The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism reviewed in the TLS: The Dada of Encyclopedias



Slated to go live in 2016, the REM will provide a comprehensive overview of Modernism and its cognate movements across the arts and around the world. It will feature approximately 3000 entries, and run to 1.5 million words in its effort to account for Modernism as an agile, flexible, and adaptable phenomenon that manifest in different ways in different places, at different times, and according to different scales of development.

In terms of the arts covered, the REM will feature several hundred entries from the fields of dance, film, literature, visual arts, architecture, theatre/drama, music, and intellectual currents. Though the largest set of terms will come from literature, the REM will feature the largest lexicons of terms in existence for some of the other fields as well. Its comprehensiveness will also furnish an unprecedented union of disparate arts that most scholars agree are interrelated but can rarely be found in the same resources. Dance will be given as much pride of place as music and literature, to create a holistic picture of Modernism as it occurred in various arts, and by whatever adjective it was known: modern, avant-garde, modernist, experimental, etc.

In terms of the global reach of the REM, we have identified 19 geographic and cultural regions to cover: Europe, America, Canada, India, North Africa, the Middle East and Arab world, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, Russia, Greece, South/East Asia, the Caribbean, Central/Latin America, England, and Hebrew/Yiddish. The same principles of flexible parameters regarding forms taken, temporality, and scale necessary to addressing Modernism across the arts apply doubly here, as differences in local artistic cultures and traditions have to be considered in order to understand how Modernism manifests in various locales. These regions offer a truly global scope to the REM, and are supported by an Editorial Advisory Board with specialists from around the world and in all the above-mentioned arts.

We anticipate having to produce supplements and additions to the REM in coming years as we continually work towards producing the ultimate one-stop location for information on anything that can be called (or has been called) Modernist, wherever and whenever it happened, and however it manifests.