“Of traditional Israel and Albion”: discourses of racial purity and the Jewish body in Mina Loy’s “Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose”

  • Rachel Smith University of Edinburgh


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.

Author Biography

Rachel Smith, University of Edinburgh
Rachel Smith graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2015 with an MSc in Literature and Modernity. As an undergraduate she read English Literature and French at the University of Sheffield. Rachel is currently collecting material for a PhD proposal combining modernist literature and biopolitical theory.