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  • Print publication year: 2021
  • Online publication date: January 2021

Chapter 1 - History’s Prehistory

from I - Histories

Summary

Though modernism has traditionally been associated with aesthetic autonomy and thus has often been considered in isolation from any political, social, or cultural context, much of what is now thought of as the new modernist studies was anticipated by developments in earlier years. Marxist political criticism, feminist scholarship, restorative work on writers of color, even the sort of textual study that went into new editions, all helped to connect modernist literature to the larger world of which it was a part. Still, modernist cultural studies was a late variant of cultural studies in general, its development retarded by the prestige of postmodernism, which had established itself against a modernism defined as disengaged and elitist. Thus, it was the decline of postmodernism as an influential category that opened the way for a new modernist cultural studies.