How can the insights of the new modernist studies invigorate American literary studies and vice versa? Three recent books employ interdisciplinary methodologies to produce striking new understandings of both modernism and American literary history, indicating the productive intersection of these fields. With critical lenses supplied by Deaf epistemology, religious blasphemy, and Pierre Bourdieu’s cultural field, these studies recontextualize and defamiliarize modernist aesthetic experimentation, helping us to reappraise familiar writers and practices, while demonstrating the importance of marginalized figures, histories, and cultural forms. The convergence of embodied language and marginalized bodies centers each book: each author explores those on the margins of American culture—whether due to disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, oppositional beliefs, or exile from a country of origin—and demonstrates how specific experiences of marginalization shape literary and visual experiments with embodiment.

An important understanding of “embodied language” emerges in Deafening Modernism...

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