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  • Ann Ardis
    Professor
    Senior Vice Provost for Graduate & Professional Education
    Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center
    University of Delaware
    Department of English
    234 Hullihen Hall
    Newark, DE 19716
    (302) 831-6824

    Biography

    Ann Ardis (B.A. University of Kansas, 1979; M.A., Ph.D. University of Virginia, 1988) has published extensively on turn-of-the-twentieth-century British literature and culture. The common thread running through all of her major research projects to date has been an interest in the relationship between recorded history and silence as well in what Raymond Williams has termed the "machinery of selective tradition."

    Her first book, New Women, New Novels: Feminism and Early Modernism (Rutgers, 1990), on representations of the "New Woman" in British fiction and the popular press, considered how and why these immensely popular (and controversial) narratives were moved to the margins of the historical record as modernism came to be seen as the aesthetic of modernity. Her second book, Modernism and Cultural Conflict: 1880-1922 (Cambridge, 2002; reprinted in paper, 2008) focused more broadly on a variety of changes in the public sphere related to the "rise" of literary modernism: e.g., the consolidation of modern disciplinary distinctions, the emergence and decline of film and music hall theatre, respectively, and the debates about literature's role in culture generated by socialism and feminism. The anthology she co-edited with Leslie Lewis, Women's Experience of Modernity, 1875-1945 (Johns Hopkins, 2002), also works across and between disciplinary and high/low culture divides. While it includes essays on women's efforts to negotiate the literary marketplace, most of the volume's contributors work with a far broader palate of cultural texts—periodical press journalism, political pamphlets, sexual advice manuals, gynecology textbooks, psychological treatises. With Bonnie Kime Scott, she co-edited Virginia Woolf: Turning the Centuries (Pace, 2002).

    Professor Ardis' more recent work is on the "mediamorphosis" (Roger Fidler's phrasing) of print at the turn of the twentieth century. With Patrick Collier, a UD Ph.D. alumnus, she hosted a symposium at UD in 2007 on "Transatlantic Print Culture, 1880-1940: Emerging Media, Emerging Modernisms" and co-edited a collection of essays on that topic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). A 2011 symposium on transatlantic print culture resulted in special issues of Modernism/modernity, "Mediamorphosis: Print Culture and Transatlantic/Transnational Public Sphere(s)" (vol 19, no 3, September 2012) and the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies (vol 3, no 2, 2012).

    Professor Ardis’ current research extends this interdisciplinary vein of periodical studies research, addressing re-conceptualizations of both the public sphere and the cultural work of literature in magazines such as Robert Blatchhford’s The Clarion and The Crisis under the editorship of W. E. B. DuBois that were associated with radical political movements at the turn of the twentieth century. An article on The Crisis related to this new book project, “Making Middlebrow Culture, Making Middlebrow Literary Texts Matter: The Crisis, Easter 1912," was published in Modernist Cultures in 2011. An essay on serial fiction in The Clarion is forthcoming in Victorian Periodicals Review (2016).

    Professor Ardis recently completed a term of service as co-editor of Modernism/modernity, the official journal of the Modernist Studies Association (Johns Hopkins University Press). She currently serves on the editorial boards of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies and The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies,  and she is the founding director of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center. She has also served as an associate dean and deputy dean in the College of Arts & Sciences and is currently serving as Senior Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education.

Degrees 

  • Ph.D., English, University of Virginia, 1988
  • M.A., English, University of Virginia, 1982
  • B.A., Political Science, Honors in English, University of Kansas, 1979

Research Projects 

Publications 

  • Modernism and Cultural Conflict, 1880-1922
    Ardis, Ann
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

    Ann Ardis questions commonly held views of radical modernism at the turn of the twentieth century. She depicts the "men of 1914," (as Wyndham Lewis called the coterie of writers centered around Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce) as only one among a number of groups intent on redefining the cultural objectives of British literature at the turn of the twentieth century. Simultaneously, Ardis reclaims key examples of non-modernist aesthetic effort associated with British socialism and feminism of the period.

     
  • Women's Experience of Modernity, 1875-1945
    Ardis, Ann; Leslie W. Lewis
    Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2002.

    ​In Women's Experience of Modernity, 1875–1945, literary scholars working with a variety of interdisciplinary methodologies move feminine phenomena from the margins of the study of modernity to its center. Analyzing such cultural practices as selling and shopping, political and social activism, urban field work and rural labor, radical discourses on feminine sexuality, and literary and artistic experimentation, this volume contributes to the rich vein of current feminist scholarship on the "gender of modernism" and challenges the assumption that modernism rose naturally or inevitably to the forefront of the cultural landscape at the turn of the twentieth century.

    During this period, "women's experience" was a rallying cry for feminists, a unifying cause that allowed women to work together to effect social change and make claims for women's rights in terms of their access to the public world—as voters, paid laborers, political activists, and artists commenting on life in the modern world. Women's experience, however, also proved to be a source of great divisiveness among women, for claims about its universality quickly unraveled to reveal the classism, racism, and Eurocentrism of various feminist activities and organizations.

    Complementing recent attempts to historicize literary modernism by providing more thorough analyses of its material production, the essays in this volume examine both literary and non-literary writings of Jane Addams, Djuna Barnes, Toru Dutt, Radclyffe Hall, H.D., Pauline Hopkins, Emma Dunham Kelley, Amy Levy, Alice Meynell, Bram Stoker, Ida B. Wells, Rebecca West, and others as discursive events that shape our conception of the historical real. Instead of focusing exclusively or even centrally on modernism and literature, these essays address a broad array of textual materials, from political pamphlets to gynecology textbooks, as they investigate women's responses to the rise of commodity capitalism, middle-class women's entrance into the labor force, the welfare state's invasion of the working-class home, and the intensified eroticization of racial and class differences.

    Contributors include: Ann L. Ardis, University of Delaware; Katherine L. Biers, University of Chicago; Clair Buck, Wheaton College; Lucy Burke, University of Manchester; Carolyn Burdett, University of North London; James Davis, Nassau Community College; Rita Felski, University of Virginia; Deborah Garfield, UCLA; Barbara Green, University of Notre Dame; Piya Pal-Lapinski, Bowling Green State University; Leslie W. Lewis, College of Saint Rose; Carla L. Peterson, University of Maryland; Francesca Sawaya, University of Oklahoma; Talia Schaffer, Queens College, CUNY; Alpana Sharma, Wright State University; Lynn Thiesmeyer, Keio University; Ana Parejo Vadillo, Birkbeck College, University of London; and Julian Yates, University of Delaware.

     
  • Virginia Woolf: Turning the Centuries
    Ardis, Ann; Bonnie Kime Scott
    New York: Pace University Press, 2000.

    ​At the end of the twentieth century, the questions raised and issues explored in Woolf studies prove to be sufficient themes of inquiry for a new century. Can there exist common ground between queer theorists and lesbian-feminists, or are their causes not connected and must they go their separate ways? Virginia Woolf belongs simultaneously to her time and to ours: What allusions would her contemporaries have taken for granted that must now be recovered through meticulous scholarship? What codes whose meanings are apparent to readers now would have been available to very few in her own time? What was popular film culture like and what connections might we find between Woolf’s art and British film of the 1920s? How can Woolf help us think through the dangers of nationalism? What does Three Guineas contribute to a discussion of corporate globalism? And how does it illuminate what has happened for women in the academy and in the professions in the sixty years since it was published? Contributors to Virginia Woolf: Turning The Centuries who pose and suggest answers to these and many other questions include Julia Briggs, Suzette Henke, Sally Greene, Alison Booth, Pamela Caughie, Judith Roof, Diane Gillespie, Melba Cuddy-Keane, and Jane Lilienfeld.

     
 
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