1st Edition

After Modernism Women, Gender, Race

Edited By Pelagia Goulimari Copyright 2023

    While celebrating the centenary of the “annus mirabilis” of modernism, we now encounter modernism after postmodernist, poststructuralist, postcolonial, critical race, feminist, queer and trans writing and theory. Out of the figures, narratives and concepts they have developed, a less universal, more global, decentred, context-specific, interconnected modernism emerges.

    In “after modernism” the meanings of “after” include periodisation, homage and critique. This book attends to neglected genealogies and intertexts—“high” and “low,” yet offering unacknowledged ontological, epistemological, conceptual and figurative resources. How have artists of the Global South negotiated the hierarchical division of art capital into Western high art vs. Global-South culture?

    Modernity’s location has been the Western metropolis, but other origin stories have been centring slavery, colonialism, the nation-state. If modernity did not originate once, why not multiple and still-to-come modernities? Instead of a universalizable Western modernity vs. local non-Western traditions, the contributors to this book discern multiple modern traditions. Rather than reifying their heterogeneity, the authors tunnel for lost transnational connections.

    The nation-state and the citizen have together defined Western modernity and the “civilized.” Yet they have required the gender binary, gender and sexual normativity, assimilation, exclusion, forced migration, partition, segregation. In-between the public and the private, humans and the natural world, this book explores a multiple, relational modern subjectivity, collectivity and cosmic interconnectivity, whose space is indivisible, entangled, ever folding and unfolding. It was originally published as a special issue of the journal Angelaki.

    1. Introduction—After Modernism: Women, Gender, Race

    Pelagia Goulimari

    2. The Afters and Now of Modernism: Connecting Leanne Howe’s Native Tribalography and the Decolonizing Arts of Britain’s Kabe Wilson and the Marshall Islands’ Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner

    Susan Stanford Friedman

    3. Rethinking the Liberian Predicament in Anti-Black Terms: On Repatriation, Modernity, and the Ethno-Racial Choreographies of Civil War

    Ola Osman

    4. A Grammar of Modern Silence: Race, Gender, and Visible Invisibility in Iola Leroy and Contending Forces

    Cyraina Johnson-Roullier

    5. Indigenismo and the Limits of Cultural Appropriation: Frida Kahlo and Marina NúnÞez del Prado

    Camilla Sutherland

    6. Gender and Race in the Modernist Middlebrow: Louise Faure-Favier’s Blanche et Noir

    Louise Hardwick

    7. Restaging Respectability: The Subversive Performances of Josephine Baker and Nora Holt in Jazz-Age Paris

    Samantha Ege

    8. Fashioning Modernism: Rose Piper’s Painting and Fabric Design

    Saul Nelson

    9. The "White Darkness": Considering Modernist Investments in the "Primitive" through Maya Deren’s Work in Haiti (1947–53)

    Elliot Evans

    10. Shredding, Burning, Tunnelling: Modernity, Mrs. Dalloway, Sula and My Grandparents circa 1922

    Pelagia Goulimari

    11. Doublings and Dissociation in Nella Larsen’s Passing and Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird

    Jean Wyatt

    12. Dream*Hoping into Futures: Black Women in the Harlem Renaissance and Afrofuturism

    Susan Arndt and Omid Soltani

    13. The Black Woman’s Mask: Fanon, Capécia, Condé

    Jane Hiddleston

    14. "In the Centre of Our Circle": Gender, Selfhood and Non-Linear Time in Yvonne Vera’s Nehanda

    Dorothée Boulanger

    15. "Screaming in Delight": Qiu Miaojin’s Queer Modernist Births in and for Taiwan

    L. Acadia


    Pelagia Goulimari is Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of the M.St. in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and “Intersectional Humanities” at the University of Oxford, UK. Her books include Postmodernism: What Moment?; Toni Morrison; Literary Criticism and Theory: From Plato to Postcolonialism; Women Writing Across Cultures; Love and Vulnerability; and The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory. She is the editor of Angelaki.