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Professor Max Saunders

Max SaundersProfessor of English: Fellow of the English Association

Director of the Arts & Humanities Research Institute (AHRI)

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2342 

Department of English
King's College London
Room 6.40 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway

London WC2B 6LE

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I am primarily a literary critic, specialising in the 19th and 20th centuries, and especially in turn-of-the-century and Modernist fiction, criticism, and poetry.
Research interests and PhD supervision

The three main strands of my current and projected research, which frequently intertwine, are:

  • The development of Modernist writing; in particular the literary networks associated with Ford Madox Ford, and the relation between Modernism and the First World War;

  • Life-Writing, with a particular emphasis on the relation between auto/biography and fiction from 1870-1930;

  • Literary Impressionism and its relation to Modernism.

I welcome enquiries from prospective research students in any of my areas of research interest.

For more details, please see my full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • The Future in Modernism: C. K. Ogden’s To-Day and To-Morrow Book Series, 2015 Utopia: The Avant-Garde, Modernism and (Im)possible Life. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, p. 397-410.

  • ‘Life Writing, Fiction and Modernism in British Narratives of the First World War’, Aug 2014 In : RUSI Journal. 106, 11, p. 106-11. Article

  • T. S. Eliot’s Impersonal Correspondence, 2014 Modernism and Autobiography. Cambridge University Press. Chapter

  • The "Power of the Written Word": Literary Impressionism, Politics and Anxiety, Saunders, M. W. M. 2014 New Directions in the History of the Novel . Basingstoke, p. 134-47. Chapter

For a complete list of publications, please see my full research profile.


Most of my recent BA teaching has been on courses on Modernist fiction and poetics, the Literature of the First World War, Literature and Impressionism, and Autobiography and Modern Self-Representation. I teach on MA courses in Biographical Writing and Autobiographical Writing.

Expertise and Public Engagement

I specialise in Modernism, Literary Impressionism, the First World War, Literature and Science, and Life Writing. I have been interviewed for television, radio, and film, about Ford Madox Ford, T. S. Eliot, and the Faculty’s annual Arts & Humanities Festivals in October, which I’ve been responsible for as Director of the Arts & Humanities Research Institute since 2012.

I’m also the lead investigator on the project ‘Ego-Media’, funded by the European Research Council, and studying the impact of digital and social media on how we present ourselves online.

I am the Co-Director with Professor Clare Brant of the interdisciplinary Centre for Life-Writing Research formed by the Department in 2006, which continues to organise related events bringing together scholars and life-writing practitioners.  I would welcome applications from students wishing to research any aspect of life writing, including the writing of literary biography and the critical study of auto/biography.

I am committed to European collaboration, and have been a partner in and member of the ‘Scientific Committee’ of three EC-funded thematic networks run from the University of Bologna: COTEPRA (on Comparative Literature in Theory and Practice), ACUME (on cultural memory), and ACUME-2, focusing on the interface between the sciences and humanities.


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