Aug 29, 2012
Adam Barrows is a Professor in the English Department at Carleton University in Ottawa. The focus of his research for the last eight years has been the relationship between time, literary modernism, and imperialism. His background is in the history of science and his theoretical approach to literature is largely historical materialist, drawing heavily on the Western Marxist tradition, from the Frankfurt School to Raymond Williams and Henri Lefebvre.
Growing out of his interest in twentieth-century British literature he led a seminar on the Hogarth Press, as he puts it "one of the most important venues for the production and dissemination of the experimental writings that would come to define the modernist literary canon. Their express purpose was to enable the publication of works that would otherwise never have found a home in the conventional publishing industry, including their own.
In addition to publishing such central works of literary modernism as T.S. Eliot’s Poems (1919) and The Waste Land (1923), Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room (1922) and Katherine Mansfield’s Prelude (1918), the Hogarth Press was also committed to the publication of radically dissident anti-imperialist works such as Leonard Woolf’s own Imperialism and Civilization (1928), Lord Oliver’s The Anatomy of African Misery (1928), Edward John Thompson’s The Other Side of the Medal (1925) and C.L.R. James’s The Case for West-Indian Self Government (1933)."
We met at his Carleton University office to talk about Virginia and Leonard Woolf, and the history and output of the Hogarth Press.