MINCE words: for and against writing on Modernism IN Central Europe

Jeremy Howard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay adopts the acronym, MINCE (for Modernism IN Central Europe), to guide its critical reaction to the issues raised by Matthew Rampley’s article [‘Networks, Horizons, Centres and Hierarchies: On the Challenges of Writing on Modernism in Central Europe’]. Through this it tackles the ambiguous formulations of concept, subject and place in Rampley and the editor’s invitation to respond. From questioning their ideas of region it moves to doubt the currency of ‘modernism’. Thereafter it challenges the ‘pragmatics of scholarship’ offered by Rampley and asserts alternative means of engaging with/ comprehending the status of his loosely defined field. By adding extra ways of measuring academic resonance to Rampley’s narrow standard of exemplar publication, i.e. by consideration of university courses and their products, we come to see a richer, and healthier, side to the problem than his one-dimensional approach allows. Integral to this broadening of the means of evaluation of the status quo is the call to utilise, as foundational, actual artwork and interrelations/correspondences. As such this paper posits a form of tumbleweed enquiry, rather than bland structures of horizontal or entangled art history. Through this, and the given visual and learning paradigms of 1) Váchal, Letzel and Švec; 2) the University of St Andrews, we gain insight into how problematic and limiting is the ‘IN’ of MINCE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194, 244
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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