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At the same time as Amsterdam has been recognised as one of the world’s most desirable cities to be a student, recent publications from the UvA English Department highlight the UvA’s ongoing strengths in modernism and urban literary studies.

Dr Ben Moore and Dr Nicholas Carr have both contributed to the flagship online and multivolume Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Urban Literary Studies. Dr Carr’s two chapters focus on the classic modernist novel The Man Without Qualities (1930-43) by Robert Musil. Dr Moore’s chapter, examining the figure of the flaneur in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, complements his recent article in the leading journal Modernism/Modernity about Walter Benjamin and utopia.

These publications dovetail neatly with the department’s teaching. Dr Carr’s specialist elective on modernist literature, Authors in Focus: ‘Make it new’ – Modernism between the Wars has been one of the English BA’s most popular courses for a number of years. Dr Moore’s elective course, Charles Dickens and the Making of the Modern Age, focuses on the Victorian era. Building on the foundation provided by courses like English Literature 3: The Long Nineteenth Century and English Literature 5: Modern and Contemporary Literature, these courses enable students to develop in-depth expertise on two of the most exciting literary movements and periods.

The publication of these chapters on urban literary studies coincides with the recent announcement that our urban home, Amsterdam, was rated 6th in world for “desirability”, and 21st in the world overall, in the QS list of “Best Student Cities 2022”. It seems the world has noticed that English Literature and Amsterdam are a very attractive combination!