Fatigue in Modernist Imaginations

Project Details


Combining a literary-critical lens with disability studies and medical humanities, this project examines how modern bodies and texts are weighed down by exhaustion and fatigue. ‘Energy limitation,’ a recent concept that clarifies the impact of many chronic illnesses and a useful contemporary theory of fatigue, elucidates modernist accounts of illness. In contrast to discussions of war and trauma in this period, which have so far shaped the discourse around pain and fatigue by focusing on psychic distress and inarticulacy, my project
gives greater attention to physical experiences of fatigue and the contemporaneous imperatives for productivity and efficiency. This project improves visibility and understanding of chronic illnesses by identifying the language and meanings around fatigue in the first half of the twentieth century, focusing on the public and private writings of Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, D.H. Lawrence, May Sinclair, Rebecca West, Michael Arlen, Ford Madox Ford, and Winifred Holtby.
Effective start/end date1/04/2331/07/24


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