Banner Image

The Harlem Renaissance: Home

Course Info



Course: 3765

Instructor: Dr. Erica James

Title: The Art of the Harlem Renaissance: Picturing and Performing the Black Modern Subject


Description: This course examines the modern movement known as the Harlem Renaissance and its profound impact on American culture both then and now. The aim of the class is to imagine or theorize modernity not as singular event or time bound grand narrative but as a relational process consisting of various points of articulation, sometimes positioned outside of mainstream narratives. In the process of engaging the Harlem Renaissance, the class will explore several key ideas and concepts such as the development of black subjectivity, black visual and racial aesthetics, the rise of Diasporic and Pan-African consciousnesses, the re-presentation of race, gender and sexuality, and the process of "Othering" within canonical formation. Prereqs: Intro to Western Art (L01 112) or Intro to Modern Art (L01 211) or permission of instructor.

"Survey Graphic" Call Number: WestC Storage 55-G-2 vol.53 (1924-25)


"The New Negro: An Interpretation of Negro Life was based on “Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro,” a special March 1925 issue of Survey Graphic, the prominent illustrated journal of social analysis and a companion to the journal Survey, which Locke, as guest editor, had previously compiled. For the anthology, which was published in New York by the brothers Albert and Charles Boni, Locke significantly expanded and further edited the Survey Graphic material. He went beyond Harlem, adding material with a national and international perspective. In particular, Locke emphasized a Pan-African dimension, linking black Americans to other blacks worldwide by including such contributions as his essay “The Legacy of the Ancestral Arts” and W. E. B. Du Bois's “The Negro Mind Reaches Out.” Locke showed black America as a whole—and the entire Pan-African world—to be involved in the new cultural movement..."

Schwarz, A. B. Christa. "New Negro, The." Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-first Century. Ed. PaulFinkelman. Oxford African American Studies Center. Wed Apr 21 16:46:50 EDT 2010. <>.

Subject Guide
Rudolph Clay
Olin Library, Help Desk

1 Brookings Dr., CB 1061

St. Louis, MO 63130