The geography of classical modernism is determined primarily by metropolitan cities and the cultural experiments and upheavals they generated: Baudelaire’s Paris, Dostoevsky or Mandelstam’s St Petersburg, Schönberg, Freud, and Wittgenstein’s Vienna, Kafka’s Prague, Joyce’s Dublin, the futurists’ Rome, Woolf’s London, Dada in Zurich, Munich and der blaue Reiter, the Berlin of Brecht, Döblin and the Bauhaus, Tretyakov’s Moscow, the Paris of Cubism and Surrealism, Dos Passos’s Manhattan. This is, of course, the standard continental European list with its few Anglo outposts (see Bradbury and McFarlane 1976), but it forgets the modernism of Shanghai or São Paolo in the 1920s, Borges’s Buenos Aires, the Caribbean of Aimé Césaire, the Mexico City of Frieda Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Alfaro Siqueiros. It ignores the various ways in which metropolitan culture was translated, appropriated and creatively mimicked in colonized and postcolonial countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In the most interesting ways, modernism cuts across imperial and post-imperial, colonial and decolonizing cultures. It was often the encounter of colonial artists and intellectuals with the modernist culture of the metropolis that supported the desire for liberation and independence. And it was the reciprocal though asymmetrical encounter of the European artist with the colonial world that fed into the turn against the traditions of proper bourgeois culture. Such alternative geographies of modernism have emerged forcefully on our horizon since the rise of postcolonial studies and a new attentiveness to the genealogy of cultural globalization.