By Benjamin Balthaser
Anti-Imperialist Modernism excavates how U.S. cross-border, multi-ethnic anti-imperialist activities at mid-century formed what we comprehend as cultural modernism and the ancient interval of the nice melancholy. The booklet demonstrates how U.S. multiethnic cultural activities, situated in political events, small journals, exertions unions, and struggles for racial liberation, helped build a typical experience of foreign team spirit that critiqued rules of nationalism and essentialized racial identification. The publication hence strikes past debts that experience tended to view the pre-war “Popular entrance” via tropes of nationwide belonging or an abandonment of the cosmopolitanism of earlier many years. amazing archival study brings to mild 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 study farmworker photographers in California’s relevant valley, a Nez Perce highbrow touring to the Soviet Union, imaginations of the Haitian Revolution, the reminiscence of the U.S.–Mexico struggle, and U.S. radical writers touring to Cuba. The final bankruptcy examines how the chilly struggle foreclosed those activities inside a nationalist framework, whilst activists and intellectuals needed to suppress the transnational nature in their routine, frequently rewriting the cultural previous 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
My argument centers on archived revisions of the blacklisted film Salt of the Earth, citing the way the constraints of the Cold War limited what was initially a film that was transnational in scope. ” I also argue that film noir, while critical of Cold War domesticity, reified a conservative vision of the Popular Front era, often by representing Popular Front themes of labor, collectivity, and anticapitalist modes of existence as sealed off in the past or as fragments of an agrarian American past.
The overseas colonization of Hawaii and the internal colonization of the Native Americans are collapsed into a single image in which the hotel and the shoreline it dominates become the physical embodiment or objective correlative for imperial conquest. H. 68 While Jameson, Miyoshi, and Said crucially point out that imperialism is constitutive not only of modernity but the modernist literary movement, their crucial theoretical foundation does leave out another possible alternative: that many modernist writers responded to the crisis of representation created by modernity in a very different way, as a mode of self-reflexive critique and even revolutionary aesthetic expression.
What is thus significant is the extent to which realism is posed here as a genre of national belonging. The Author poses his intimate knowledge of New York working-class life—people who have bosses and eat in cafeterias— This Land Is My Land • 41 against “poetic plays” of worlds he doesn’t know: the other nations of Sweden, Russia, and Cuba. Realism, argues the Author, is a national project, one based on the imaginary community of a coherent people who share a set of culturally specific values, habits, and language that are not easily translatable without site-specific knowledge.