• Unsettling Blackness

    An issue of: American Literature
    Volume: 72
    Issue: 2
    Pages: 248
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  • Articles

    1. Preface: Unsettling Blackness–Houston A. Baker

    2. James Weldon Johnson and the Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Musician–Cristina L. Ruotolo

    3. Jean Toomer's Cane : Self as Montage and the Drive toward Integration–Joel B. Peckham

    4. W.E.B. DuBois's Family Crisis–Daylanne English

    5. The Birth of the Critic: The Literary Friendship of Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright–Lawrence Patrick Jackson

    6. Langston Hughes and the "Nonsense" of Bebop–John Lowney

    7. The Geography of the Apocalypse: Incest, Mythology, and the Fall of Washington City in Carolivia Herron's Thereafter Johnnie–Arlene R. Keizer

    Book Reviews

    8. Providence Tales and the Birth of American Literature by James D. Hartman–Elizabeth Barnes

    9. Benjamin Franklin and His Gods by Kerry S. Walters–Dan Williams

    10. Wider View of the Universe: Henry Thoreau's Study of Nature by Robert Kuhn McGregor–David Mazel

    11. Hawthorne's Fuller Mystery by Thomas R. Mitchell–Margaret B. Moore

    12. Mesmerism and Hawthorne: Mediums of American Romance by Samuel Coale–Joel Pfister

    13. Sign of the Cannibal: Melville and the Making of a Postcolonial Reader by

    Geoffrey Sanborn–Kendall A. Johnson

    14. Concordance to Herman Melville's Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land by Larry Edward Wegener Clarel, Herman Melville–Sandra Maletic

    15. Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe, Burton Ralph Pollin and J. V. (Joseph Vincent) Ridgely–Terence Whalen

    16. Walt Whitman: The Song of Himself by Jerome Loving, Walt Whitman–James Applewhite

    17. Achilles and the Tortoise: Mark Twain's Fictions by Clark Griffith–Jeffrey Steinbrink

    18. Unveiling Kate Chopin by Emily Toth, Kate Chopin–Linda Tate

    19. Literature at War, 1914-1940: Representing the "Time of Greatness" in Germany by Wolfgang Natter–John G. Cawelti

    20. To make a New Race: Gurdjieff, Toomer, and the Harlem Renaissance by Jon Woodson–Charles Scruggs

    21. Faulkner in Cultural Context by Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference (22nd : 1995 : University of Mississippi), Donald M. Kartiganer and Ann J. Abadie–Richard C. Moreland

    22. Seventies Now: Culture as Surveillance by Stephen Paul Miller–Andrew Ross

    23. Real American Dream: A Meditation on Hope by Andrew Delbanco–Michael G. Kammen

    24. Sustainable Poetry: Four American Ecopoets by Leonard M. Scigaj

    –Dana Phillips

    25. Gender and the Poetics of Excess: Moments of Brocade by Karen Jackson Ford–Robert O'Brien Hokanson

    26. Wilderness within: American Women Writers and Spiritual Quest by Kristina K. Groover; Artist and Attic: A Study of Poetic Space in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing by Hsin Ying Chi–Mary Titus

    27. American Body Politics: Race, Gender, and Black Literary Renaissance by

    Felipe Smith–Carole Doreski

    28. Reclaiming Community in Contemporary African-American Fiction by Philip Page–Elizabeth B. House

    29. Inhuman Race: The Racial Grotesque in American Literature and Culture by Leonard Cassuto–Robert Reid-Pharr

    30. Cultural Orphans in America by Diana Loercher Pazicky–Margarete C. Berg

    31. King Arthur in America by Alan Lupack; Barbara Tepa Lupack–Louis J. Budd

    32. Catholic Imagination in American Literature by Ross Labrie–James Emmett Ryan

    33. Alterity Politics: Ethics and Performative Subjectivity by Jeffrey T. (Jeffrey Thomas) Nealon–Elizabeth Klaver

    34. Brief Mention

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  • Description

    This special issue of American Literature transcends the old debates surrounding black expressive culture and reexamines major African American texts through the lenses of modernism, progressivism, architecture, avant-gardism, hybridity, and Continental theory. With this arsenal of critical and theoretical tools, the scholars here declare that the concept of "blackness" is agile and dynamic, both unsettled and unsettling.

    Articles in this issue address topics as rich and varied as the friendship between Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison; hybridity, montage, and the avant-garde in the works of Jean Toomer; and the interplay of eugenics and racial uplift in W. E. B. DuBois’s Crisis. One piece explores Langston Hughes’s use of bebop in Montage, and another considers the ways in which James Weldon Johnson’s Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man challenges assumptions about black music and its relationship to the "classics." The collection moves into a discussion of physical space when Arlene Keizer assesses Carolivia Herron’s Thereafter Johnnie, a novel in which the geography and architecture of Washington, D.C. construct as well as express the slave-owning, patriarchal culture.

    Unsettling Blackness would be a valuable addition to the syllabus of any course grappling with the galaxy of issues surrounding African American literature and culture.

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