Ann L. Ardis

Interim Deputy Provost and Director, Interdisciplinary Research Center
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-2147

Ann ArdisAnn 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, 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’ most recent work is on the “mediamorphosis” (Roger Fidler’s phrasing) of print at the turn of the twentieth century. With Patrick Collier, a recent UD Ph.D., she has hosted a symposium on “Transatlantic Print Culture, 1880-1940: Emerging Media, Emerging Modernisms,” and co-edited a collection of essays on that topoic (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). A 2011 symposium on transatlantic print culture has resulted in special issues ofModernism/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 is currently developing a book, tentatively entitled Before the Great Divides: Magazines, Modernisms, Modernities, about the transformations of print media and the literary marketplace at the turn of the twentieth century in relation to both the professionalization of “English studies” as an academic discipline and re-conceptualizations of the public sphere undertaken by the historical avant-garde and by radical social movements in the UK and the US (women’s suffrage, the New Negro Movement, socialism) as the latter embedded the arts in larger projects of socio-economic “uplift.” An outtake of this project, “Making Middlebrow Culture, Making Middlebrow Literary Texts Matter: The Crisis, Easter 1912,” was published in Modernist Cultures in 2011. The syllabus for her course, “Modernism In and Beyond the Little Magazines,” is posted on the Modernist Journal Project’s website.

Professor Ardis serves on the Advisory Boards of the Modernist Journals Project, a digital research collection that is jointly sponsored by Brown University and the University of Tulsa, and of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. She has also served on the advisory board of theMiddlebrow Research Network, a transatlantic project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (