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Guest Editors' Introduction

Guest Editors' Introduction to our conventional notions of Chinese cultural life in Shanghai nor our standard narratives of African American intellectual, artistic, and political history. Yet what emerges from Hughes’s full account of his journey, is a series of clues that helps us to unravel a tangled web of trans-Pacific cultural transaction and political collaboration that might shed new light on both. In Shanghai, Hughes immediately found himself welcomed into a large and vibrant community of African American jazz musicians and entertainers who had made the passage in order to play the cabarets of the “neon-lighted Dragon city of the East”—a city whose people, Hughes remarks, were “much like colored folks at home” in terms of both their temperament and their subjection to colonial color lines.2 He dined with Madame Sun Yat-sen, met with one of the most outstanding Chinese writers and social critics of the twentieth century, Lu Xun, and was feted by and featured in the leading modernist literary journal of the day, Les contemporains [Xiandai].3 Expelled from Japan weeks later because of his leftist sympathies and outspoken opposition to Japanese imperialism in China, Hughes went on to write anticolonial poetry on East Asian themes, such as his celebrated http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-11-1-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

to our conventional notions of Chinese cultural life in Shanghai nor our standard narratives of African American intellectual, artistic, and political history. Yet what emerges from Hughes’s full account of his journey, is a series of clues that helps us to unravel a tangled web of trans-Pacific cultural transaction and political collaboration that might shed new light on both. In Shanghai, Hughes immediately found himself welcomed into a large and vibrant community of African American jazz musicians and entertainers who had made the passage in order to play the cabarets of the “neon-lighted Dragon city of the East”—a city whose people, Hughes remarks, were “much like colored folks at home” in terms of both their temperament and their subjection to colonial color lines.2 He dined with Madame Sun Yat-sen, met with one of the most outstanding Chinese writers and social critics of the twentieth century, Lu Xun, and was feted by and featured in the leading modernist literary journal of the day, Les contemporains [Xiandai].3 Expelled from Japan weeks later because of his leftist sympathies and outspoken opposition to Japanese imperialism in China, Hughes went on to write anticolonial poetry on East Asian themes, such as his celebrated

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2003

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