The Modern & Contemporary Culture Workshop

The Modern & Contemporary Culture Workshop is an interdisciplinary forum, open to faculty members and PhD students researching topics related to the culture of the modern and contemporary periods. Essays/chapters/proposals are circulated a week in advance of our meeting to registered participants. We then spend an hour discussing the paper with the aim of improving the document for publication or submission. Interested presenters should email Christa Noel Robbins.

Sponsored by the Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures and the Department of Art


Register with Christa Noel Robbins in order to receive a copy of the paper to be workshopped or to sign up for future announcements.

Mary Hennessy (Assistant Professor of German at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), presenting a chapter from her manuscript, “Missed Connections: The Telephone Operator as Vanishing Mediator in Weimar Culture,” Monday, January 29, 11:00 AM, New Cabell Hall, Room 236

Samhita Sunya (Associate Professor of Cinema, Department of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Culture, University of Virginia), “A Globetrotting Genre: Secret Agents on Location”Monday, February 19, 11:00 AM, New Cabell Hall, Room 236

Ian Jayne (PhD candidate in the English Department, University of Virginia), presenting a chapter from his dissertation, “Freedom's Fluctuations: Queer Affect and Contemporary Fiction,” Monday, March 18, 11:00 AM, New Cabell Hall, Room 236.

Marcel Schmid (Assistant Professor, Department of German Languages & Literatures), “Aerospace and Smartphone - Paradigms in Car Aesthetics,” Monday, April 15, 11:00 AM, New Cabell Hall, Room 236.


Image caption: Clockwise, starting from the upper left: Unidentified artist, El Hadj Malick Sy, ca. 1930s glass painting, 50 x 40cm; Virginia Woolf, 1939, photographed by Gisèle Freund; Miriam Schapiro,Flying Carpet, 1972, mixed media, 60 x 50 inches; Peter Lorre in Fritz Lang's M, 1931

Previous presentations

FALL 2023

Caroline Lillian Schopp (Assistant Professor, Dept of the History of Art, Johns Hopkins University), presenting a chapter from her manuscript In-action: Viennese Actionism and the Passivities of Performance Art.  FridaySeptember 22

Matthew Skwiat (postdoctoral College Fellow, UVa), “Feeling History: Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution, and the Melodramatic Form.” Monday, October 9

Osama Siddiqui (Assistant Professor, Dept. of History & Classics, Providence College), presenting a chapter from his manuscript The Discovery of Society: Economic and Social Thought in Colonial India. Monday, October 23

David Getsy (Eleanor Shea Professor of Art History, Department of Art, UVa) “Chic Radicals: Street Drag as Critical Performance Art in the 1970s.” Monday, November 13



Meaghan Walsh, PhD Candidate, Art and Architectural History, “George Luks’s Black Masquerade: Race, Caricature, and Performance at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.” Monday, March 20

Eleanore Neumann, PhD Candidate, Art and Architectural History, "Crossing the Line: Somewhere between Amateur and Professional,” a chapter from her dissertation “The Global Landscapes of Maria Graham (1785-1842),” Monday, April 10

Brad Pasanek, Associate Professor, English Department, topic TBA, Monday, May 1


FALL 2022

Rachel Kravetz (Lecturer, Department of English), “Gold and Gray: Walter Pater on Venetian Painting,” September 26

Christa Noel Robbins (Associate Professor, Art History), “Scene Painting: On Occasion and Communion in Postwar Manhattan,” October 24

Nasrin Olla (Assistant Professor, Department of English and African & African American Studies), “Alienation: Fanon & Beauvoir,” December 5