The collection will explore the hotel as a site of modernity, a space of mobility and transience that shaped the transnational and transcultural modernist activity of the first half of the twentieth century. From James to Mann, Roth to H.D., Forster to Durrell, the hotel becomes more than a setting for contemporary modes of living dictated by tourism and leisure, and new technologies of transport. As a trope for social and cultural mobility, transitory and precarious modes of living and experiences of personal and political transformation, the hotel space in modernist writing and art complicates binaries such as privacy and publicity, risk and rootedness, convention and experimentation. As a site of socio-cultural, psychic, and sexual negotiation and conflict, the hotel may be seen in this sense as a prime location for modernist production and the cross-fertilization of heterogeneous, inter- and trans- literary, cultural, national and affective modes. This volume invites us to think of ‘hotel modernisms’ as situated in or enabled by this vigorous space. The essays in the volume engage with the hotel as a dynamic space of modernity of the period 1890-1950 in national, transnational and imperial contexts.
The volume is associated with HOTEMS, “Hotels and the Modern Subject: 1890-1940,” funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research & Innovation.