Recent faculty book

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The avant-garde has been popular for some time, but its popularity has tended to fly under the radar. This “popular avant-garde,” conceived as the meeting ground of the avant-garde and popular, avoids the divorce of art and praxis of which the avant-garde has been accused. The Popular Avant-Garde takes stock of the debates about both the “historical” (“modernist”) and posterior avant-gardes, and sets them in relation to popular culture and art forms. With a critical introduction that examines the concepts of “the avant-garde,” “the popular,” and “the popular avant-garde,” the series of essays analyzes the way in which the avant-garde employs popular genres for political purposes, as well as how the popular acquires a critical function with respect to the avant-garde. Each of the volume’s three sections considers a different aspect of the productive exchange between the avant-garde and popular: the popular avant-garde as a culturally hybrid and cross-border phenomenon; the play between the popular avant-garde and developments in media and technology; and the popular avant-garde’s upending of conventional ideas about “the people” and “the popular.”