By Benjamin Balthaser
Anti-Imperialist Modernism excavates how U.S. cross-border, multi-ethnic anti-imperialist hobbies at mid-century formed what we comprehend as cultural modernism and the historic interval of the nice melancholy. The publication demonstrates how U.S. multiethnic cultural routine, positioned in political events, small journals, exertions unions, and struggles for racial liberation, helped build a standard experience of foreign cohesion that critiqued principles of nationalism and essentialized racial id. The publication therefore strikes past money owed that experience tended to view the pre-war “Popular entrance” via tropes of nationwide belonging or an abandonment of the cosmopolitanism of prior many years. striking archival examine brings to mild the ways that a transnational imaginative and prescient of modernism and modernity was once formed via anti-colonial networks of North/South cohesion. Chapters research farmworker photographers in California’s primary valley, a Nez Perce highbrow touring to the Soviet Union, imaginations of the Haitian Revolution, the reminiscence of the U.S.–Mexico warfare, and U.S. radical writers touring to Cuba. The final bankruptcy examines how the chilly battle foreclosed those hobbies inside a nationalist framework, while activists and intellectuals needed to suppress the transnational nature in their hobbies, usually rewriting the cultural earlier to comply to a patriotic narrative of nationwide belonging.
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Additional info for Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War
The anti-imperialist character of 1930s modernism included but also went well beyond the writings of the African American intellectual and political community. Like Wilson’s and Hughes’s gaze into the “infinity” of the Western imperialism, Clifford Odets and Josephine Herbst traveled to Cuba to witness and document firsthand revolutionary and anti-imperialist movements as a way to call into question the limitations of a national framework for political writing. Like C. L. R. James’s Mariners which celebrates the international proletariat aboard Moby Dick’s Pequod, Herbst also celebrates the multiracial “castaways” of Cuba’s cooperative sugar plantation, Realingo 18, in a series of articles for the New Masses that later became her novel Rope of Gold.
Left. More than encourage us to reconsider a few authors, a site like Cuba alters the entire narrative of the Popular Front. S. national borders in an unofficial colony of the United States does more than simply construct transcultural connections. It radically questions the national frame proposed by theorists like Kenneth Burke, and radically alters the cultural memory of the decade that is based on themes of national belonging. To locate a movement in Cuba is not to align with another country so much as to suggest the United States was always already there, and the colonies must be recognized and included.
Film noirs such as They Clash by Night, Asphalt Jungle, and Out of the Past often represented such values only to suggest that they belong to a lost and nostalgized past, reimaging the Popular Front era as a white, rural, laboring subject, projecting a repressed utopian desire for the Lincoln Republic, for an age that now deems it out of reach. Even left-wing filmmakers such as Orson Welles recast anti-imperialist bonds of solidarity in films such as Touch of Evil and The Lady from Shanghai as sites of danger and/or forbidden desire.
Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War by Benjamin Balthaser