Reification, Relativity, Redemption: Modernist Fiction and the Imagination of Science in the 1920s

By the 1920s, life in industrialised countries was thoroughly ruled by the clock. Yet new ideas -- Einstein's particularly -- were making time and its measurement seem less sure than ever. Novels such as Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway (1925) demonstrate some of the conflicting temporalities which followed in modernist fiction. But what about other forms of literature and imagination? How did contemporary science fiction respond to Relativity? How far did its fantastic imagination extend the interests of modernist literature?


Professor Randall Stevenson is Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Edinburgh. He was born in the north of Scotland, grew up in Glasgow, and studied at the University of Edinburgh (astrophysics, then English Literature) and the University of Oxford.

After working for a time in a government college in North-West Nigeria, he returned to the Department of English Literature in the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer in 1979.

He has also worked as Associate Director of the University’s International Office, and as Dean of the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School, and has lectured abroad, often for the British Council, in eleven European countries and in Korea, Egypt and Nigeria. His work has been translated into Italian and Russian, and new editions of critical studies published in Romania and in China.

Date & time

Tue 23 Oct 2018, 4.30–5.45pm


Sir Roland Wilson Building


Professor Randall Stevenson (University of Edinburgh)

Event series


Penny Brew
+61 2 6125 4357


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