Date of Award
sexuality, gender, Harlem, Fire!!, heteronormative, middle-class
In November 1926, a group of Black artists, writers, and activists created the first and only edition of Fire!!, edited by novelist Wallace Thurman. Fire!! was created by a younger generation of New Negroes and “devoted to the younger Negro artists” who dissented from the mainstream ideas of the New Negro Movement and used the magazine to spread their own views on the 1915-1945 New Negro Renaissance. Fire!! and other texts speaking to this dissent against a Black intellectual middle class image of the movement will be studied in reference to showcasing the multi-faceted elements of the movement touching on queerness, working class struggle, and other points of non-conformity and contention. This project will analyze the development of the dominant New Negro image and points of contention within the New Negro movement. Furthermore, it will study how both overt and covert queerness fit into the idea of the New Negro despite public reception of homosexuality and oppression of Queer people by the heteronormative mainstream. The intersection of race, sexuality, and gender within the movement will further be analyzed within the context of a heteronormative middle class mainstream and the pressure to conform to those standards. Notable, but often lesser known figures such as Wallace Thurman, Richard Bruce Nugent, Maple Hampton, Countee Cullen, and Nella Larsen will function as central figures to this narrative and analysis of queerness and non-conformity within the hegemonic ideology of the movement. Furthermore, this project will provide an in-depth analysis of both physical and literary spaces forged by Queer New Negroes.
Campanella, Claudia R., "The Space Between “Seen” and “Unseen:” Queer People and the 1915-1945 New Negro Renaissance" (2021). CUNY Academic Works.
African American Studies Commons, Africana Studies Commons, American Literature Commons, Fiction Commons, History of Gender Commons, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Commons, Other American Studies Commons, Other History Commons, Poetry Commons, Public History Commons, Social History Commons, United States History Commons, Women's History Commons, Women's Studies Commons