Thursday, November 16th, 2017...10:34 pmBrian Nickless

Modernism Survey and Question

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Kathleen Pfeiffer Survey

Pfeiffer states that modernism and the Harlem renaissance are overlapping but not necessarily dependent on each other. She also states that their intersections are both outlived by the movements themselves. She states that there is a lasting value in the Harlem renaissance due to its always relevant political, and societal critique. This lasting value means that she has taught it extensively to modern students and this teaching has rewarded her with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the movement. Pfeiffer’s association also stems from the constant unearthing of texts from the Harlem renaissance. She states that the works regarding biracial identity and interracial friendship are her favorites to read. She mentions she is confused by the term “we” in the second to last question as she states that the Harlem Renaissance was so multifaceted that it could refer to almost anyone. Pfeiffer ends by stating that she wants to see a renewal of the “criteria of Negro Art” symposium. Throughout her answers Pfeiffer highlights that the Harlem renaissance was not just a literary movement but instead was a part of larger societal change that included many other aspects of society. This multifaceted aspect is why she argues that the Harlem Renaissance is so compelling and still holds relevance and a sort of power today.

Question to add: “Which facet of the multifaceted Harlem Renaissance captures your interest the most? Which do you believe is in the most need of further study?


  • The two questions you have are really good because I also thought it would be interesting to hear how these scholars were inspired to do what they do. I would be interested in hearing what they have to say about gaps in research on the Harlem Renaissance. Would they mention women or the less educated population? It would be cool to learn more about those folks.

  • I love your question. I think that a lot of powerful movements gain attention and then flutter off into the void. By asking the question of what interests “you” the most, a person can take his or her own individual passion and apply that to the movement. From an activist perspective, the question is genius. The message of the movement could spread to other activist movements and gain more support.

  •   Professor Seiler
    November 21st, 2017 at 3:04 am

    Brian–Nice post! I encourage you to read some of your peers’ posts on Honey’s response, too–you all took important (but in some cases quite different) insights from her to heart. I hope you’ll bring some of Honey’s thinking to bear on our discussion of _Passing_, especially.

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