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Research Seminar Series - Rhythm and the Short Story

Event information

START DATE 20 November 2019

Middlesex University Dubai, Oasis Theatre, Block 16

END DATE 20 November 2019

We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held on 20 November from 4pm, at Middlesex University Dubai in the Oasis Theatre, Block 16, Knowledge Park.

Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008, and has featured more than 260 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Dr. Louise will deliver seminar on:

“Rhythm and the Short Story’”

Louise Edensor



The beginning of the 20th century in Britain was a period of paradigmatic shifts in technology, science and culture. The human experience of living through such changes was reflected in the literature of the period, particularly literature that sought new ways of representing and contextualising the effects of change on the self. Much of this literature was published in ‘little magazines’ which were pervasive and popular. One such magazine was Rhythm, a magazine that would ‘be the rhythmical echo of the life with which it is in touch’. Its editor, John Middleton Murry, was a critic of some renown, but had little experience in commissioning and publishing short stories. Nevertheless, Rhythm became a haven for new (and established) literary talent that could encompass and narrativize the aims and ideals of the magazine. Scholarly interest in the artwork published in Rhythm (it was the first magazine in Britain to publish sketches by Picasso) has been thorough but little critical attention has been directed towards the short stories in the magazine. The stories, however, represent a rich tapestry of aesthetic approaches, narrative techniques and experimentation with style, sometimes deliberately reworking the genres of the fin-de-siècle. Drawn from a recently published book chapter, this seminar paper seeks to illustrate how the short stories in the magazine absorbed and re-textualised human concerns with the zeitgeist of early 20th century Britain. In so doing, these stories connected with and exemplified the artistic and rhetorical framework established by Murry’s conceptualisation of how a ‘little magazine’ could push the boundaries of the avant-garde to create unique and innovative artforms. I will show how the short stories are functional, utilised not simply for their own artistic tenets but as a tool whose form is exploited in order to underscore the foundations upon which the magazine was determined to set itself.


Dr. Louise Edensor has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Northampton, UK. Her thesis explores the work of the short story writer Katherine Mansfield and the development of literary techniques that could accommodate her thoughts on matters of the self. Louise has published papers and book chapters on Mansfield and her associates. Louise’s current research interests extend to the little magazines of the early 20th century and she is currently re-writing her thesis to prepare it for publication.

We look forward to welcoming you at the seminar.

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