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The Golden Avant-Garde
The Golden Avant-Garde

Idolatry, Commercialism, and Art

Sassower, Raphael, Cicotello, Louis

Since the eighteenth century, artists--especially so-called avant-garde artists--have played a conflicting role in society. Part of the reason for their complex position, argue...


Fashioning Character

Style, Performance, and Identity in Contemporary American Literature

Cardon, Lauren S.

It’s often said that we are what we wear. Tracing an American trajectory in fashion, Lauren Cardon shows how we become what we wear. Over the twentieth century, the American...


Composing Cultures
Composing Cultures

Modernism, American Literary Studies, and the Problem of Culture

Aronoff, Eric

The term "culture" has become ubiquitous in both academic and popular conversations, but its usefulness is a point of dispute. Taking the current shift from cultural studies to...


Neoliberal Nonfictions
Neoliberal Nonfictions

The Documentary Aesthetic from Joan Didion to Jay-Z

Worden, Daniel

With the ascendancy of neoliberalism in American culture beginning in the 1960s, the political structures governing private lives became more opaque and obscure. Neoliberal...


Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia
Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia
West, Nancy Martha

The advertising campaigns launched by Kodak in the early years of snapshot photography stand at the center of a shift in American domestic life that goes deeper than...


Fashion and Fiction
Fashion and Fiction

Self-Transformation in Twentieth-Century American Literature

Cardon, Lauren S.

During the twentieth century, the rise of the concept of Americanization—shedding ethnic origins and signs of "otherness" to embrace a constructed American identity—was...


Visions of the Maid
Visions of the Maid

Joan of Arc in American Film and Culture

Blaetz, Robin

Representations of Joan of Arc have been used in the United States for the past two hundred years, appearing in advertising, cartoons, popular song, art, criticism, and...


Dandyism
Dandyism

Forming Fiction from Modernism to the Present

Gutkin, Len

The "dandy," a nineteenth-century character and concept exemplified in such works as Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, reverberates in surprising corners of twentieth...


Failed Frontiersmen
Failed Frontiersmen

White Men and Myth in the Post-Sixties American Historical Romance

Donahue, James J.

In Failed Frontiersmen, James Donahue writes that one of the founding and most persistent mythologies of the United States is that of the American frontier. Looking at a...


African Americans and the Culture of Pain
African Americans and the Culture of Pain
King, Debra Walker

In this compelling new study, Debra Walker King considers fragments of experience recorded in oral histories and newspapers as well as those produced in twentieth-century...


Writing War in the Twentieth Century
Writing War in the Twentieth Century
Norris, Margot

The twentieth century will be remembered for great innovation in two particular areas: art and culture, and technological advancement. Much of its prodigious technical...


Quirks of the Quantum
Quirks of the Quantum

Postmodernism and Contemporary American Fiction

Coale, Samuel Chase

Episodic and disconnected, much of postmodern fiction mirrors the world as quantum theorists describe it, according to Samuel Chase Coale. In Quirks of the Quantum,...


The Arresting Eye
The Arresting Eye

Race and the Anxiety of Detection

Huh, Jinny

In her reading of detective fiction and passing narratives from the end of the nineteenth century forward, Jinny Huh investigates anxieties about race and detection. Adopting...


Male Armor
Male Armor

The Soldier-Hero in Contemporary American Culture

Adams, Jon Robert

There is no shortage of iconic masculine imagery of the soldier in American film and literature—one only has to think of George C. Scott as Patton in front of a giant American...


Women Writers of the Beat Era
Women Writers of the Beat Era

Autobiography and Intertextuality

Carden, Mary Paniccia

The Beat Generation was a group of writers who rejected cultural standards, experimented with drugs, and celebrated sexual liberation. Starting in the 1950s with works such as...


I'm No Angel
I'm No Angel

The Blonde in Fiction and Film

Tremper, Ellen

Have you ever wondered why there are so many "dumb blonde" jokes—always about women? Or how Ivanhoe's childhood love, the"flaxen Saxon" Rowena, morphed into Marilyn Monroe?...


Wanted
Wanted

The Outlaw in American Visual Culture

Hall, Rachel

Assembling a rich archive of images and texts from the eighteenth century to the present, Rachel Hall offers a history of the "wanted" poster, examining its uses, patterns of...


Against the Unspeakable
Against the Unspeakable

Complicity, the Holocaust, and Slavery in America

Mandel, Naomi

In the wake of World War II, the Nazi genocide of European Jews has come to stand for "the unspeakable," posing crucial challenges to the representation of suffering, the...


American Road Narratives
American Road Narratives

Reimagining Mobility in Literature and Film

Brigham, Ann

The freedom to go anywhere and become anyone has profoundly shaped our national psyche. Transforming our sense of place and identity--whether in terms of social and economic...


Terrible Beauty
Terrible Beauty

The Violent Aesthetic and Twentieth-Century Literature

Eide, Marian

If art is our bid to make sense of the senseless, there is hardly more fertile creative ground than that of the twentieth century. From the trench poetry of World War I and...


Stranger America
Stranger America

A Narrative Ethics of Exclusion

Toth, Josh

Contradictory ideals of egalitarianism and self-reliance haunt America’s democratic state. We need look no further than Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and victory...


Chick Lit and Postfeminism
Chick Lit and Postfeminism
Harzewski, Stephanie

Originally a euphemism for Princeton University’s Female Literary Tradition course in the 1980s, "chick lit" mutated from a movement in American women’s avant-garde fiction in...


American Iconographic
American Iconographic

National Geographic, Global Culture, and the Visual Imagination

Hawkins, Stephanie L.

In an era before affordable travel, National Geographic not only served as the first glimpse of countless other worlds for its readers, but it helped them confront sweeping...