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MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

Modernist Occupations: Time in the Work of Literary Imagination

Tildelt: kr 2,9 mill.






2023 - 2026


Modernist Occupations: Time in the Work of Literary Imagination

TimeWorks explores the temporality of work in British and American modernist writing. Few scholars as yet have found it worthwhile to study representations of labor in modernism, assumed to be absorbed in subjectivity and form. At the same time, modernism’s formal inventions continue to inspire reflection on temporality. Temporal forms, Timeworks argues, present a key to the problem of work in modernism as work relates fundamentally to the social organization of time. Modernist preoccupation with the writer’s occupation, in quest of liberated ways of living time, offers a critical lens on the socio-temporality of work at a moment of historic transformation in social divisions of labor. This action proposes the first sustained study of modernist work and time, examining modernist treatments of the writer’s time with due attention to dimensions of class, gender, and race. This goal calls for a new approach to social time, shifting focus from the diachronic axis of past-present-future to the interplay of synchronous temporal forms. Modernist temporal experiments thereby inspire study of the socio-temporalities of work in literature and culture more broadly: a new humanities-based approach to the socio-economic question of labor shows how aesthetic engagements can illuminate the role of work in organizing social time. The MSCA positions the researcher at the leading edge of emergent research on modernist work, with the aim of leading larger projects on the socio-temporality of work in literature and culture. Training vital to this career path is enabled by the “Temporal Experiments” group at the University of Oslo, specializing in the aesthetic study of temporal forms, and the leading modernist milieu at the University of Pennsylvania home to many scholars working on economic topics in literature and culture. Secondment to Bard College offers further expert supervision and the unique chance to contribute editorially to the field’s foremost journal Modernism/modernity.


MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)