Modernism, Inc.

Body, Memory, Capital

321 pages

16 illustrations

August, 2000

ISBN: 9780814781371



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Jani Scandura is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Minnesota.

All books by Jani Scandura

Michael Thurston is Assistant Professor of English at Yale.

All books by Michael Thurston

Drawing on a variety of interdisciplinary debates in cultural studies and contemporary theory, Modernism, Inc. provides a new look at the relationship between modernism and postmodernism within the critical frame of twentieth-century American culture.

Organized around the idea of "incorporation"embodiment, repressed memory, and advanced capitalismModernism, Inc. covers a wide range of topics: Josephine Baker's "hot house style"; the president's penis in American political life; myth-making and the Hoover Dam; trauma, poetics, and the Armenian genocide; feminist kitsch and the recuperation of North America's "Great Lady painters"; Gertrude Stein and Jewish Social Science; the Reno Divorce Factory and the production of gender; Andy Razaf and Black Bolshevism. Collectively, the essays suggest that the relationship between the modern and the postmodern is not one of rupture, belatedness, dilution, or extremity, but of haunting.

Modernism, Inc. looks at our ghosts, and at the unspeakable secrets of modernity from which they're derived.

Contributors: Maria Damon, Walter Kalidjian, Walter Lew, Janet Lyon, William J. Maxwell, Cary Nelson, John Timberman Newcombe, David G. Nicholls, Thomas Pepper, Paula Rabinowitz, Daniel Rosenberg, Marlon Ross, Jani Scandura, Kathleen Stewart, Julia Walker.


  • "This consistently striking and fresh collection explores modernity's encryptions in bodies and machines, phantoms and genocidal trauma, nativism and bolshevism. I'm still trying to put it down."

    —Eric Lott, author of Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class

  • "An intriguing investigation of the cultures and counter-cultures of modernity. Dealing in subjects ranging from black bolshevism to feminist kitsch, from the Hoover Dam to the Reno divorce factory, the authors retell the story of American modernity in ways that are fascinating, illuminating and often unexpected.”

    —Rita Felski, author of Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture

  • "Buried Gold."


  • "Fetching volume of thirteen radiant interventions."

    Cultural Critique