Linda Kinnahan is Professor of English at Duquesne University. She is editor of the Cambridge History of 20th Century American Women’s Poetry and the author of several books on modernist and contemporary poetry, most recently Mina Loy, Photography, and Contemporary Women Poets (Routledge, 2017). She coauthors the scholarly website Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde and the digital book Mina Loy: Scholarly Book for Digital Travelers. A forthcoming monograph explores women modernists and economics.
Although Mina Loy consorted with nearly every historical avant-garde movement, she was contained by none and is rarely mentioned in their histories. She’s not alone in this regard. Canonical histories and theories of the avant-garde typically marginalize the work of women, people of color, queer, and disabled artists. Despite significant efforts to articulate the importance of gender, sexuality, and race to the avant-garde, scholars have yet to offer a comprehensive theory of the avant-garde that accounts for the experiences of marginalized artists who were often ambivalent about claiming affiliation with white, male-dominated movements.