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Description - The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White by George Hutchinson

By restoring interracial dimensions left out of accounts of the Harlem Renaissance - or blamed for corrupting it - George Hutchinson provides his understanding of black (and white) literary modernism, interracial literary relations, and 20th-century cultural nationalism in the United States. He proposes that what has been missing from literary histories of the time is a broader sense of the intellectual context of the Harlem Renaissance, and Hutchinson supplies that here: Boas's anthropology, Park's sociology, various strands of pragmatism and cultural nationalism - ideas that shaped the New Negro movement and the literary field, where the movement flourished. Hutchinson tracks the resulting transformation of literary institutions and organizations in the 1920s, offering a detailed account of the journals and presses, black and white, that published the work of the "New Negroes". This cultural excavation discredits bedrock assumptions about the motives of white interest in the renaissance, and about black relationships to white intellectuals of the period. It also gives a careful investigation of the tensions among black intellectuals of the 1920s. Hutchinson's analysis shows that the general expansion of literature and the vogue of writing cannot be divorced from the explosion of black literature often attributed to the vogue of the New Negro - any more than the growing sense of "Negro" national consciousness can be divorced from expanding articulations and permutations of American nationality. The book concludes with a full-scale interpretation of the landmark anthology "The New Negro". A work that exposes the oversimplifications and misrepresentations of popular readings of the Harlem Renaissance, this book reveals the composite nature of American literary culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674372627
ISBN-10: 067437262X
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 162mm x mm)
Pages: 560
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 6-Jan-1996
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - George Hutchinson

George Hutchinson is Booth Tarkington Chair of Literary Studies, Indiana University.

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