Sentiment, Sensation, Visual Culture, and
Radical World Movements, 1886–1927
Radical Sensations traces the persistent legacies of sentiment
and sensation in U.S. literature, media, and visual culture from
1886, the year of the Haymarket riot in Chicago, through 1927,
the year that Marcus Garvey was deported. This half- century wit-
nessed the proliferation of rival world visions and international-
isms, as new media and visual technologies connected people
across national boundaries in what the Harlem activist and intel-
lectual Hubert H. Harrison and other radicals called the great
“world- movements” of the era. In response to global imperial-
ism, world wars, and state- driven forms of internationalism such
as Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, a variety of anarchist,
socialist, and black transnational movements emerged, including
the International Working People’s Association (iwPa), the Par-
tido Liberal Mexicano (PLm), the Socialist Party of America (sPa),
the Industrial Workers of the World (iww), the Marine Transport
Workers (mtw), the African Blood Brotherhood (aBB), the Uni-
versal Negro Improvement Association (unia), and the Interna-
tional Colored Unity League (icuL). I analyze adaptations, trans-
formations, and critiques of sentimentalism and sensationalism
within these movements in order to understand the connections
and disconnections among them.1
Although these movements had different ideals and goals, the
cultures of sentiment and sensation shaped radicals’ debates over
violence and direct action; the role of the state and the need to
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