1 May 2023
Christina Heflin, Université Paris I – Panthéon-Sorbonne
The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism and Technology, ed. by Alex Goody and Ian Whittington (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022)
Modernism scholar Mark S. Morrisson (Pennsylvania State University) highlights the relationship between technology and modernism by explaining that, ‘As literature and the arts were transforming and being transformed by […] modernist sensibility, scientific and technological orthodoxies were similarly in flux in almost every field’ (p. 7). The Edinburgh Companion to Modernism and Technology expands upon this phenomenon by acquainting readers with myriad technologies in an intermedial discussion, enumerating how these two concurrently emergent fields paralleled and how technology figured into modernism in specific ways. It is composed of 28 chapters, sectioned into four parts, plus an introduction. It presents an overview of each topic replete with important references, bringing together previous research and threading through their new contributions to these subjects and adding to the ongoing conversation. This addition to the discourse on modernism and technology is particularly necessary, as demonstrated by the volume’s heavy citation of Tim Armstrong’s 1998 ground-breaking monograph Modernism, Technology and the Body and shows opportunities for further exploration of this intersection. Aside from the simultaneous expansion and depth of subject seen here, one prominent distinction between Armstrong’s work and the Edinburgh Companion to Modernism and Technology is the discussion beyond the literary realm of modernism to include the visual arts.
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