In her second book, "Modernism at the Beach: Queer Ecologies and the Coastal Commons," Hannah Freed-Thall (past fellow; New York University) argues the beach was to the modernist imagination what mountains were to Romanticism: a space not merely of anthropogenic conquest but of vital elemental and creaturely connection. With an eye to the peripheries of capitalist leisure, Freed-Thall recasts familiar seaside practices—including tide-pooling, beachcombing, gambling, and sunbathing—as radical experiments in perception and sociability. Close readings of works by Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Claude McKay, Samuel Beckett, Rachel Carson, and Gordon Matta-Clark, among others, explore the modernist beach as a queer refuge, a precarious commons, a scene of collective exhaustion and endurance, and a visionary threshold at the end of the world.
New book release | Modernism at the Beach
Sept. 18, 2023