Modernism and Culture Studies Annotated Bibliography

Pages: 21 (6234 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 20  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Culture

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[. . .] The author believes a large number of postcolonial theorists reject social sciences which are grounded in universal categories like class, free enterprise, liberalism, impartiality and reasonableness. According to the author, he himself is in favor of Marxism and Enlightenment as opposed to postmodern irrationalism. He contends that key subaltern studies experts fail to comprehend the aspects of capitalism, human psychology and European history. Subaltern Studies has been self-defined against a fairy-tale version of Europe’s history. European conservatives were not exactly in favor of liberal democracy. Instead, their aim was limiting peasant and worker rights, and to this end, they collaborated with the gentry. Thus, lower class struggles ensured sporadic political development. The European continent was a long way from unifying into homogenized countries; it remained divided, with pre-capitalist ways of dominance prevailing and the author holds that India imitates, instead of departing from, this European practice. While the author, in several areas of his work, has taken into careful consideration the disagreement between postmodernism and Marxism, his fundamental forces may be evoked by imperialists, neoliberals and modernization theory supporters as well. An important point to note is the minimalist nature of the aforementioned basic forces and they amount of diversity allowed by them. The author is certainly right in stating that social scientific tools which have mostly been created by Western nations adequately facilitate an understanding of the world’s South. In fact, a sound alternative is yet to be created and it is not evident why the hermeneutical techniques that a few postmodern postcolonialists prefer are deemed to be any less Eurocentric. Experts ought to shun irrationalism, give up preoccupation with diversity and differences, seek the most all-encompassing and experientially conceivable justifications, and strive towards academic and aesthetic clarity. 

Cohen, Paula Marantz. "Raising Questions: Modernism, Genre, Text." Journal of Modern Literature 36.4 (2013): V. Print.

This journal, first published over 40 years ago and co-edited by Cohen, continues to be one of the most popular and principal scholarly journals on the subject of contemporary and modern literature. It focuses mainly on scholarly works of literature penned in every language, in addition to associated cultural objects and artworks, between the year 1900 and the present day. The first collection of articles within this edition poses the following questions: what does modernism comprise of and how do works formerly unrelated to modernism concern or expand one’s grasp of the subject? Matthew Levay examines the significance of Blood on the Dining Room Floor, a detective story by Gertrude Stein. He holds that with the story, Stein has effectively merged popular and experimental aesthetics, thus ensuring modernist ideas reach a wide, conventional reader base. Cecily Swanson’s work challenges modernism’s parameters by taking into consideration the NBC radio program by Muriel Draper titled ‘It’s a Woman’s World’, as well as her 1929 music salon memoir. According to Swanson, Draper’s discussions on music with a largely-female audience improves insights into music and modernism, challenging the theory of music being impersonal as well as integrating female audience responses into an amalgamated written and verbal aesthetic. The subsequent articles expand how individual works are perceived in the context of modernist canon: Syndey Bufkin, in a bid to connect romantic traditions with a utopian novel, re-contextualizes Dark Princess by W.E.B. Du Buois – a work frequently deemed to be propagandist in nature. Lastly, Timothy C. Baker examines A Scots Quair by James Leslie Mitchell, historically regarded closely in Scot literary canon, revealing its applicability to modernist notions of romance and fiction.

Crary, Jonathan. Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1999. Print.

This work, which concentrates on the era between 1880 and 1905, explores the links between subjectivity’s modernization and the remarkable growth and development of auditory/visual culture. The crux of this work is contemporary focus’s paradoxical character – a key condition of autonomy, individual experience, and originality, besides being a major component ensuring effective operation of corrective and financial organizations and the emergent areas of mass demonstration and consumption. The author uses numerous examinations of single paintings by Cezanne, Manet and Seurat to tackle such issues. All of the aforementioned artists individually and exceptionally confronted disturbances, differences and vacancies in a perceptual arena and, in their own unique way, uncovered the fact that sustained focus, instead of securing or mending our world, resulted in loss of authority and perceptual breakdown. Lastly, they each utilized the above finding as their basis when it came to reinventing representational practices. The book definitively rearranges the aesthetic observation issue within a wider collective interaction with perception’s instability— in philosophy, photography, early cinema, psychology, and neurology. It is an important historical work in human focus and the volatile part it has to play within the context of contemporary Western culture. The author maintains that how humanity closely scrutinizes or lends an ear to whatever stems from key perceptual modifications dates back to 1850. The author’s emphasis on innumerable popular as well as ignored texts plots an arena of superior value for experts in this art history chronotope as well as those of other disciplines. But a practice of overabundance raises questions regarding inclusion criteria. Extra references don’t essentially advance the author’s thesis; moreover, the citing of certain names and areas of study calls to mind others’ nonappearance. The author includes optics, art and philosophy in vision’s history but fails to take into account parallel advancements within visual theory. He concentrates on perceptual synthesis’s reinvention somewhere around the year 1900 and includes Edmund Husserl’s relief sculpture analysis but fails to address those of Adolf von Hildebrand and Alois Riegl. In the year 1893, the aforementioned two personalities claimed form was the most supreme artistic accomplishment, describing a perceptual creation which was remarkably like the one depicted by Cezanne, in Crary’s view.

Danius, Sara. The Senses of Modernism: Technology, Perception, and Aesthetics. Ithaca, N.Y.; London: Cornell University Press, 2002. Print.

Halfway through reading this interesting work by Danius, one will come across the well-known tale of J. M. W. Turner, a British artist, as narrated in the words of John Ruskin. Turner was once questioned by a navy official on a painting of ships without portholes, to which Turner reportedly answered, "Yes, I know that well enough; but my business is to draw what I see, and not what I know is there." The above narrative neatly captures the author's argument – European modernist literature captures as well as articulates the shift from knowledge to seeing, or in other words, from a conceptual position to one that was aesthetic and founded on human perceptual faculties. But, indeed, underlying this bold claim of mankind’s sensorium are the early-1900s’ major technological extensions. The author, via a careful, conceptually-informed analysis of works by James Joyce, Thomas Mann, and Marcel Proust, attempts at demonstrating the relationship between literary form, perception, and technological evolution (p. 1). This book commences with a lengthy theoretical preamble wherein the main argument of the book is stated. This is no collection of the views authors hold regarding technology, nor does it function in the form of an account of technological ideas and themes within the context of contemporary fiction. Instead, the author aims at establishing the fact that telephony, cinematography, photography, and other novel "technologies of perception" which reproduce auditory and visual experience basically form a part of contemporary literature. But how technology supports contemporary literary sensibility is a typically surprising and subtle element. The author banks on readings of the following three novels: The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann; Ulysses by James Joyce; and Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. The above three impressive and thought-provoking texts that were published during the 1920s are representative of the peak of modernist fictional works, hence, the astonishing fact that there is no extended comparison of them till date. The author analyzes the novels beautifully and in a conceptually-informed way, paying great attention to understated details, which alone suffices in ensuring the significance of the work. More importantly, the author utilizes the above readings for constructing a sound account of modernism: "a certain progression, an ever-closer relationship between the habits of the senses and technologies of perception. It may usefully be grasped as a gravitation from externality toward internalization" (21).

Detloff, Madelyn. The Persistence of Modernism: Loss and Mourning in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Print.

What is modernism? What is the cause for its persistence in the form of a philosophical and visual system even in the present day? If modernism is considered to be an aesthetic of plaintive mourning and loss demonstrated by the First World War’s traumatic experiences, its ardent reaction to shared melancholia indicates why it remarkably resonates in this contemporary age defined by 9/11 and global terrorist threats. The author of this work relies on Cassandra figures such as Virginia Woolf, Hilda Doolittle, and Gertrude Stein as examples of skeptical resistance when faced with political frenzy. A compelling case… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Annotated Bibliography:

APA Format

Modernism and Culture Studies.  (2018, November 18).  Retrieved January 24, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Modernism and Culture Studies."  18 November 2018.  Web.  24 January 2020. <>.

Chicago Format

"Modernism and Culture Studies."  November 18, 2018.  Accessed January 24, 2020.