Avant-Gardes Now! Symposium

Principal Investagator(s): Dr Niall Munro, Dr Eric White

Contact: ewhite@brookes.ac.uk

Project start: May 2015

Project finish: May 2015

About us

'Avant-Gardes Now!' is a long half-day symposium which will be hosted by the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre on Friday 1 May 2015. Organized by Dr Eric White and Dr Niall Munro, the symposium was formulated in part as a more specific response to the 2014 BAMS Conference 'Modernism Now!'. It seeks to address topics of interdisciplinary and international relevance to avant-garde studies and creative practice, on the one hand, and of specific relevance to the UK research and funding environment, on the other. The term 'Avant-Gardes' refers to a wide range of creative and scholarly endeavour, and the organisers generally apply it to practice and theory produced from the late-nineteenth century to the present day (though we are happy to be challenged on this reading). Topics for discussion include:

  • Avant-garde Theory and/or Practice
  • The 'nowness' (Jeztzeit) of avant-gardes
  • 'The' - 'Historical' - 'Avant-Garde': definition, periodisation, and problems of classification
  • Avant-garde(s): individuals and collectives ('group art')
  • Avant-gardes and disciplinarity
  • New trends in avant-garde studies and practice
  • Publishing, performance and dissemination of avant-garde work
  • Value and funding in avant-garde studies and practice

Related courses


Our plenary speaker is the distinguished scholar, editor and writer Professor Adam Piette of Sheffield University, and our featured creative practitioner is the acclaimed Glaswegian poet Peter Manson. We have also assembled a series of panellists including eminent and emerging scholars.

Keynote speaker

  • Professor Adam Piette, Literature, University of Sheffield
    Breton & Soupault’s Les Champs Magnétiques and the First World War


  • Professor David Cottington, Art History, Kingston University
    The avant-garde's alternative professionalism
  • Professor Martin Iddon, Music, University of Leeds
    Outsourcing Progress: on conceptual music
  • Dr Julia Jordan, Literature, University College London
    Accidental Narratives: Remaking the 60s Avant-Garde
  • Dr Sam Ladkin, Literature, University of Sheffield
    Avant-gardes against value
  • Dr Nikolaj Lübecker, Film, St. John’s College, University of Oxford
    Into the Dead End: Korine’s Trash Humpers (2009)
  • Dr Claire Warden, Drama, University of Lincol
    Can the avant-garde be performed?

Oxford Brookes Respondents

  • Professor Alex Goody
  • Professor Nathalie Aubert
  • Professor Paul Whitty

Poetry reading

Poetry reading by Peter Manson, followed by a wine reception.