Last Thursday marked the UK launch of James Donald’s recently published book Some of These Days: Black Stars, Jazz Aesthetics and Modernist Culture. The book as been described as a 'double helix' that presents 'a cultural history of international modernism through interwoven chapters on its two greatest African American Stars, Josephine Baker and Paul Robeson.' It spans the decades from the Jazz Age of the 1920s to the March of Washington in 1963, and pays particular attention to the impact Baker and Robeson had on European artists and intellectuals.
To mark the launch the IPM organised an event where the book’s themes and ideas were discussed by a panel involving the author and three other guest speakers: SIMON FRITH, Tovey Chair of Music at the University of Edinburgh; LAURA MARCUS, Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature at Oxford and Fellow of New College; and SANDEEP PARMA, Senior Lecturer in twentieth-century literature and creative writing at the University of Liverpool.
Many thanks to our colleagues from the department of Communications and Media and the department of English for their support, and also to our speakers and all those who attended and contributed to a lively discussion. Audience numbers had to be restricted to 100 people so the event was oversubscribed but will be featured on BBC Radio Merseyside.