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Studies by Time Period > Modernist Studies

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Framed Spaces

Photography and Memory in Contemporary Installation Art

Monica E. McTighe

While earlier theorists held up "experience" as the defining character of installation art, few people have had the opportunity to walk through celebrated installation pieces from the past. Instead, installation art of the past is known through archival photographs that limit, define, and frame the experience of the viewer. McTighe argues that the rise of photographic-based theories of perception and experience, coupled with the inherent closeness of installation art to the field of photography, had a profound impact on the very nature of installation art, leading to a flood of photography- and film-based installations. With its close readings of specific works, Framed Spaces will appeal to art historians and theorists across a broad spectrum of the visual arts.

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The Ghosts of the Avant-Garde(s)

Exorcising Experimental Theater and Performance

James M. Harding

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Governing by Design

Architecture, Economy, and Politics in the Twentieth Century

This edited collection offers a unique perspective on twentieth-century architectural history, disputing the primacy placed on individuals in the design and planning process and instead looks to the larger influences of politics, culture, economics, and globalization to uncover the roots of how our built environment evolves.

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The Hemingway Review

Vol. 20 (2000) through current issue

The Hemingway Review is published twice a year, in November and May, by The Hemingway Society and The University of Idaho Press. Averaging about 150 pages in length, each issue of the journal specializes in feature -length scholarly articles on the work and life of Ernest Hemingway, and also includes notes, book reviews, library information, and current bibliography. All critical approaches are welcome, including but not limited to historical, textual, biographical, source, and influence studies, as well as gender-based, multicultural, ecocritical, and other post-structuralist methods.

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Holocaust Icons

Symbolizing the Shoah in History and Memory

Oren Baruch Stier

The Holocaust has bequeathed to contemporary society a cultural lexicon of intensely powerful symbols, a vocabulary of remembrance that we draw on to comprehend the otherwise incomprehensible horror of the Shoah. Engagingly written and illustrated with more than forty black-and-white images, Holocaust Icons probes the history and memory of four of these symbolic relics left in the Holocaust’s wake.
Jewish studies scholar Oren Stier offers in this volume new insight into symbols and the symbol-making process, as he traces the lives and afterlives of certain remnants of the Holocaust and their ongoing impact. Stier focuses in particular on four icons: the railway cars that carried Jews to their deaths, symbolizing the mechanics of murder; the Arbeit Macht Frei (“work makes you free”) sign over the entrance to Auschwitz, pointing to the insidious logic of the camp system; the number six million that represents an approximation of the number of Jews killed as well as mass murder more generally; and the persona of Anne Frank, associated with victimization. Stier shows how and why these icons—an object, a phrase, a number, and a person—have come to stand in for the Holocaust: where they came from and how they have been used and reproduced; how they are presently at risk from a variety of threats such as commodification; and what the future holds for the memory of the Shoah.
In illuminating these icons of the Holocaust, Stier offers valuable new perspective on one of the defining events of the twentieth century. He helps readers understand not only the Holocaust but also the profound nature of historical memory itself.

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Imagining the Unimaginable

World War, Modern Art, and the Politics of Public Culture in Russia, 1914-1917

Aaron J. Cohen

As World War I shaped and molded European culture to an unprecedented degree, it also had a profound influence on the politics and aesthetics of early-twentieth-century Russian culture. In this provocative and fascinating work, Aaron J. Cohen shows how World War I changed Russian culture and especially Russian art. A wartime public culture destabilized conventional patterns in cultural politics and aesthetics and fostered a new artistic world by integrating the iconoclastic avant-garde into the art establishment and mass culture. This new wartime culture helped give birth to nonobjective abstraction (including Kazimir Malevich’s famous Black Square), which revolutionized modern aesthetics. Of the new institutions, new public behaviors, and new cultural forms that emerged from this artistic engagement with war, some continued, others were reinterpreted, and still others were destroyed during the revolutionary period.
Imagining the Unimaginable deftly reveals the experiences of artists and developments in mass culture and in the press against the backdrop of the broader trends in Russian politics, economics, and social life from the mid-nineteenth century to the revolution. After 1914, avant-garde artists began to imagine many things that had once seemed unimaginable. As Marc Chagall later remarked, “The war was another plastic work that totally absorbed us, which reformed our forms, destroyed the lines, and gave a new look to the universe.”

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In Search of the Budapest Secession

The Artist Proletariat and the Modernism’s rise in the Hungarian Art Market, 1800-1914

By Jeffrey Taylor

This important work by American historian Jeffrey Taylor, who spent the last two decades in Hungary and earned his PhD at Central European University in Budapest, serves to detail the nineteenth-century origin of the art market in a Central European nation as its economy was shifting from total dependence on agriculture to a mixed industrial/agricultural model during the Industrial Revolution. The creation of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867 provided Hungary with a measure of equality with Austria, initiating a period when the social and cultural development of Hungary and its newly emerging professional and merchant classes provided a new marketplace, which while bourgeois in nature nevertheless brought “art” to a greater portion of the population. Taylor provides us with a fascinating history, beginning in eighteen hundred, of the art market of Hungary, of the rise of modernism and its conflict with traditional elements.

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James Joyce Quarterly

Vol. 44 (2006) through current issue

Founded in 1963 at the University of Tulsa by Thomas F. Staley, the James Joyce Quarterly has been the flagship journal of international Joyce studies ever since. In each issue, the JJQ brings together a wide array of critical and theoretical work focusing on the life, writing, and reception of James Joyce. We encourage submissions of all types, welcoming archival, historical, biographical, and critical research. Each issue of the JJQ provides a selection of peer-reviewed essays representing the very best in contemporary Joyce scholarship. In addition, the journal publishes notes, reviews, letters, a comprehensive checklist of recent Joyce-related publications, and the editor's "Raising the Wind" comments. The goal of the JJQ is simple: to provide an open, lively, and multidisciplinary forum for the international community of Joyce scholars, students, and enthusiasts.

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John Vassos

Industrial Design for Modern Life

Danielle Shapiro

What should a television look like? How should a dial on a radio feel to the touch? These were questions John Vassos asked when the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) asked him to design the first mass-produced television receiver, the TRK-12, which had its spectacular premier at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Vassos emigrated from Greece and arrived in the United States in 1918. His career spans the evolution of central forms of mass media in the twentieth century and offers a template for understanding their success. This is Vassos’s legacy—shaping the way we interact with our media technologies. Other industrial designers may be more celebrated, but none were more focused on making radio and television attractive and accessible to millions of Americans.

In John Vassos: Industrial Design for Modern Life, Danielle Shapiro is the first to examine the life and work of RCA’s key consultant designer through the rise of radio and television and into the computer era. Vassos conceived a vision for the look of new technologies still with us today. A founder of the Industrial Designers Society of America, he was instrumental in the development of a self-conscious industrial design profession during the late 1920s and 1930s and into the postwar period. Drawing on unpublished records and correspondence, Shapiro creates a portrait of a designer whose early artistic work in books like Phobia and Contempo critiqued the commercialization of modern life but whose later design work sought to accommodate it.

Replete with rich behind-the-product stories of America’s design culture in the 1930s through the 1950s, this volume also chronicles the emergence of what was to become the nation’s largest media company and provides a fascinating glimpse into its early corporate culture. In our current era of watching TV on an iPod or a smartphone, Shapiro stimulates broad discussions of the meaning of technological design for mass media in daily life.

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A Joint Enterprise

Indian Elites and the Making of British Bombay

Preeti Chopra

It was the era of the Raj, and yet A Joint Enterprise reveals the unexpected role of native communities in the transformation of the urban fabric of British Bombay from 1854 to 1918. Preeti Chopra demonstrates how British Bombay was, surprisingly, a collaboration of the colonial government and the Indian and European mercantile and industrial elite who shaped the city to serve their combined interests.

Chopra shows how the European and Indian engineers, architects, and artists worked with each other to design a city—its infrastructure, architecture, public sculpture—that was literally constructed by Indian laborers and craftsmen. Beyond the built environment, Indian philanthropists entered into partnerships with the colonial regime to found and finance institutions for the general public. Too often thought to be the product of the singular vision of a founding colonial regime, British Bombay is revealed by Chopra as an expression of native traditions meshing in complex ways with European ideas of urban planning and progress.

The result, she argues, was the creation of a new shared landscape for Bombay’s citizens that ensured that neither the colonial government nor the native elite could entirely control the city’s future.

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