Jim Crow Networks
African American Periodical Cultures
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
As Eurie Dahn demonstrates, authors like James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, and Jean Toomer wrote in the context of interracial and black periodical networks, which shaped the literature they produced and their concerns about racial violence. This original study also explores the overlooked intersections between the black press and modernist and Harlem Renaissance texts, and highlights key sites where readers and writers worked toward bottom-up sociopolitical changes during a period of legalized segregation.
“[A] superb study of the Black press during the Jim Crow Period. Jim Crow Networks brings together careful archival research with methodological provocations and transformative readings of important literary texts . . . The lucidity and precision of Dahn’s prose style supports this impressive and revealing combination of breadth and depth.”—The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies
"Throughout Jim Crow Networks there is a sense of the impressive and varied research, combining theoretical, archival, and textual readings from different subject areas . . . Dahn’s book is an accomplished study of this history, with much to offer both periodical studies and African American studies."—Cambridge Quarterly
"Dahn provides close and textured readings of the networks to make a significant contribution to periodical and discursive studies . . . attending to the ways Black people forged bottom-up resistance through the Black press."—Reception
“Jim Crow Networks makes a particularly important contribution to how we might recover underexamined Black literary networks by reviving the importance of what Dahn labels ‘middlebrow networks.’. . . [S]uch work makes visible the broader culture and networks that brought Black print culture into being and opens them up for Black bibliographic practice.”—Papers of the Bibliographic Society of America
"The networks Dahn explores, then, are tools to describe different (but interrelated) elements of audiences encountering the periodicals in question. Though Dahn's primary focus is on the dynamics of particular texts within particular issues, she also provides a rich sense of each periodical's larger history, enabling her readers to appreciate the field from which a text or set of texts emerged."—American Literary History
"Eurie Dahn’s Jim Crow Networks: African American Periodical Cultures offers rich details about familiar authors and their imbrication in early twentieth-century print cultures . . . By the end of each chapter of Jim Crow Networks, I found myself convinced by Eurie Dahn’s argument and rewarded with new information."—American Periodicals
"In this insightful text Dahn explores the complex relationship of African American periodicals to their audiences in the Jim Crow era . . . Highly recommended."—CHOICE
"Dahn’s Jim Crow Networks does important and valuable work in arguing for a reconsideration of Jim Crow-era publishing contexts and networks and offering a model for how such attention can lead to revealing insights on the history of African American literature of the twentieth century."—Modernism/modernity
"Dahn's palpable focus on the southern nodes in the African American periodical network furthers the recent important decentering of Harlem and the urban North as the most influential landscape for early to mid-twentieth-century African American literary and print cultural production."—Shawn Anthony Christian, author of The Harlem Renaissance and the Idea of a New Negro Reader
Winner of the Research Society for American Periodicals 2021-2022 Book Prize.