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Oskar Gordon

Oskar Gordon

Research project title

Irish Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance: Race, Ethnography and Transatlantic Literary Culture


Dr Fionnghuala Sweeney, Dr Mark Byers and Prof Stephen Regan (Durham)

Contact details


Research interests

  • race and ethnography
  • Diaspora studies
  • mathematics and science in modernist literature
  • James Joyce
two women sat outside an empty shop

A brief outline of my research project

My research explores the emergence of an ethnographic consciousness in the literature of Irish modernism and the Harlem Renaissance. I will aim to position both movements as mutually imbricated literary events that were part of a wider transatlantic renaissance linked to an emerging imperative for a new grammar of representation for colonial and marginalised subjects. I will also consider the relationship between these modernist movements and the changing terrain of anthropology around the turn of the century through the contributions of Frank Boas, Bronislaw Malinowski, and others, and how writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, a student of Boas’s, seek to interrogate the politics of ethnography in literary works.

Funding and awards

  • Northern Bridge Studentship funded by the AHRC (2019-2023)
  • University College London: Dean's List 2017

My academic background

  • MA Issues in Modern Culture (English), University College London
  • BA English Language and Literature, University College London