Race, Modernism, Modernity
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/22/2005
Format: Paperback 1 bibliog., 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21778-3
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Modernism as a global phenomenon is the focus of the essays gathered in this book. The term "geomodernisms" indicates their subjects’ continuity with and divergence from commonly understood notions of modernism. The contributors consider modernism as it was expressed in the non-Western world; the contradictions at the heart of modernization (in revolutionary and nationalist settings, and with respect to race and nativism); and modernism’s imagined geographies, "pyschogeographies" of distance and desire as viewed by the subaltern, the caste-bound, the racially mixed, the gender-determined.

Author Bio

Laura Doyle is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her book Bordering on the Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and Culture won the Barbara and George Perkins Award from the Narrative Society. She is author of Liberty’s Empire: Race and the Force of Freedom in Atlantic Modernity.

Laura Winkiel is Assistant Professor of English at Iowa State University. She has published articles on Djuna Barnes, Elizabeth Robins, and Valerie Solanas. She is completing a book project on manifestos, modernism, and race.


“The innovative essays in this collection emanate from conferences sponsored by the Modern Language Association. Thus, the book represents high-level academic literary criticism by scholars who go boldly where few have gone before. They explore and try to redefine 'modernism' and 'modernity' by setting their sights on aesthetic creativity inCuba, Brazil, Haiti, India, China, Taiwan, Lebanon, and South Africa—and, in a few instances, more familiar territory (England and the US). Confidently using the critical language of postcolonial analysis in discussing self-awareness, anxiety, freedom, and resistance to assimilation by a dominant ethos, the essays analyze features of rationalized racism, American Indian subjectivity, Haitian primitivism, 'Atlantic modernity,' Arab humanism, 'cabaret' modernism, and the construct of the gypsy. A few essays assess cross-cultural parallels, e.g., between E. M. Forster's A Passage to India and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, and Jürgen Habermas are among the predictable guides. The book's tentative but fruitful concept of 'geo—modernism' offers a new way of understanding cultural continuities and conflicts through the lens of modernist literary representation. This is a book for seasoned literary adventurers. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty.— M. S. Vogeler, emerita, California State University, Fullerton December 2006 ”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Global Horizons of Modernism Laura Doyle and Laura Winkiel
I. Modernisms' Alternative Genealogies
1. The Future of an Allusion: The Color of Modernity Aldon Lynn Nielsen
2. Africa and the Epiphany of Modernism Simon Gikandi
3. Liberty, Race, and Larsen in Atlantic Modernity: A New World Genealogy Laura Doyle
4. The Geopolitics of Affect in the Poetry of Brazilian Modernism Fernando J. Rosenberg
5. Ongoing War and Arab Humanism Ken Seigneurie
6. On the Ganges Side of Modernism: Raghubir Singh, Amitav Ghosh, and the Postcolonial Modern Ariela Freedman
II. Modernisms' Contested States
7. Twentieth-Century Chinese Modernism and Globalizing Modernity: Three Auteur Directors of Taiwan New Cinema Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang
8. Against "Library-Shelf Races": José Martí's Critique of Excessive Imitation Gerard Aching
9. Modernist (Pre)Occupations: Haiti, Primitivism, and Anticolonial Nationalism Patricia E. Chu
10. Gadze Modernism Janet Lyon
11. Cabaret Modernism: Vorticism and Racial Spectacle Laura Winkiel
III. Modernisms' Imagined Geographies
12. Township Modernism Ian Baucom
13. Paranoia, Pollution, and Sexuality: Affiliations between E. M. Forster's A Passage to India and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things Susan Stanford Friedman
14. Unreal City and Dream Deferred: Psychogeographies of Modernism in T. S. Eliot and Langston Hughes Eluned Summers-Bremner
15. Modernism's Possible Geographies Jessica Berman
16. Modernism(s) Inside Out: History, Space, and Modern American Indian Subjectivity in Cogewea: The Half-Blood Justine Dymond
Works Cited