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 next BADS conference. Please email for more details.

Download BADS Constitution (PDF)

The BADS Executive Committee


Chair: Jane Desmarais (Goldsmiths)

Jane Desmarais is Professor of English 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), and Decadence and the Senses (with Alice Condé, 2017). Her volume on Decadence and Literature (co-edited with David Weir) for the Cambridge Critical Concepts series is forthcoming in 2019.

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 Postdoctoral 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’ is forthcoming in Jane Desmarais and David Weir’s volume on Decadence for the Cambridge Critical Concepts series. 

Treasurer: Jessica Gossling (Goldsmiths)

Jessica Gossling is Postdoctoral Associate Tutor 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, forthcoming by Peter Lang), 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, is currently a third year PhD student at Liverpool John Moores University. 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). Last year, he co-organised an international conference, Neo-Victorian Decadences, held at St Johns’ College, Durham.

Ordinary Member: Sally Blackburn (University of Liverpool)

Sally Blackburn is a PhD candidate at the University of Liverpool. Her research focuses on the assimilation of late nineteenth and early twentieth century scientific theory into the works of Vernon Lee (Violet Paget, 1856-1935). Sally has worked alongside the Bluecoat Arts Centre to present Lee’s work to the general public, both through reading groups and lecture events. Her 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).