A History of the Harlem Renaissance

By Rachel Farebrother and Miriam Thaggert |

The Harlem Renaissance was the most influential single movement in African American literary history. The movement laid the groundwork for subsequent African American literature, and had an enormous impact on later black literature world-wide. In its attention to a wide range of genres and forms – from the roman à clef and the bildungsroman, to dance and book illustrations – this book seeks to encapsulate and analyze the eclecticism of Harlem Renaissance cultural expression. It aims to re-frame conventional ideas of the New Negro movement by presenting new readings of well-studied authors, such as Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, alongside analysis of topics, authors, and artists that deserve fuller treatment. An authoritative collection on the major writers and issues of the period, A History of the Harlem Renaissance takes stock of nearly a hundred years of scholarship and considers what the future augurs for the study of 'the New Negro'.


Rachel FarebrotherUniversity of Swansea
Rachel Farebrother is Senior Lecturer in American Studies at Swansea University. She is the author of The Collage Aesthetic in the Harlem Renaissance (2009), which was awarded honourable mention in the 2010 British Association of American Studies book prize. Her essays have appeared in Journal of American Studies, MELUS, and Modernism/Modernity and various edited collections including Fionnghuala Sweeney and Kate Marsh's Afromodernisms: Paris, Harlem, and the Avant-Garde (2013) and Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker's The Oxford Cultural and Critical History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II, North America (2012).

Miriam ThaggertUniversity of Iowa
Miriam Thaggert is Associate Professor of English, Department of English, SUNY-Buffalo. She is the author of Images of Black Modernism: Verbal and Visual Strategies of the Harlem Renaissance (2010). Her essays have appeared in African American Review, American Quarterly, American Literary History, Feminist Modernist Studies, and Meridians. Her second book is a social and literary history of African American women and the railroad in American culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Rachel Farebrother, Miriam Thaggert, Daniel G. Williams, Clare Corbould, Kathleen Pfeiffer, Caroline Goeser, Sonya Posmentier, Sinéad Moynihan, Fionnghuala Sweeney, Maureen Honey, Katharine Capshaw, James Smethurst, Jak Peake, Noelle Morrissette, Jonathan Munby, Mariel Rodney, Hannah Durkin, Andrew Warnes, Wendy Martin, Shane Vogel, Deborah E. McDowell

Farebrother, Rachel, and Miriam Thaggert, eds. A History of the Harlem Renaissance. Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2021.