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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   



10. Rhythms
in Poetry


•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
Activities
- Author
Activities
- Context
Activities
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Context Activities

Core Contexts
Harlem in the 1920s: The Cultural Heart of America
At its peak in the 1920s, Harlem was the cultural and artistic heart of America. Stretching north of Central Park from Park Avenue in the east to St. Nicholas Avenue in the west and all the way up to 155th Street, Harlem was a city within a city, where black businessmen like Phillip Payton owned huge apartment... Go

Orientalism: Looking East
Although Japan had been opened up to the West in 1853, for modern Americans the Orient remained a place of great mystery, reverence, and intrigue. American readers reveled in the exotic paraphernalia of Japanese daily life described in works such as Matthew Calbraith Perry's The Americans in Japan: An... Go

Primitivism: An Antidote for the Modern
Perhaps only a few times has a piece of music changed the course of history. On March 29, 1913, at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, composer Igor Stravinsky conducted his ballet The Rite of Spring. The choreography seemed unnatural, the costumes outrageous, and the musical innovations ear-shattering; the ballet tells of pagan sacrifice, and many in the... Go


Extended Contexts
Broadcasting Modernization: Radio and the Battle over Poetry
With the creation of nationwide radio networks and the drop in the cost of home equipment, poetry, jazz, symphonic music, and fresh commentary on the news and the arts became available to a vastly expanded audience, including people who could not read. The immediacy of radio and the increased access to the arts that... Go

The New Negro and the Reconstruction of African American Identity
The term "New Negro" came into use at the end of the nineteenth century, as a way of summarizing the various efforts of black Americans to put the culture of slavery behind them. By the 1920s, however, the term signified racial pride, economic independence, the struggle for social equality, and courageous... Go



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