“[L]et us hide the cocktail-shaker,” Evelyn Waugh wrote in the Daily Express in 1928, for “[c]ocktails are chilly things at the best of times, and during Christmas week they are ‘all wrong.’”
Content warning: police brutality
Modernist studies has been slow to respond to urgent calls for reform within white-dominated higher education: to decolonise, to diversify, to include. 2020 has witnessed the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, the shooting of Jacob Blake and so many more, which have sparked a global sense of urgency in the fight against racial injustice. Modernist studies must acknowledge and examine white modernism’s difficult history of racism, and align itself with the Black Lives Matter movement and active anti-racism work within higher education. These imperatives are not new: students, educators and activists have been calling for decolonisation, diversification and inclusion in the academy for decades.