Western Fictions, Black Realities: Meanings of Blackness and Modernities

Western Fictions, Black Realities: Meanings of Blackness and Modernities


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Western Fictions, Black Realities: Meanings of Blackness and Modernities by Isabel Soto

This anthology interrogates two salient concepts in studying the black experience. Ushered in with the age of New World encounters, modernity emerged as brutal and complex, from its very definition to its manifestations. Equally challenging is blackness, which is forever dangling between the range of uplifting articulations and insidious degradation. The essays in Western Fictions address the conflicting confluences of these two terms. Questioning Eurocentric and mainstream American interpretations, they reveal the diverse meanings of modernities and blackness from a wide range of milieus of the black experience. Interdisciplinary and wide-ranging in thematic and epochal scope, they use theoretical and empirical studies of a range of subjects to demonstrate that, indeed, blackness is relevant for understanding modernities and vice versa.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611860443
Publisher: Michigan State University Press
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Isabel Soto is Associate Professor in the department of Filologías Extranjeras y sus Lingüísticas at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain.

Violet Showers Johnson is Professor of History at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Georgia.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction: Blackness and Modernities: Varieties and Re-Examinations Isabel Soto Violet Showers Johnson 1

I Literary and Cultural Perspectives

Resistance to Modernity: Two Contesting Viewpoints Clarence Sholé Johnson 23

The Unwhitening of Discourse: The Gothic in African-American Literature María M. García Lorenzo 47

The Modernity of James Weldon Johnson and the African American Twentieth Century Christopher Mulvery 61

Wolf Whistle and A Killing in this Town: Two Ways to Exercise Racial Hatred Claude Jullien 77

Theorizing the Vernacular Modernism of Jazz: The New Jazz Studies Alexander Beissenhirtz 95

II Race, Diasporas and Modern Encounters

The First Atlantic Slaves, 1350-1520: Conquest, Slavery and the Opening of the Atlantic David Abulafia 107

From Tourist to Bureau Chief: Witnessing Spain's Racial Emergence Paul Delaney 129

African American Women Travelers: Claiming Voice and Transgressing Boundaries Mar Gallego-Durán 137

Somos una Mezcla?: Re-Constructing Race in Dominicanidad Ime A. S. Kerlee 153

III Harlem Renaissance: Legacies of an African American Epoch

Modernism, the Harlem Renaissance, and Negotiations of Black Gay Identity in the 1980s Simon Dickel 183

Zora on the Mountain: Zora Neal Hurston's Artistic Exodus in Moses, Man of the Mountain Alison D. Goeller 199

African American Modernism and the Music of Duke Ellington Malgorzata Ziólek-Sowinska 211

Louis Armstrong's Unknown Addiction, or the (Un) Willing Autobiographer Emil Sîrbulescu 229

IV Racialized Bodies, Activist Minds

Embodies Subjects: Policing and Politicking the Black Female Body Simone A. James Alexander 251

Challenging the Great White Hopes: Black Boxers in Film George Bauer 269

I am Remembered as a Hairdo: Angela Davis's Autobiography as a Revision of the Public Persona and Self-Reconstruction as Political Activist Yvonne Gutenberger 297

Notes on the Contributors 317

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