global modernism

Realism and/or Modernism

Long considered epistemologically naive, realism has, in the last ten years or so, undergone something of a rehabilitation, as scholars such as Anna Kornbluh, Caroline Levine, and Matthew Beaumont have shown realism to be, in Kornbluh’s words, “a mode of production rather than a mode of reflection.”[1] If this work has often focused on nineteenth-century texts, another set of scholars has described what Devin Fore’s 2012 book helpfully calls Realism after Modernism. Jed Esty and Colleen Lye’s special issue of MLQ

Modernism, Realism: Hayashi Fumiko’s Metropolitan Vagabondage (1930)

Serialized in the first years of Japan’s modern Shôwa period (1926-1989), Hayashi Fumiko’s wildly popular Diary of a Vagabond (Hôrôki) recounts, in playful turns both confessional and elusive, its author’s formation in the provincial mining communities of southern Japan and the booming Tokyo metropolis of the 1920s.

Modern Institutions and the Civilizing Mission

In September 1927, Edward McKnight Kauffer’s “One Third of the Empire is in the Tropics” poster set appeared on over 1,000 specially built poster frames across Britain and in capital cities across the British Empire (figs. 1 and 2). Commissioned by the Empire Marketing Board (EMB), an organization established by the British government in May 1926 to increase sales of Empire goods and products, it was the Board’s first modernist poster series.

Institutional Picaresque

The development of the new modernist studies of the past fifteen years has involved what we could term, to borrow a phrase that has circulated in the social sciences since the nineties, a “new institutionalism.”

“A Film of Landscapes”: Andean Modernities and Avant-garde Poetry in 1920s Peru

If later testimonies are to be believed, around 1927 Peruvian poet Carlos Oquendo de Amat (1905-1936) published in Lima, under the title Celuloide (Celluloid), a magazine devoted to film news and reviews.

Mesopotamia

In twenty-first century poetry about the millennial wars in Iraq, the deities and heroes of ancient Mesopotamia are congregating. Dunya Mikhail’s “Inanna” imagines the eponymous Sumerian goddess decrying the sight of “antiquities / scattered / and broken / in the museum.”

Civil Wartime

Ever since the publication of Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, the phrase “empty, homogenous time” (borrowed from Walter Benjamin), has become synonymous with the historical imagination of nationalism.

Poetry from Afar: Distant Reading, Global Poetics, and the Digital Humanities
The Poet Tree in Cabbagetown Toronto
Fig 1. “Deconstructing poetry with wind. To use nature to physically deconstruct a well-known poem by letting words individually blow in the breeze, when released from the tree. To have the public involved in reconstructing the poem by catching/collecting the words and recording the randomly reassembled new form.
Philip K. Dick, Late Modernism, and the Chinese Logic of American Totality

How did the novel, which shared most of its history with the rise and consolidation of the modern nation-state, adapt to a new world order scrambled by war, colonialism, and migration? 

Absence and Containment: English-Language Transnational Literary Modernist Studies Today

New. Now. Motion. Speed. Acceleration. Expansion. Pause. Renew. Now, again.

In the early twentieth century, there is no such thing as transnational literary modernism. Yet, in the early twenty-first century, there is transnational modernist studies.