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Accented AmericaThe Cultural Politics of Multilingual Modernism$
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Joshua L. Miller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336993

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336993.001.0001

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Introduction: “Every Kind of Mixing”

Introduction: “Every Kind of Mixing”

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction: “Every Kind of Mixing”
Source:
Accented America
Author(s):

Joshua L. Miller (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336993.003.0001

The introduction presents the broad claim of the book, that massive demographic changes to U.S. residents due to imperial expansionism and immigration infused what we know today as U.S. literary modernism with tensions around language politics. Such changes led to public debates and modifications in governmental policy regarding the unofficial status of English in the United States, specifically, whether a distinctive form of U.S. English existed or should exist and whether new Americans should be compelled to learn English. While the “Americanization” projects and anti‐German mob violence of the World War I era are generally well known, they have not been understood to play a role in a continuous battle over language in U.S. history and culture. Sharper awareness of the interrelations between these public, governmental, and artistic processes illuminates each, particularly how the literary narratives that we now know as experimental modernism were influenced by these debates and, in turn, how their innovative techniques critique nationalist equations of a putatively “standard” speech form and U.S. citizenship.

Keywords:   imperialism, immigration, modernism, narratives, nativist nationalism, Americanization, speech standards, citizenship, government, politics

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