Cassandra B. Lerer

Cohort Year: 2020
Research Interests: 20th century British literature, modernism/ late modernism, SFF studies, cultural studies, Marxism, psychoanalysis
Education: B.A. University of the Philippines Diliman, 2014; M.A., King’s College London, 2017


Expansively, my work explores the charged confluence between 20th century literature, primarily modernism and late modernism in Great Britain, with “fantasy in the expanded field,” that is to say, fantastical imaginaries across the cultural spectrum of modernity. This orientation is motivated by two impulses. First is the desire to excavate the afterlives of historical formations of myth, magic, and the esoteric as these survived into the 20th century, scattered variously to the market of genre fiction and mass culture, the repertoire of aesthetic figurations, and the echelons of critical thought. Second is the attempt to politicize these survivals from the left, and to focalize conceptual articulations contrapuntal to the appropriation of mythic-fantastical cultural formations by the reactionary right. I am particularly committed to researching “forgotten” or neglected writers whose work combined formal innovation with fantastical vision. Some figures of continual interest to me are Sylvia Townsend Warner, Robert Aickman, Mervyn Peake, Ithell Colquhoun, Angela Carter, Anna Kavan, and John Cowper Powys.