Dr Patricia Rae

DPhil Oxford

Contact Information

Office: Watson 532
Office Hours:
Extension: 74436
E-mail: pmr1@queensu.ca

Research Interests

Literary modernism in Britain and the United States, especially the genres of elegy and memoir; culture and politics in the 1930s; the Spanish Civil War; World War I; the theory and practice of mourning, elegy, commemoration; literature and the visual arts; Imagism and Vorticism; pragmatism. Authors of special interest: George Orwell, Stephen Spender, W. H. Auden, Winifred Holtby, Vera Brittain, T. E. Hulme, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, William James.

Recent Publications

  • “Surveillance and the Poetics of Silence: Late Modernist Imagism in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four,“ Political Fiction, ed. Mark Levene (forthcoming Salem Press, 2015).
  • “ ‘There’ll be no more fishing this side the grave’: George Orwell’s Radical Nostalgia,“ Modernism and Nostalgia I, ed. Tammy Clewell (Palgrave, 2013) 149–165.
  • “ ‘Grieving in a New Way for New Losses’: British Elegies on the Spanish Civil War,” The Spanish Civil War: History, Memory, Representation, ed. Anindya Raychaudhuri (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2013) 124–41.
  • Review of Reading the Ruins: Modernism, Bombsites, and British Culture, by Leo Mellor, Journal of British Studies 52.1 (2013): 275–76.
  • “Pragmatism and the Public Philosopher: William James and George Orwell,” Revisioning Pragmatism: William James in the New Millenium, ed. Susanne Rohr and Miriam Strube (Heidelberg: Winter Verlag, 2011).
  • “Orwell le moderniste,” Agone 45 (2011): 9–26.
  • Review of Madelyn Detloff, The Persistence of ModernismKatherine Mansfield Studies 2 (2010): 6–8.
  • “ ‘Between the Bullet and the Lie,’ ” The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy, ed. Karen Weisman (Oxford University Press, 2010) 305–23.
  • “Orwell, World War I Modernism, and the Spanish Civil War,” Journal of War and Culture Studies 2.3 (2009): 245–58.
  • “ ‘Between the White and the Red’: Remembering Canadians in the Spanish Civil War,” Queen’s Quarterly (2008).
  • “Modernism, Empirical Psychology, and the Creative Imagination,” Modernism, ed. Vivian Liska and Astradur Eysteinsson (International Comparative Literature Association, John Benjamins, 2007): 405–18.
  • “Orwell’s Heart of Darkness: The Road to Wigan Pier as Modernist Anthropology,” George Orwell, ed. Harold Bloom (Chelsea House, 2007): 63–95.
  • “Modernist Mourning” and “Double Sorrow: Proleptic Elegy and the End of Arcadianism in 1930s Britain,” in Modernism and Mourning, ed. Patricia Rae (Bucknell UP, 2007) 13–49, 213–38.


Head of the Queen’s English Department (2002–7).Recipient of SSHRC Canada Research Fellowship.

Editor of Modernism and Mourning (2007) and author of The Practical Muse: Pragmatist Poetics in Hulme, Pound, and Stevens (1997). Author of essays on the Spanish Civil War and World War I; on mourning, metaphor, and modernist ethnography; on Imagism, Vorticism, Bovarysm and Pragmatism; and on George Orwell, Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, William James, Winifred Holtby and T. E. Hulme, in books and journals including ELH, Comparative Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Prose Studies, Southern Review, Analecta Husserliana, English Language Notes, and English Studies in Canada. Essays have also appeared in Modernism, ed. Vivian Liska and Astradur Eysteinsson, and the Blackwell Companion to Modernist Literature and Culture, ed. David Norbrook and Kevin J. Dettmar.

Currently completing a monograph on George Orwell’s relationship to literary modernism and beginning a project on elegy, commemoration and the Spanish Civil War. Participant in the SSHRC Insight Grant funded project "Canada and the Spanish Civil War," headed by Emily Robins Sharpe and Bart Vautour. See our website under construction at http://spanishcivilwar.ca/introduction

Supervisor of theses on the novels of Julian Barnes; Gertrude Stein’s plays; dance and modernist literature; Derek Walcott and Ezra Pound; Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Mina Loy and the decorative arts; and on modernist sons mourning their mothers. Would welcome new doctoral students in British or American modernist literature, philosophy or the visual arts, and especially on any aspect of the literature of culture of the Spanish Civil War.