Modernism and World War I expert Vincent Sherry to speak at Sweet Briar

Posted on March 08, 2016 by Janika Carey

Sweet Briar’s ongoing, multi-year commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I will include a lecture by Vincent Sherry, Howard Nemerov Professor in the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, in the Haskell Learning Studio in Mary Helen Cochran Library.

“Bare Death: The Failing Sacrifice of the Great War” is sponsored by the Lectures and Events Committee, the departments of English and history and Sweet Briar’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It is free and open to the public.

Vincent Sherry Vincent Sherry

An expert on modernism and World War I, Sherry joined Washington University’s English department in 2007, becoming its chair in fall 2008. From 1980 to 2004, he was a member of the English faculty at Villanova University and served as Distinguished Professor of English from 2005 to 2007, after a one-year stint as Pierce Butler Professor of English at Tulane University (2004-2005).

Sherry teaches and writes about modernist literature in Britain, Ireland and America, focusing on poets such as T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound and novelists James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, among others. Other areas of interest include literature and fantasy and decadence.

His publications include “The Uncommon Tongue: The Poetry and Criticism of Geoffrey Hill” (Michigan 1987); “Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, and Radical Modernism” (Oxford 1993); “James Joyce: Ulysses” (Cambridge 1995; reprinted in 1997 and 2000; second edition 2004); “The Great War and the Language of Modernism” (Oxford 2003, reprinted in 2004 and 2006) and “Modernism and the Reinvention of Decadence” (Cambridge 2014).

He edited the “Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the First World War” (2005) and several volumes on post-World War II British and Irish poets for the “Dictionary of Literary Biography” (1984, 1985).

He is currently writing “A Literary History of the Great War, 1914-1918” and has just finished editing “The Cambridge History of Modernism” (forthcoming).

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sherry earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 and a master’s in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1979, both in English language and literature, from the University of Toronto, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

For more information, email Lynn Laufenberg at