The Harlem and Irish Renaissances

Tracy Mishkin

Foreword by George Bornstein, University of Michigan
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From the foreword:
"A sensitive recuperation of a past cultural moment and a contribution to our current one, Mishkin’s study both participates in our present national conversation and prepares the way for future ones."

"Looks at literary movements on two different continents and from two different periods . . . and finds significant parallels and interrelations between them. The effect is to illuminate both. There is no other study like it, on this scale."--Richard Bizot, University of North Florida

Drawing fascinating comparisons between two literary movements for social justice, Tracy Mishkin explores the link between the Irish Renaissance that began in the 1880s and the African-American movement of the 1920s known as the Harlem Renaissance.
Starting with evidence that Ireland’s Abbey Theatre tours of the United States before World War I influenced such African-Americans as Alain Locke and James Weldon Johnson, Mishkin offers the first full-scale discussion of the historical similarities and differences of the two movements. Both rose from the ashes of history--from people suffering years of oppression during which their native languages were lost or stolen--to confront issues of language and identity; and both had to combat negative mainstream representation of their people, all the while debating how to create their own literature. Included throughout is the work of women who participated in both movements but who often have been marginalized in their histories.
Going beyond national boundaries, Mishkin takes the study of interracial literary influence across the Atlantic and establishes important parallels between the Harlem and Irish Renaissances.

Tracy Mishkin is assistant professor of English at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, and editor of Literary Influence and African-American Writers.

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"Tracy Mishkin has written a meticulously-researched and closely-argued comparison of two major intellectual movements shedding light on each, as well as offering some insights into the social and historical underpinnings of these literary renaissances. . . . Perhaps what is most interesting about this book is the influence of the Irish Renaissance on the Harlem Renaissance. . . . Mishkin offers some astonishingly vivid parallels drawn from primary sources. This excellent study is a sober rejoiner to much of the burgeoning literature on 'whiteness' in the US that is not as historically or textually grounded as this thoughtful book."--Irish Studies Review
--Irish Studies Review

"Mishkin performs the important task of comparing two significant instances of modern cultural nationalism, the Irish and Harlem Renaissances. Invites more attention to the possible influence of the Irish example on other areas of the world, for example Australia, India and Africa." -Wasafiri

"This serious, knowledgeable, and enlightened book provides much telling information about the parallels between the Irish Renaissance and the Harlem one. . . . Mishkin generates a good deal of sharp insight about how they worked and how they compared to each other. . . . In a larger sense, this book is about reaching across cultural boundaries in the face of terrible historical conflicts and misunderstanding."--James Joyce Literary Supplement
--James Joyce Literary Supplement

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