Ann Ardis

Interim Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education
205 Hullihen Hall
Newark, DE 19716

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 att 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 Interim Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education.