Chapter 17. African American Modernism and State Surveillance

  1. Gene Andrew Jarrett Associate Professor of English former Acting Director
  1. William J. Maxwell Associate Professor of English

Published Online: 30 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444323474.ch17

A Companion to African American Literature

A Companion to African American Literature

How to Cite

Maxwell, W. J. (2010) African American Modernism and State Surveillance, in A Companion to African American Literature (ed G. A. Jarrett), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444323474.ch17

Editor Information

  1. Boston University, England

Author Information

  1. Washington University in St. Louis, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 9 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188623

Online ISBN: 9781444323474



  • African American Modernism and state surveillance;
  • birth of the Harlem Renaissance - 1919;
  • the growth of Hoover's national police agency - concurrent and interconnected with the growth of Afro - Modernist writing;
  • FBI - remaining most dedicated and powerful forgotten critic of twentieth - century African American writing;
  • knowledge of and opposition to FBI ghostreading - informing surprisingly deep vein of Afro-Modernist writing;
  • Capital Reader - pre-reads any text produced for a capitalist marketplace


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Growth of Hoover's National Police Agency Was Concurrent and Interconnected with the Growth of Afro - Modernist Writing

  • The FBI Remains Perhaps the Most Dedicated and Powerful Forgotten Critic of Twentieth - Century African American Writing

  • The FBI Helped to Frame the Twentieth - Century Black Atlantic, both Criminalizing and Orienting Its Flows

  • Knowledge of and Opposition to FBI Ghostreading Informs a Surprisingly Deep Vein of Afro - Modernist Writing

  • Bibliography