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Title:Race and the Modernist Imagination: The Politics of Form, 1900--1940
Author(s):Seshagiri, Urmila Shree
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Janet Lyon
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:To navigate modernist fiction's racial constructions is to understand how race anatomizes the ascendant value of newness in the twentieth century. In the primary texts of this dissertation, manifold visions of race, racism, and racial difference express the abundant meanings that accrued around conceptions of "the modern." Modern technocratic utopianism confronts its limitations in the Dr. Fu-Manchu thrillers of Sax Rohmer, where melodramatic race-wars threaten to end white England's global sovereignty. In Katherine Mansfield and Rebecca West's primitivist narratives, blackness and femininity conjoin to become metropolitan modernity's unsuspected keepers. Virginia Woolf's experimental novels combine abstract and material racial alterities to splinter the legacy of Victorian patriarchy and nation-building. Finally, George Orwell's colonial fiction protects the imperial machine from the racial ambiguities of abstract modernist art. If British modernism performs a series of diverse cultural renovations, my project demonstrates that the politics and poetics of race underpin the movement's contradictory artistic commitments and affiliations.
Issue Date:2001
Description:306 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3030476
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2001

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