Entries from November 2017

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Modernism [ The Harlem Renaissance] – for George Hutchinson

Hutchinson claims that the Harlem Renaissance is definitely a modernist movement, but it is a bracket of the modernist line of thought. He states that he would not call every African American writer of this time, a modernist writer. When he studied the Harlem Renaissance in the late 70s, the key work of the movement […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

A Turn in Scholarship of the Harlem Renaissance

Literary scholar George Hutchinson responds to the question, “How have your ideas about the Harlem Renaissance evolved since you first began writing about it?” by looking back on his experiences in graduate school and teaching. He remembers writing about the Harlem Renaissance in relation to Walt Whitman, as a Whitman scholar who was deeply interested […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The Harlem Renaissance in Global Contexts

Houston A. Baker’s questionnaire response regarding the evolution of his approach to the Harlem Renaissance leads from criticisms of the movement during its time to contextualizing the Harlem Renaissance within a present day increasingly globalized world. He describes how Black nationalist and Black Arts advocates critiqued the Harlem Renaissance as an elitist movement that catered […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Modernism/modernity- Houston A. Baker response

For this blog post, I read Houston A. Baker’s questionnaire response. For this response, Baker was asked the question, “how have your ideas about the Harlem Renaissance evolved since you first began writing about it?” Baker said that through other readings and literary works such as Arnold Rampersad’s of Langston Hughes and David Levering Lewis’s […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Class – Cum Laude

Pamela L. Caughie makes a case for using the term “Negro Renaissance” rather than “Harlem Renaissance” by noting the classist connotations of the latter term. She give examples of how writers like Edward C. Williams, Nella Larssen, and contributors to the Messenger (especially from 1923-1926) participated in “class making”, or rather consolidating the “black bourgeoisie” by […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Modernism & Emily Bernard

In her response to the questionnaire, Emily Bernard, expresses that her ideas of the Harlem Renaissance have not changed significantly since she started researching, yet they have expanded. She was initially drawn to the Harlem Renaissance because of the intricate style and attractive clothing. She was interested in how style had the power to reconstruct […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The Marxist Implications of the Harlem Renaissance

In Barbara Foley’s Questionnaire, she states before all else that her responses “revolve around the need for a stronger Marxist presence” among Harlem Renaissance scholarship. She then scrutinizes the usage of “Harlem Renaissance,” which I appreciated as the term also bothers me. The problem with “Harlem Renaissance” is it implies that the movement was restricted […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

Modernism/Modernity Question

One contribution that the article “In Conversation: The Harlem Renaissance and the New Modernist Studies” has to the Harlem Renaissance is the idea of locating the Harlem Renaissance in “both time and space.” Many scholars do not know when and where to credit this movement. Some critics argue that the movement should be renamed in […]

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

What Class Got Ta Do Wid It

Pamela Caughie, in “‘The best people’:The Making of the Black Bourgeoisie in Writings of the Negro Renaissance,” ignites an interesting conversation about the relevance of class in the writings of the Harlem Renaissance. Though she examines the role of class, Caughie is particularly interested in class-making; what are those ontological signifiers of class?  Not a […]

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017


In looking Professor James Smethurst’s responses to the Modernism/modernity special issue questionnaire, I found his answers responded to a larger picture of an expanding intellectual HR community. In the question about the relationship between the Harlem Renaissance, modernism, and/or modernity,  Smethurst responds in terms of both physical community and larger movements. He believes that the […]