“Of traditional Israel and Albion”: discourses of racial purity and the Jewish body in Mina Loy’s “Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose”
This essay explores the modernist poet Mina Loy’s work “Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose” (1923) within its historical and cultural context. The poem consistently challenges ideologies such as eugenics, which informed anti-Semitism and sought to strengthen notions of racial purity. Incorporating the biopolitical theory of Rosi Braidotti, this essay explores how Loy exposes the figure of the Jewish “mongrel” as a constructed figure within eugenic discourse, in turn revealing the ways in which eugenic and biopolitical ideologies work together to govern, vilify, and glorify certain lives over others.
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