Susan Rosenbaum is Associate Professor of English and codirector of the Interdisciplinary Modernisms Workshop at the University of Georgia. She is the author of Professing Sincerity: Modern Lyric Poetry, Commercial Culture, and the Crisis in Reading (University of Virginia Press, 2007) and co-author of the digital project Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde and associated digital scholarly book Mina Loy: Scholarly Book for Digital Travelers. She is at work on Imaginary Museums: Surrealism, American Poetry, and the Visual Arts and a collection of essays on Elizabeth Bishop.
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.