"We Seek What We Find - We See What We Look For": Looking for Literary Production in Washington, D.C. 1921-1928

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2006-08-30

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Though acknowledged as the intellectual and cultural hub of African American enlightenment, many artists' experiences attest that the reputation of Harlem as an artistic haven has in many ways, been overestimated. The promotion of Harlem's dominant characteristics has led many historians to overlook other culturally productive locations like Washington, D.C., which was also a major center for literary and artistic development during the twenties. My project explores Georgia Douglass Johnson as D.C.'s agent of cultural and literary production through her hostess-ship of Saturday-night literary salons held in her 1461 S. Street Northwest D.C home from 1921-1928. The discussion of this literary salon is original because it includes theories of cultural production and cultural studies submerged within a traditional literary context. Allowing room to cross interdisciplinary lines, this paper involves an investigation of members of the salons as well as the internal and external dynamics of the literary community itself.

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