Writing the Harlem Renaissance

Writing the Harlem Renaissance : Revisiting the Vision

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The contributors in this study examine the historical Harlem community during its renaissance period as well as its present-day community. A cursory investigation of the existent that focus on the Harlem community during its renaissance of the early twentieth century reveals that the compilations are primarily ones that present the subjects' life stories through the lens of praise songs. This book, however, presents the Harlem community through a lens that reveals more grounded and researched analyses that bring the influences and contributions of the Harlem Renaissance to a level of relevance in the twenty-first century from one or more critical vantage points. This study aims to move beyond the more obvious and foregrounded artistic contributions towards analyses of the Harlem Renaissance alongside analyses of a twenty-first century Harlem community and its present day contributions.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 140 pages
  • 159 x 237 x 15mm | 358g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739196804
  • 9780739196809

Review quote

Emily Allen Williams's Writing the Harlem Renaissance: Revisiting the Vision offers a richly informed exploration of the contemporary and historical significance of the Harlem Renaissance. The contributors' fresh excavations of this site of cultural flowering probe its wider intellectual, aesthetic, and humanistic scope. Their research turns attention to the movement's diverse range of social, cultural, philosophical, and political interests that continue to elicit discerning scholarly insights. The book is most timely, moreover, as a centennial commemoration and revaluation of the legacy and continued promise of New Negro art. The illuminating perspectives from which the movement is reassessed include journalism, sociopolitical theory, sociology, philosophy, aesthetics, and politics, thereby validating Williams's perception of the Harlem Renaissance as a multivocal venture that holds vital significance for a global array of creators and thinkers. These new excavations emphasize the literature's capacity to speak 'beyond the mystical theoretical imaginings' often identified with the aesthetic outpouring of the movement. The volume positions the literature at an enlightening philosophical juncture where architects of culture and society are emboldened to unroll the past, thus to understand the present, and move meaningfully into the future. -- Paul Griffith, Texas Southern University Predicated on our continuing need to identify and test interdisciplinary forms of inquiry regarding the literary and cultural histories of the United States, the seven essays in this collection invite scholars to take new and rigorous directions in the construction of knowledge. The nature, scope, and contours of the Harlem Renaissance are so richly indeterminate that it is essential to scrutinize existing critical stances and to supplement them with fresh perspectives. Guided by Emily Allen Williams' perspicacious vision, the essayists produce challenging arguments about the concept and continuing relevance of modernism. They urge us to embrace larger visions about such issues as gender identities, the critical role of journalism, the evolution of 'voice' within a tradition of poetry, and the contested spaces of representation and performance where ethical and moral problems abound. In this sense, Writing the Harlem Renaissance is a genuine contribution to the dynamics of contemporary literary and cultural scholarship. -- Jerry W. Ward Jr., Central China Normal University Thankfully, Writing the Harlem Renaissance: Revisiting the Vision is the realization of a dream delayed, not ultimately deferred. Through this text, Emily Allen Williams shepherds to publication courageous contemporary analyses of Harlem, its Renaissance, and its multiple legacies. The works of iconic Harlem Renaissance writers-Toomer, DuBois, Fauset, Hurston, Hughes, and others-are still represented here, but with critiques, appreciations, and contexts from a new configuration of literary scholars. Therein is the beauty of the collection and the reason why, in Williams's words, it 'flies.' -- Maureen Elgersman Lee, Hampton University In Writing the Harlem Renaissance: Revisiting the Vision, Emily Allen Williams places her fingers on the pulse of the Harlem Renaissance and invites readers to see that the conversations surrounding this period are far from over. Moving the needle beyond conventional dogma and theory, Williams and her contributors take on mainstream currents of critical thinking on the Harlem Renaissance without apology. The book is an engaging read for scholars and students of the period who are seeking new perspectives on this artistic period as they read again the words of those who lived through it. -- Derrilyn E. Morrison, Middle Georgia State Universityshow more

About Emily Allen Williams

Emily Allen Williams is dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of the Virgin Islands.show more

Table of contents

Preface, Emily Allen Williams Introduction, Reginald Martin Part I: Writing the Harlem Renaissance: Spatial Representations and Memorandums of [Mis] Understanding Chapter 1: The Greatest Joy in Life: Geraldyn Dismond's Transformative Coverage of the Hamilton Lodge Ball, Jacqueline C. Jones Chapter 2: Towards a Trans-Atlantic Approach: Tracing the Modernist Psychodrama and Wasteland Critique-the Poetry of the Political Imagination, Christopher Varlack Chapter 3: The Impact of the Harlem Renaissance on the Development of the African American Voice within Literature, Mary Lynn Chambers Part II: Blackness, Beauty, and Interracial Posturing: Sociological and Literary Representations Chapter 4: DuBois and Larsen: The Convergence of Contrasting Literary Genres, Imani Michelle Scott Chapter 5: Jean Toomer's Cane in the Harlem Renaissance: Modernity, Individuality, and Language, Gerardo Del Guercio Chapter 6: In Search of Our Mother's Dignity: The Plight of African American Women in Selected Harlem Renaissance Literature, Devona Mallory Chapter 7: Revisiting the "Mulatto" Stereotype in Passing and The Autobiography of an Ex-colored Man, Antonia Iliadoushow more