Modernism, Inc.: Body, Memory, Capital

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Drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary debates in cultural studies and contemporary theory, Modernism, Inc. provides a new look at the relationship between modernism and postmodernism within the critical frame of twentieth-century American culture.
Organized around the idea of "incorporation"-embodiment, repressed memory, and advanced capitalism-Modernism, Inc. covers a wide range of topics: Josephine Baker's "hot house style"; the president's penis in American political life; myth-making and the Hoover Dam; trauma, poetics, and the Armenian genocide; feminist kitsch and the recuperation of North America's "Great Lady painters"; Gertrude Stein and Jewish Social Science; the Reno Divorce Factory and the production of gender; Andy Razaf and Black Bolshevism. Collectively, the essays suggest that the relationship between the modern and the postmodern is not one of rupture, belatedness, dilution, or extremity, but of haunting.
Modernism, Inc. looks at our ghosts, and at the unspeakable secrets of modernity from which they're derived.
Contributors: Maria Damon, Walter Kalidjian, Walter Lew, Janet Lyon, William J. Maxwell, Cary Nelson, John Timberman Newcombe, David G. Nicholls, Thomas Pepper, Paula Rabinowitz, Daniel Rosenberg, Marlon Ross, Jani Scandura, Kathleen Stewart, Julia Walker.

Author Biography: Jani Scandura is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Minnesota. Michael Thurston is Assistant Professor of English at Yale.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fetching volume of thirteen radiant interventions."

-Cultural Critique

"Buried Gold."


"This consistently striking and fresh collection explores modernity's encryptions in bodies and machines, phantoms and genocidal trauma, nativism and bolshevism. I'm still trying to put it down."

-Eric Lott,author of Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class

"An intriguing investigation of the cultures and counter-cultures of modernity. Dealing in subjects ranging from black bolshevism to feminist kitsch, from the Hoover Dam to the Reno divorce factory, the authors retell the story of American modernity in ways that are fascinating, illuminating and often unexpected.”

-Rita Felski,author of Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814781364
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Series: Cultural Front Series
  • Pages: 321
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Jani Scandura is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Minnesota.

Michael Thurston is Assistant Professor of English at Yale.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: America And The Phantom Modern 1
I Body 19
1 Machine Dreams 21
2 Josephine Baker's Hothouse 29
3 Trespassing The Colorline: Aggressive Mobility And Sexual Trangression In The Construction of New Negro Modernity 48
4 Bodies, Voices Words: Modern Drama and the Problem of the Literary 68
II Memory 81
5 No One is Buried in Hoover Dam 84
6 The Edge Of Modernism: Genocide and the Poetics of Traumatic Memory 107
7 Writing, Social Science, and Ethnicity in Gertrude Stein and Certain Others 133
8 Jean Toomer's Cane, Modernization, and the Spectral Folk 151
9 Grafts, Transplants, Translation: The Americanizing of Younghill Kang 171
III Capital 191
10 Great Lady Painters, Inc.: Icons of Feminism, Modernism, and The Nation 193
11 Kitchen Mechanics and Parlor Nationalists: Andy Razaf, Black Bolshevism, and Harlem's Renaissance 219
12 Reno-Vating Gender: Place, Production, and the Reno Divorce Factory 238
13 Politics and Labor in Poetry of the Fin De Siecle and Beyond: Fragments of an Unwritable History 268
Contributors 289
Index 293
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