By Benjamin Balthaser
Anti-Imperialist Modernism excavates how U.S. cross-border, multi-ethnic anti-imperialist pursuits at mid-century formed what we comprehend as cultural modernism and the historic interval of the good melancholy. The publication demonstrates how U.S. multiethnic cultural hobbies, situated in political events, small journals, exertions unions, and struggles for racial liberation, helped build a standard feel of foreign unity that critiqued principles of nationalism and essentialized racial identification. The e-book hence strikes past bills that experience tended to view the pre-war “Popular entrance” via tropes of nationwide belonging or an abandonment of the cosmopolitanism of past a long time. notable archival examine brings to gentle the ways that a transnational imaginative and prescient of modernism and modernity used to be shaped via anti-colonial networks of North/South cohesion. Chapters learn farmworker photographers in California’s valuable valley, a Nez Perce highbrow touring to the Soviet Union, imaginations of the Haitian Revolution, the reminiscence of the U.S.–Mexico conflict, and U.S. radical writers touring to Cuba. The final bankruptcy examines how the chilly conflict foreclosed those events inside of a nationalist framework, whilst activists and intellectuals needed to suppress the transnational nature in their pursuits, frequently rewriting the cultural earlier to comply to a patriotic narrative of nationwide belonging.
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Extra info for Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War
For authors like Odets and Herbst as well, such works also crucially interrogate their own racial identities. Odets’s “Cuba play” implicitly criticized the assimilation of Jewish Americans by questioning whether ethnic American dialect—so recognizable a part of the “new American culture” of the 1930s—may be part of the imperial project just as much as weapons or sugar. For Herbst, the last chapter of Rope of Gold is not just a statement of solidarity with Cuban socialists; it is also an excavation of her own family history intertwined with myths of Manifest Destiny.
As Amy Kaplan writes in The Social Construction of American Realism, realism was imagined by its 19th-century practitioners to be a genre that mediated between classes that were bound by spatial and national proximity. 6 The attention to minute detail, the position of an omniscient narrator who can see into bedrooms and minds, and the emphasis on Howells’s “phrase and carriage of everyday life” in the public spaces of “streets” and “cafeterias” suggest that Odets intends his Author to be very much self-consciously within the tradition laid out by a previous generation of socially progressive writers.
R. 81 Native Americans, wrote Phinney, must claim for themselves and proudly inhabit their modern racial identity as “Indians” rather than as members of tribes, as it is only by doing so can they—like workers and like other people of color—attain political power. Modernity, as Phinney saw it, is a form of radical dispossession, yet one to which indigenous people may lay claim and which they must refashion in their own image to survive. Phinney’s question, then, is not whether Indians can choose to be modern—they already are.
Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War by Benjamin Balthaser