MALCOLM MILES BA (Hons), PhD
My main research interest is in the utopian content and unrealised potential of international modernism in architecture, literature and art (especially painting). This includes reconsidering the construct of an avant-garde; differentiating modern urbanism’s flaws (such as its reliance on professional expertise and its functionalism) from its vision of designing a better world for all social classes; extending the argument – made in my 2011 book on Herbert Marcuse, from a paper of his on French literature during the occupation, written in 1945 – that under the conditions of totalitarianism a literature of intimacy is the last resort of freedom; and investigating the pictorial space specific to modern painting as a transitional or liminal space. I aim to produce at least one book and some journal papers on this over the next few years. Under neoliberalism, it appears helpful to re-visit modernism and to ask what of its hopes might be extricated from its wreckage. Meanwhile, despite the marketization of higher education in the UK, I continue to engage with academic work in various ways (though no longer by teaching); I still read the purpose of a university as to evolve critiques of the society and culture in which it is situated. I hope this is not entirely forlorn now.
My most recent books are:
Among other titles are
Urban Utopias: the built and social architectures of alternative settlements (2008), Cities and Cultures (2007) and Urban Avant-Gardes (2004).