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AfromodernismsParis, Harlem and the Avant-Garde$
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Fionnghuala Sweeney and Kate Marsh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748646401

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748646401.001.0001

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Futurist Responses to African American Culture

Futurist Responses to African American Culture

(p.43) Chapter 2 Futurist Responses to African American Culture

Przemysław Strozżek

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter illustrates the significance of African American culture for the Futurist avant-garde. It argues that incorporations of received ideas about African Americans and witnessed aspects of African American culture, jazz in particular, became a foundational plank in Futurist aesthetics. Much of the expressive content of the movement involved the appropriation of the bodies of African American women and men as signifiers of a specifically Futurist brand of primitivism. At the same time, Futurists sought to capture the structured, improvisational qualities of jazz, its innovative modernist engagement with musical form, in the visual arts and in poetry.

Keywords:   Futurist avant-garde, primitivism, aesthetics, jazz

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