Monday, December 4th, 2017...10:03 pmBrian Nickless

Final Project Intro

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The concept of alienation from society is found throughout both Celtic Revival and Harlem Renaissance literature. This rejection of the Irish by English society and rejection of African Americans by American Society fueled the need for these groups to create their own spaces in literature. These spaces became a place to move past their “othered” status and create art and dialogue necessary for alienated groups to retain their identity and sense of self. These movements and the works created during them were never solely defined by their rejection by their oppressor’s societies, but the concept of being rejected and othered was a concept frequently addressed and discussed. The colonized and enslaved translated the complex feelings of being rejected by a society forced upon them into powerful works that transcended the times and conditions they were created in. While no two literary movements are so uniform and neat as to be compared completely and fully to one another, both the Celtic Revival’s and Harlem Renaissance’s addressing of rejection can be seen in the works created during these movements. Despite the fact that the eventual creation of an independent Irish State would bring a nationalistic validation to the Celtic Revival that the Harlem Renaissance would not receive, in this anthology I would like to highlight how despite the differing end results of these spaces the two movements helped create, the means they achieved them were similar.


Question: Is the comparison of an identity driven movement resulting in nationhood (Celtic revival) to an identity driven movement that resulted in creating a distinct cultural space (Harlem Renaissance) compelling? Any authors belonging to either movement that I would be remiss in not mentioning in regard to this comparison?


  •   Professor Seiler
    December 8th, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Hi, Brian–I know you’ve done a lot of rethinking / reframing since you wrote this post, so let me just acknowledge the post and encourage you in project here!

  • Brian, i’m wondering what the end result you are talking about at the end of this post is. It is as if there is a before and after to these movements, so i would need more concrete evidence as to what was the real shift that occurred. I would say these movements might still have influence on societal and cultural change.

  • Brian, alienation is a super interesting topic to discuss! Identity, in your case, is constructed based on distinctions from the hegemony of colonizers’ culture. However, maybe you could also look at how modernization affected alienation as well. It might be a lot, but perhaps the desire to identify with nature (e.g Lake Isle of Innifree and Negro Speaks of River) can be linked to the rejection of certain from modern-urban-mainstream culture. Best of luck!!!!

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