Senate House Library

1922: Beyond the Waste Land

1922 saw the publication of extraordinary literary works. This event consists of five short talks which move beyond the modernist milestones to highlight and re-examine other works published that year

1922: Beyond the Waste Land

1922 saw the publication of extraordinary literary works. This event consists of five short talks which move beyond the modernist milestones to highlight and re-examine other works published that year

Price
Free
Organiser
Senate House Library
Address
Online
Event dates
, 14:00 - 15:30
Photograph taken by William Hope from the Eric Dingwall Papers
Elena Zolotariov will begin the event followed by four case studies inspired by Senate House Library’s collections

1922: Beyond the Waste Land

1922 saw the publication of extraordinary literary works whose continuing influence cannot be exaggerated, not least T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce’s Ulysses. However, this event consists of five short talks which move beyond these modernist milestones to highlight and re-examine other works published that year. 

Elena Zolotariov will begin the event with an exploration of ‘forgotten modernisms’, utilising Ernest Hemingway’s journalism and fiction in his coverage of the Greco-Turkish War. Four ‘case studies’ inspired by Senate House Library’s collections will then follow, encompassing Harry Price’s debunking of spirit photography, reading ‘the middlebrow’, Claude McKay’s Harlem Shadows, and literary censorship.

Event schedule 

14:00 - Introduction by Dr Richard Espley

14:05 - Forgotten Modernisms: Remembering the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922) through Hemingway’s reportage and fiction - Elena Zolotariov: PhD candidate, Institute of English Studies (SAS)

This paper will provide an analysis of the coverage of the Greco-Turkish War in 1922 and Hemingway’s fictionalisation of his experience in Thrace and Constantinople. In doing so, it explores how he conceptualised the tragedy of war in a modernist context and the ways in which modernism informed his fiction as well as his reportage. 

14:20 - The Price-Hope case and public and private debates on spirit photography – Tansy Barton, Academic Librarian: Manuscript and Print Studies, Senate House Library

In 1922 Harry Price published an 'exposure' of the photographic medium William Hope. This sparked debates and disputes over spirit photography, scientific method and the investigation of unexplained phenomena. Using the archive of fellow psychic investigator Eric Dingwall, held at Senate House Library, this talk will look at how some of these debates emerged.

14:30 - 1922: The Middlebrow – Dr Karen Attar, Senior Librarian, Rare Books, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney

Alongside the landmark publications and events of 1922, more mundane reading took place in the background: less acclaimed new works by nonetheless established writers, and reprints representing the continuing popularity of older books which did not necessarily constitute “literature”. The private press movement was in its heyday and beneath the flow of mainstream publishing the new Golden Cockerel Press was starting to make its mark. Learn here about these elements of the publishing scene as represented by Senate House Library’s collections.

14:40 - ‘To Wonder and Wander’: Claude McKay & Harlem Shadows – Leila Kassir, Academic Librarian: English Language Literature, Senate House Library

In 1922, Claude McKay’s poetry collection Harlem Shadows was published; today it is considered a key text of the Harlem Renaissance. The collection contains poems influenced by McKay’s experiences in Jamaica, England, and the United States and the racism, brutality, love, and political connections he encountered. This talk considers some of these influences alongside the 1922 collection, using resources held in Senate House Library’s modern and online collections. 

14:50 - Dirty books from Paris: Censorship and the continent in 1922 – Dr Richard Espley, Head of Modern Collections, Senate House Library

The banning and burning of Ulysses is one of the most discussed examples of twentieth century literary censorship, but it is only one instance of a widely established pattern of censorship and evasion where English language texts sought refuge in Paris. This talk will briefly counterbalance Joyce with Frank Harris's My Life and Loves, the first volume of which was also printed in Paris in 1922, as representative of a wider pattern, and highlight the difference of the text's subsequent fate of the text, and in particular of the physical copies of that first edition.

15:00 - Q&A for 30 minutes