Visions of the future
Explore the ways in which 20th-century writers imagined the future, investigated the present and prepared for the unknown.
Professor John Bowen explores truth, fiction, repression and freedom in George Orwell’s iconic 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The film is shot at Senate House in London, formerly the Ministry of Information, and the building on which Orwell based the Ministry of Truth.View Video
- Article by:
- Roger Luckhurst
From the telegraph and the gramophone to cinema and cyberspace, 20th-century literature frequently addressed the wondrous and weird nature of emerging technologies. Here Roger Luckhurst explores the ways in which technological innovation impacted on key literary works of the period.Read more
Find close readings, critical interpretations and personal responses to the works of key 20th-century playwrights and practitioners, including Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Shelagh Delaney and Timberlake Wertenbaker.
From riots at the ballet to punk rock fanzines, discover the music, art and popular culture that shook the world in the 20th century.
Modernist writers broke new ground by experimenting with new forms and themes. From everyday life, perception and time to the kaleidoscopic and fractured nature of modern life, discover the ways in which these writers created and captured the modern.
From Paris to Moscow and from Berlin to Dublin, discover how European cities were crucibles for modernist experimentation.
Examine how writers have explored identity – through the prisms of ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality – in the modern world.
From subversive fairy tales to gothic nightmares, explore how 20th-century writers used fantasy to analyse and question the real world around them.
From Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, E M Forster’s Maurice and Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey to Sylvia Plath’s journals and Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, discover how literature explored, questioned and exploded traditional ideas of gender roles and sexuality.
From The Waste Land to Ulysses and from Mrs Dalloway to Nineteen Eighty-Four, discover the seminal literary works of the early 20th century.
From The Bell Jar and The Lonely Londoners to Birthday Letters and The Buddha of Suburbia, explore key literary works of the late 20th century.
From First World War poetry to works inspired by the Blitz and from futuristic dystopias to depictions of religious radicalism, see how war and conflict shaped 20th-century literature.
From Stanislavski to Brecht and from Theatre of the Absurd to Theatre Workshop, explore some of the key influences and developments within 20th century theatre practice.