The New Negro. A German Promise from Mexico? Transcultural Perspectives on the Harlem Renaissance
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Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing
InBak, J.T.J.; Mansanti, C. (ed.), Transatlantic Intellectual Networks, 1914-1964, pp. 52-79
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Engelse en Amerikaanse Letterkunde en Cultuur
Bak, J.T.J.; Mansanti, C. (ed.), Transatlantic Intellectual Networks, 1914-1964
SubjectCultures of War and Liberation; Europe in a Changing World; Memory, Materiality and Affect in the Age of Transnationalism
Frank Mehring expounds a transcultural perspective on the Harlem Renaissance by focusing on the underappreciated commercial artwork of German immigrant Winold Reiss, whose visual representations of African- American writers and intellectuals were a stellar feature of iconic publications such as The New Negro and Survey Graphic magazine’s special issue on Harlem (both 1925). Tracing the international networks and transcultural experience which informed Reiss’s visual approach to the Harlem Renaissance, Mehring makes visible how the Harlem Renaissance was effectively embedded in the dynamics of what Stephen Greenblatt called “cultural mobility:” transatlantic and trans-American cultural flows, aesthetic translations, mediations and networks. He demonstrates how Reiss’s perspective on the U.S. in effect was transformed through the conjunction of three perspectives: his German background, his first-hand experiences of the U.S., and his Mexican travels. Reiss’s artistic vision thus became the product of a triangular mirroring process, a transnational conjunction of Europe, North and South America.
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