts, including philosophy, psychology, science, music, dance, film, aesthetics, and literature. One major avenue of exploration presents the profound concern to preserve human, natural and organic "rhythm" in the face of the rise of machine culture. I focus on the "science of rhythm" at the beginning of the century and its influence on the "rhythmic communities" and movements of the first decades of the 20th century. These include the eurythmy of musicologist Jaques-Émile Dalcroze, the American rhythmists of the 1910s and 1920s, and the "Rhythmists" of modernist visual and literary culture, including French artists J. D. Fergusson and Sonia Delaunay, Dadaist Hans Richter (creator of rhythmic abstract films in the 1920s) and collaborators at Rhythm magazine. The project is also interested in more recent explorations of rhythm, including Henri Lefebvre's rhythmomanalysis and Henri Meschonnic's work on poetry and rhythm.

Internal webseminar by Laura Marcus, 2019-2020 Paris IAS Fellow
05 May 2020 14:30 -
05 May 2020 17:30,
Rythmic Subject: The Measures of the Modern
31 Jan 2020 12:30 -
31 Jan 2020 12:30,
February 2020: the Institute welcomes new researchers!

Contemporary period (1789-…)
Western Europe