cold war modernists art literature and american cultural diplomacy

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Cold War Modernists

Author : Greg Barnhisel
ISBN : 9780231538626
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 48. 68 MB
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European intellectuals of the 1950s dismissed American culture as nothing more than cowboy movies and the A-bomb. In response, American cultural diplomats tried to show that the United States had something to offer beyond military might and commercial exploitation. Through literary magazines, traveling art exhibits, touring musical shows, radio programs, book translations, and conferences, they deployed the revolutionary aesthetics of modernism to prove—particularly to the leftists whose Cold War loyalties they hoped to secure—that American art and literature were aesthetically rich and culturally significant. Yet by repurposing modernism, American diplomats and cultural authorities turned the avant-garde into the establishment. They remade the once revolutionary movement into a content-free collection of artistic techniques and styles suitable for middlebrow consumption. Cold War Modernists documents how the CIA, the State Department, and private cultural diplomats transformed modernist art and literature into pro-Western propaganda during the first decade of the Cold War. Drawing on interviews, previously unknown archival materials, and the stories of such figures and institutions as William Faulkner, Stephen Spender, Irving Kristol, James Laughlin, and Voice of America, Barnhisel reveals how the U.S. government reconfigured modernism as a trans-Atlantic movement, a joint endeavor between American and European artists, with profound implications for the art that followed and for the character of American identity.

Cold War Modernists

Author : Greg Barnhisel
ISBN : 0231162308
Genre : Art
File Size : 39. 43 MB
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"An examination of the legacy of modernism as a cultural movement and propaganda tool during the Cold War and the 1950s in America"--Provided by publisher.

Archives Of Authority

Author : Andrew N. Rubin
ISBN : 9781400842179
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 35. 61 MB
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Combining literary, cultural, and political history, and based on extensive archival research, including previously unseen FBI and CIA documents, Archives of Authority argues that cultural politics--specifically America's often covert patronage of the arts--played a highly important role in the transfer of imperial authority from Britain to the United States during a critical period after World War II. Andrew Rubin argues that this transfer reshaped the postwar literary space and he shows how, during this time, new and efficient modes of cultural transmission, replication, and travel--such as radio and rapidly and globally circulated journals--completely transformed the position occupied by the postwar writer and the role of world literature. Rubin demonstrates that the nearly instantaneous translation of texts by George Orwell, Thomas Mann, W. H. Auden, Richard Wright, Mary McCarthy, and Albert Camus, among others, into interrelated journals that were sponsored by organizations such as the CIA's Congress for Cultural Freedom and circulated around the world effectively reshaped writers, critics, and intellectuals into easily recognizable, transnational figures. Their work formed a new canon of world literature that was celebrated in the United States and supposedly represented the best of contemporary thought, while less politically attractive authors were ignored or even demonized. This championing and demonizing of writers occurred in the name of anti-Communism--the new, transatlantic "civilizing mission" through which postwar cultural and literary authority emerged.

Pressing The Fight

Author : Catherine Turner
ISBN : 9781558499607
Genre : History
File Size : 53. 37 MB
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Although often framed as an economic, military, and diplomatic confrontation, the Cold War was above all a conflict of ideas. In official pronouncements and publications as well as via radio broadcasts, television, and film, the United States and the Soviet Union both sought to extend their global reach as much through the power of persuasion as by the use of force. Yet of all the means each side employed to press its ideological case, none proved more reliable or successful than print. In this volume, scholars from a variety of disciplines explore the myriad ways print was used in the Cold War. Looking at materials ranging from textbooks and cookbooks to art catalogs, newspaper comics, and travel guides, they analyze not only the content of printed matter but also the material circumstances of its production, the people and institutions that disseminated it, and the audiences that consumed it. Among the topics discussed are the infiltration of book publishing by propagandists East and West; the distribution of pro-American printed matter in postwar Japan through libraries, schools, and consulates; and the collaboration of foundations, academia, and the government in the promotion of high culture as evidence of the superiority of Western values.At the same time, many of the qualities that made print the preferred medium of official propaganda also made it an effective instrument for challenging Cold War orthodoxies at home and abroad. Because printed materials were relatively easy to transport, to copy, and to share, they could just as well be used to bridge differences among people and cultures as to exploit them. They also provided a vehicle for disseminating satire and other expressions of dissent. In addition to the volume editors, contributors include Ed Brunner, Russell Cobb, Laura Jane Gifford, Patricia Hills, Christian Kanig, Scott Laderman, Amanda Laugesen, Martin Manning, Kristin Matthews, Hiromi Ochi, Amy Reddinger, and James Smith. Together their essays move beyond traditional Cold War narratives to gauge the role of a crucial cultural medium in the ideological battle between the superpowers and their surrogates. Gregory Barnhisel and Catherine Turner Gregory Barnhisel and Catherine Turner

Novelists Against Social Change

Author : Kate Macdonald
ISBN : 9781137457721
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 55. 14 MB
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Novelists Against Social Change studies the writing of John Buchan, Dornford Yates and Angela Thirkell to show how these conservative authors put their fears and anxieties into their best-selling fiction. Resisting the threats of change in social class, politics, the freedom of women, and professionalization produced their strongest works.

Divided Dreamworlds

Author : Peter Romijn
ISBN : 9789089644367
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25. 50 MB
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With its unique focus on how culture contributed to the blurring of ideological boundaries between the East and the West, this important volume offers fascinating insights into the tensions, rivalries and occasional cooperation between the two blocs. Encompassing developments in both the arts and sciences, the authors analyze focal points, aesthetic preferences and cultural phenomena through topics as wide-ranging as the East- and West German interior design; the Soviet stance on genetics; US cultural diplomacy during and after the Cold War; and the role of popular music as a universal cultural ambassador. Well positioned at the cutting edge of Cold War studies, this important work illuminates some of the striking paradoxes involved in the production and reception of culture in East and West.

Dancers As Diplomats

Author : Clare Croft
ISBN : 9780190226312
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 32. 1 MB
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Dancers as Diplomats chronicles the role of dance and dancers in American cultural diplomacy. In the early decades of the Cold War and the twenty-first century, American dancers toured the globe on tours sponsored by the US State Department. Dancers as Diplomats tells the story of how these tours shaped and some times re-imagined ideas of the United States in unexpected, often sensational circumstances-pirouetting in Moscow as the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded and dancing in Burma shortly before the country held its first democratic elections. Based on more than seventy interviews with dancers who traveled on the tours, the book looks at a wide range of American dance companies, among them New York City Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Urban Bush Women, ODC/Dance, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and the Trey McIntyre Project, among others. During the Cold War, companies danced everywhere from the Soviet Union to Vietnam, just months before the US abandoned Saigon. In the post 9/11 era, dance companies traveled to Asia and Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

The Poetry Of The Americas

Author : Harris Feinsod
ISBN : 9780190682002
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 81. 60 MB
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"This book narrates exchanges between English- and Spanish-language poets in the American hemisphere from the late 1930s through the rise of the 1960s. It doing so, it contributes to a crucial current of humanistic inquiry: the effort to write a cosmopolitan literary history adequate to the age of globalization. Building on correspondence and manuscripts from collections in Europe and the Americas, the book first traces the material contours of an evolving literary network that exceeds the conventional model of "the two Americas." These relations depend on changing contexts: an era of state-sponsored transnationalism, from the wartime intensification of Good Neighbor diplomacy, to the Cold War cultural policy programs of the Alliance for Progress in the 1960s; a prosperous market for translations of Latin American poetry in the US; and a growing alternative print sphere of bilingual vanguard journals such as El Corno Emplumado (Mexico City, 1962-1969). As the book articulates these histories of exchange, it also theorizes how poets employ the resources of language to transform popular images of the hemisphere from a locus of political conflict into a venue of supranational cultural citizenship. Feinsod describes how inter-Americanism was enacted through diplomatic structures of literary address, multilingual writing, and appeals to a shared indigenous heritage through the genre of the meditation on ruins. By tracing the coevolution of midcentury poetry with the geopolitics of the hemisphere, the book expands existing literary histories of the period through revelatory comparative readings supported by archival findings"--

Don T Act Just Dance

Author : Catherine Gunther Kodat
ISBN : 9780813573090
Genre : History
File Size : 56. 15 MB
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At some point in their career, nearly all the dancers who worked with George Balanchine were told “don’t act, dear; just dance.” The dancers understood this as a warning against melodramatic over-interpretation and an assurance that they had all the tools they needed to do justice to the steps—but its implication that to dance is already to act in a manner both complete and sufficient resonates beyond stage and studio. Drawing on fresh archival material, Don’t Act, Just Dance places dance at the center of the story of the relationship between Cold War art and politics. Catherine Gunther Kodat takes Balanchine’s catch phrase as an invitation to explore the politics of Cold War culture—in particular, to examine the assumptions underlying the role of “apolitical” modernism in U.S. cultural diplomacy. Through close, theoretically informed readings of selected important works—Marianne Moore’s “Combat Cultural,” dances by George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, and Yuri Grigorovich, Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, and John Adams’s Nixon in China—Kodat questions several commonly-held beliefs about the purpose and meaning of modernist cultural productions during the Cold War. Rather than read the dance through a received understanding of Cold War culture, Don’t Act, Just Dance reads Cold War culture through the dance, and in doing so establishes a new understanding of the politics of modernism in the arts of the period.

Reading America

Author : Kristin L. Matthews
ISBN : 1625342349
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 46. 71 MB
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During the Cold War, the editor of Time magazine declared, "A good citizen is a good reader." As postwar euphoria faded, a wide variety of Americans turned to reading to understand their place in the changing world. Yet, what did it mean to be a good reader? And how did reading make you a good citizen? In Reading America, Kristin L. Matthews puts into conversation a range of political, educational, popular, and touchstone literary texts to demonstrate how Americans from across the political spectrum -- including "great works" proponents, New Critics, civil rights leaders, postmodern theorists, neoconservatives, and multiculturalists -- celebrated particular texts and advocated particular interpretive methods as they worked to make their vision of "America" a reality. She situates the fiction of J. D. Salinger, Ralph Ellison, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, and Maxine Hong Kingston within these debates, illustrating how Cold War literature was not just an object of but also a vested participant in postwar efforts to define good reading and citizenship.

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