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Modernism in Canada and The United States

In Canada and the United States modernism emerges from transnational engagements with global intellectual movements while also grappling with local intellectual, cultural, and political developments…

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Baird, Irene (1901–1981)

Canadian novelist and civil servant Irene Baird is best known for her second novel, Waste Heritage (1939), which was based on firsthand research into the…

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Souster, Raymond (1921–2012)

Raymond Holmes Souster has been described as a poet of place who invests Toronto, the city of his life-long residence, deeply into his writing. Having…

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Ragtime Dancing

Ragtime dancing is a social dance practice, performed to ragtime music, that began in the 1890s and gained widespread popularity in US dance halls until…

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Fitzgerald, F. Scott (1896–1940)

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American novelist, short-story writer, and cultural critic. Best-known for his 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, he coined the term…

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The 1913 Armory Show, New York City

The 1913 Armory Show was the first comprehensive exhibition of modern art to take place in the United States and served as America’s introduction to…

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Harlem Nightclubs

In the 1920s and 1930s, Harlem became a major hub of New York City nightlife and a prolific space for African American artistic creation. It…

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Gillespie, Dizzy (1917–93)

Dizzy Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader. Over the course of his artistic career Gillespie was based in New York City, where…

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Garner, Hugh (1913–1979)

Hugh Garner was a British-Canadian writer, journalist, and editor. His fictional writings reflect on the experiences of marginalized individuals, echoing his own early experiences of…

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Gould, Glenn (1932–1982)

Glenn Gould was a twentieth-century pianist born in Toronto in 1932. Among his major influences were the recordings of Artur Schnabel (1882–1951), who specialized in…

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Dos Passos, John (1896–1970)

John Dos Passos was an American writer best known for his ‘contemporary chronicles’ of American life. His early novels, including Manhattan Transfer (1925) and the…

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Tudor, Antony (1908–1987)

Born into a modest household in London’s East End, Antony Tudor changed the way we look at ballet and what it was thought to express.…

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Knister, (John) Raymond (1899–1932)

Raymond Knister was one of Canada’s earliest modernist writers. Although Knister is best known as an imagist poet, he wrote and published work in a…

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Dudley, Jane (1912–2001)

Jane Dudley, a key figure in the radical dance movement of the 1930s, was a choreographer who developed her own distinctive voice within the modern…

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Balanchine, George (1904–1983)

George Balanchine (Georgii Melitonovich Balanchivadze), arguably the greatest ballet choreographer of the twentieth century, was at once both modernist and traditionalist. Unlike many radical innovators,…

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Patriquin, Donald (1938--)

Donald Patriquin is a composer known chiefly for contributing to choral repertoire in Canada. Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, he studied composition as a teenager with…

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Monk, Thelonious (1917–1982)

Thelonious Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. One of the earliest performers in the bebop movement of modern jazz dating from the mid-twentieth…

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Birney, (Alfred) Earle (1904–1995)

Earle Birney was a Canadian poet, novelist, dramatist and professor. Born in 1904 in Calgary, Alberta, he spent his childhood in rural Alberta and British…

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Anderson, Sherwood

Sherwood Anderson was an American short-story writer, novelist, and memoirist. He was a businessman turned author whose writing often rendered the lives of ordinary people…

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Larsen, Nella (1891–1964)

Nella Larsen was an American novelist active in the 1920s and one of the central figures of ‘Manhattan modernism.’ She is best known for two…

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Monroe, Harriet (1860–1936)

Harriet Monroe was an American woman of letters who — from her position as founder and long-time editor of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse —…

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Stein, Gertrude (1874–1946)

Gertrude Stein was a modernist writer of the twentieth century, notable for the extremity of her stylistic innovations. During the first half of her career,…

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Oppen, George (1908–1984)

George Oppen was an innovative poet associated with the Objectivist movement in American poetry. Early in his poetic career, he appeared in both the ‘Objectivist’…

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Howe, Irving (1920–1993)

Irving Howe was an American literary and social critic. Howe was a central figure in the circles of American democratic socialism as well as a…