Transatlantic Crossings Between Paris and New York

Pan-Africanism, Cultural Difference and the Arts in the Interwar Years

1. Edition, 2006
376 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5128-1
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 133
Available: 02.10.2006

Keywords: Kunst, Avantgarde, postcolonial studies, Paris, Schwarze, Geschichte 1918-1938, Ethnographie, Jazz, Pan-Amfricanism, Locke, Alain, Maran, René, Guillaume, Paul

How was the question of black cultural difference and identity negotiated among and between black cultural and political organizations in Paris and Harlem? How were concepts of black cultural difference - the idea of what distiguished black expressive culture and what constituted the originality of a black aesthetic - absorbed and articulated by the white artistic avantgarde and the primitivist modernist styles and themes they created? How was knowledge about African culture and 'African otherness' visually represented in the discourse of French colonial ethnography and colonial art?

This study addresses the dynamics of transatlantic cultural exchange, concretely the international transfer and mediation of images and ideas about black culture in two artistic metropolises - New York and Paris - in the interwar years. These transatlantic crossings and the confluences are analyzed within a postcolonial framework, they are considered as responses to and as consequences of two related and hence intersecting formations of power: racism and colonialism and their political, social, epistemological and finally, cultural dimensions in the United States and France. Proceeding from the historical significance of race, this study links up the discourses of primitivist modernism, jazz, Africanist ethnography and art, the Harlem Renaissance and Négritude, a complex and ambivalent connection neglected until recently in contemporary scholarship.

Thomas Austenfeld in: American Literary Scholarship, 2006, 480f

Petrine Archer-Straw in: The International History Review, XXX.1 (March 2008), 162ff