Current Projects

Our approach to decadence is both critical and creative. Decadence is a transnational, transcultural, and translational phenomenon.

Primary page content

decorative image

DRC-CUSVE Neo-Victorian Decadence Research Group

The research group is organised by DRC-CUSVE (Decadence Research Centre at Goldsmiths University in partnership with the Centre for Victorian and Edwardian Studies at the G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara). It has been established with the specific purpose to open up a conversation about the multicultural and multilingual aspects of decadence in its Neo-Victorian afterlives.

At the same time, it seeks to interrogate periodisation by extending the temporal boundaries of Neo-Victorianism backwards and considering what qualifies as a Neo-Victorian text. The 1890s was a self-conscious period, one that was instantly mythologised and culturally consumed, even by its Edwardian successors.

By studying the Interwar period to the present day across geographical boundaries, especially Britain and Italy, the research will offer fresh insights into the nature of Neo-Victorian decadence and explore its rich transcultural and cosmopolitan dimensions.

The Research Group is open to all - Postgraduate students, ECRs, and established scholars. If you would like to join the group, please email drc ( for login details.

A meeting report from the CUSVE-DRC Neo-Victorian Decadence Research Group (Webinar 1 April 2022) can be read HERE.

Decadent Pedagogies

‘Decadent Pedagogies: teaching literary decadence in transcultural contexts’ is a collaborative project amongst colleagues from across the UK and Europe which will address the challenges associated with teaching decadent texts and artistic works. ‘Decadent Pedagogies’ will bring together researchers and teachers from across Europe to define best pedagogical practice, identify funding streams to support the development of new resources, and explore the possibility of similar resources in print and in digital form.

Enquiries about the project should be directed to Professor Jane Desmarais.

drawing of Salome with the head of John the Baptist

Staging Decadence

Staging Decadence: Decadent Theatre in the Long Twentieth Century is a two-year project funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council ECR Leadership Fellowship. It explores what theatre has to offer to our understanding of decadence as a cultural practice both historically and in the contemporary moment, and what it is that makes decadence such a valuable frame of reference in illuminating the material contexts that inform and shape the production and reception of theatre.

For more information, visit the Staging Decadence website.

Image credit: María María Acha-Kutscher, Herstorymuseum. Maud Allan.


Gay Slang in 1870s London

The Centre is currently facilitating a pan-European literary-historical project about gay slang in 1870s.  Led by Professor Frédéric Martel (Zurich University) with research assistance from Dr Michael Craske (Queen Mary, University of London), this year-long project is investigating coded references to English sex slang in the poems of Arthur Rimbaud (Illuminations, Une saison en enfer). 

Enquiries about the project should be directed to Professor Jane Desmarais.

1890s map of London

British Association of Decadence Studies

The British Association of Decadence Studies (BADS) is a scholarly association that brings together academics and practitioners from across the UK and beyond in order to explore the field of decadence in the broadest sense, from the perspective of various cultures and multiple disciplines, from antiquity to the present day, including written, visual, performative, and audible texts, in English and in other languages.

Along with our annual conference and essay prize BADS, is also delighted to present a series of Thursday evening lectures, hosted at Goldsmiths. Please visit our website for details of our 2021 Jeudis and other events.

letter V with ornate background

Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies

Volupté is an international journal of decadence studies. It appears bi-annually in Spring and Autumn and brings together in themed issues creative and critical approaches to the field of decadence studies. The aim of the journal is to enhance and broaden the scope of decadence studies and stimulate discussion in relation to literary decadence and other forms of discourse.

Please visit our website to read our current issue and back issues.