Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical by Benjamin Balthaser

By Benjamin Balthaser

Anti-Imperialist Modernism excavates how U.S. cross-border, multi-ethnic anti-imperialist events at mid-century formed what we comprehend as cultural modernism and the old interval of the good melancholy. The ebook demonstrates how U.S. multiethnic cultural events, situated in political events, small journals, exertions unions, and struggles for racial liberation, helped build a typical feel of foreign cohesion that critiqued rules 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 prior a long time. remarkable archival study 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 unity. 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 battle, and U.S. radical writers touring to Cuba. The final bankruptcy examines how the chilly struggle foreclosed those events inside of a nationalist framework, while activists and intellectuals needed to suppress the transnational nature in their routine, frequently rewriting the cultural earlier to comply to a patriotic narrative of nationwide belonging.

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Financial interests. In this way, the two Cubans destabilize the presumption of knowledge articulated by the Author: He does not “know” where his food comes from or how it is produced, or anything about the international connections and entanglements of the nation he proposes to represent that are part of sugar’s production. S. empire destabilizes regimes of knowledge necessary for the realist project that equates a coherent and unified “people” with the discursive boundaries of the nation. S. empire, Odets joined several other artists who traveled to Cuba in the 1930s.

Employing photographs of “terror” in English-­ and Spanish-­language labor and socialist newspapers such as Lucha Obrera and UCAPAWA News, these photographs linked acts of violence against farmworkers in the United States with antifascist and anti-­imperialist struggles abroad. Such images formed a central counterdiscourse to the patriarchal and nationally and racially bound images produced by the Farm Security Administration and Hollywood film studios. And like the play authored by Odets, these images of violated and wounded bodies created a sensational and experimental language to describe transnational affiliations and bodies, linking violence in the United States to colonialism abroad.

Rather than, as Laura Doyle suggests, a modernism constructed between imperial capitals, such anti-­imperialist modernism looks south and east not only in gestures of solidarity, but for another vision of modernity itself. James’s The Black Jacobins situates anticolonial resistance within a much longer trajectory; it also locates the origins of the modern world in the colonial peripheries, naming the deracinated African slaves as the world’s first modern proletariat. Fused with James’s sensational style, Jacobins reorients modernity within an anti-­imperialist modernism, that is, rewrites the modern world racially and spatially, locating the revolutionary future in the global South.

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