British Association of Decadence Studies

About BADS

The British Association for 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.

The next AGM will be held in Summer 2019, to coincide with the Aesthetic Time, Decadent Archives conference. Please email for more details.

Download BADS Constitution (PDF)

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Aesthetic Time, Decadent Archives

This two-day conference, co-organized by the British Association of Decadence Studies (BADS) and the Aestheticism and Decadence Network, will explore the ‘archival turn’ in Aestheticism and Decadence studies and investigate Aestheticist notions of history, temporality, and periodization. Our aim is to extend discussion of the Aestheticist and Decadent archive beyond the bounds of the fin de siècle, to foreground a long history of Aestheticism and Decadence that looks back to their roots in the ancient world and ahead to their continuing presence in Modernism, neo-Victorianism, Steampunk and other twentieth and twenty-first century literature and art.

For more information, click HERE.


Membership of the society enables you to enter our annual essay prize (one for postgraduates and another for established scholars) and reduced fees to any BADS events.

Please see our membership page (or click HERE) for more details of member benefits and discounts.

The BADS Executive Committee


Chair: Jane Desmarais (Goldsmiths)

Jane Desmarais is Professor of English and Director of the Decadence Research Unit in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her monograph, Monsters under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers, 1850 to the Present, was published by Reaktion Books in 2018. She has written numerous essays on the theme of Decadence and has co-edited several works, including Decadence: An Annotated Anthology (with Chris Baldick, Manchester University Press, 2012), Arthur Symons: Selected Early Poems (with Chris Baldick, MHRA, 2017), Decadence and the Senses (with Alice Condé, 2017), and Decadence and Literature (with David Weir, Cambridge University Press, 2019). She is currently editing, with David Weir, the Oxford Handbook of Decadence (forthcoming in 2021).

Vice Chair: Matthew Creasy (Glasgow University)

Matthew Creasy is a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is the Primary Investigator for the AHRC Network: Decadence and Translation and his critical edition of Arthur Symons’s The Symbolist Movement in Literature was published by Fyfield-Carcanet during 2014. He has published essays and articles on the work of James Joyce, William Empson, Arthur Symons and Decadence. He is currently editing Confessions of a Young Man by George Moore for the MHRA-imprint ‘Jewelled Tortoise’.

Secretary: Alice Condé (Goldsmiths)

Alice Condé is Associate Tutor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is co-editor of Decadence and the Senses (with Jane Desmarais, Legenda, 2017) and co-editor of In Cynara’s Shadow: Collected Essays on Ernest Dowson (with Jessica Gossling). Her essay on ‘Decadence and Popular Culture’ can be found in Jane Desmarais and David Weir’s volume on Decadence for the Cambridge Critical Concepts series. 

Treasurer: Jessica Gossling (Goldsmiths)

Jessica Gossling is a fractional lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Editorial Assistant for The Literary Encyclopedia. Her current research focuses on the Decadent threshold poetics of Charles Baudelaire, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Arthur Symons, and Ernest Dowson. She is co-editor of In Cynara’s Shadow: Collected Essays on Ernest Dowson (with Alice Condé, 2019), and her essay on ‘À rebours and the House at Fontenay’ is published in Decadence and the Senses. Alice and Jessica are the webmistresses of

Student Member: Robert Pruett (Oxford University)

Robert Pruett is a DPhil student in French at St Cross College, University of Oxford. He is currently preparing a thesis entitled The Dissociation of Love: Remy de Gourmont and the Crisis of Erotic Idealism, and regularly presents research on fin-de-siècle French, English, and Belgian literature. Alongside the Cercle des Amateurs de Remy de Gourmont (CARGO), he co-organized the Fin de Siècle Symposium (Balliol College, Oxford, November 2016) which featured his essay on ‘The Concept of Chastity in Remy de Gourmont’s Theory of Art and Mind’. Outside of Oxford, Robert has given talks at the Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris and is the current reviews editor of Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies.

Student Member: Joseph Thorne (Liverpool John Moores University)

Joseph Thorne, having studied for his undergraduate degree at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and his Masters at Cardiff University, completed his PhD at Liverpool John Moores University in 2019. His work looks at the material interactions of decadent social networks at the Fin de Siècle. In 2016, he worked as a research assistant for the Liverpool Central Library exhibition Richard Le Gallienne: Liverpool’s Wild(e) Poet, curated by Professor Margaret Stetz and Mark Samuels Lasner (University of Delaware). In 2019, he co-organized an international conference, Neo-Victorian Decadences, held at St Johns’ College, Durham.

Ordinary Member: Sally Blackburn-Daniels (The Open University)

Sally Blackburn-Daniels is Postdoctoral Researcher in English at The Open University on the READ-IT project, where she is also Impact Consultant for English and Creative Writing. She is currently editing the notebooks of Vernon Lee (1914-1919) for the Holographical Lee Database (HoL). Sally’s essay ‘Vernon Lee: Excavating The Spirit of Rome’ is included in Excavating Modernity: Physical, Temporal and Psychological Strata in Literature, 1900-1930 (Routledge, July 2018).