University of Sussex
(2018.05.18) Greenshields, Jenny.pdf (4.96 MB)

Nancy Cunard: collector, cosmopolitan

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posted on 2023-06-09, 01:19 authored by Jenny Greenshields
Part One of my thesis reads Nancy Cunard (1896-1965) as a modernist collector, situating her material and literary collections in relation to the vogue nègre of the 1920s and 30s, when European fascination with black expressive culture reached unprecedented heights. It also looks at how Cunard’s collecting practices translate into an ‘aesthetic of assemblage’ in her work as an anthologist, and shows how the African sculpture section of her Negro anthology (1934) reflects the collecting cultures of early twentieth-century Europe. Part Two of my thesis reads Cunard in relation to cosmopolitan identity formations in the early twentieth century through an analysis of her poetry and private correspondence, and the fictional representations of Cunard that appeared in the novels of the period. It also examines her efforts to foster transnational networks between writers and artists across America, Europe and Africa, and the role her Communist politics played in forging these connections.


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