• Hipness Left Behind: White Encounters with Hip in the Early Twentieth Century

    Author(s):
    Sean Cashbaugh
    Editor(s):
    Kreg Abshire (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    American cultural studies, Race, Socialism
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    hip, hipness, tom j. lewis
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6833MZ0S
    Abstract:
    Hipness has been a recurrent subject of interest for historians and critics of American culture, as well as a common point of reference for discussions of the appropriative dialectic of “love and theft” between white and black subcultures.[1] Scholars have approached the cultural practices concentrated around mid-century black jazz musicians from multiple angles, variously characterizing hip as a distinct style, ideology, and subculture.[2] Recently, Phil Ford has argued that hipness denoted a negative “stance” towards dominant culture, an oppositional logic that undergirded the various practices associated with hipsters. Underlying these different approaches is an assumed narrative about hip’s entrance into the white imagination. It is a commonplace that in the postwar era, white artists like Mezz Mezzrow and Jack Kerouac appropriated the worldview forged by black artists and documented in the black press of the 1930s, extrapolating what LeRoi Jones called a “general alienation” from the specific alienation experienced by black jazz musicians to lay out a radical, albeit deeply problematic, critique of Cold War American culture as psychologically repressive and creatively stifling (219).
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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