Bound and Determined: Captivity, Culture-Crossing, and White Womanhood from Mary Rowlandson to Patty Hearst / Edition 1

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In Bound and Determined, Christopher Castiglia gives shape for the first time to a tradition of American women's captivity narrative that ranges across three centuries, from Puritan colonist Mary Rowlandson's abduction by Narragansett Indians to Patty Hearst's kidnapping by the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Examining more than sixty accounts by women captives, as well as novels ranging from Susanna Rowson's eighteenth-century classic Rueben and Rachel to today's mass-market romances, Castiglia investigates paradoxes central to the genre. In captivity, women often find freedom from stereotypical roles as helpless, dependent, sexually vulnerable, and xenophobic. In their condemnations of their non-white captors, they defy assumptions about race that undergird their own societies. Castiglia questions critical conceptions of captivity stories as primarily an appeal to racism and misogyny, and instead finds in them an appeal of a much different nature: as all-too-rare stories of imaginative challenges to rigid gender roles and racial ideologies.

Whether the women of these stories resist or escape captivity, endure until they are released, or eventually choose to live among their captors, they end up with the power to be critical of both cultures. Castiglia shows that these compelling narratives, with their boundary crossings and persistent explorations of cultural divisions and differences, have significant implications for current critical investigations into the construction of gender, race, and nation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
By exploring more than 60 narratives, 18th- and 19th-century novels, and Patty Hearst's abduction account, Castiglia (English, Bryn Mawr Coll.) asserts that the captivity narrative actually debunks the gender and racial hierarchies it was intended to preserve. He argues that in fact these narratives offered women a forum for criticizing their victimization in their own society. His sources include anthropological, historical, and traditional literary sources. (For comparison, see Gary Ebersole's Captured by Texts: Puritan to Postmodern Images of Indian Captivity, Univ. of Virginia, 1995.) Castiglia's first book is undoubtedly aimed at his literary colleagues; nonpractitioners will find the introduction full of literary jargon. Still, the text is engaging and provides a new examination of women and culture. For academic, and especially university, libraries only.Jenny Presnell, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, Ohio
The study of the classic American literary genre, the captivity narrative, has tended to focus on the 17th century and somewhat into the 18th, but Castiglia (English, Bryn Mawr College) draws on feminist criticism to extend down the centuries it to the 1974 abduction of newspaper heir Patty Hearst by revolutionaries. He also describes the transformation from narrative to romantic fiction in the decades after. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226096544
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Series: Women in Culture and Society Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword
Introduction: Captivity Is Consciousness: Captivity, Culture-Crossing, and
the Revision of Identity
1: A More Interesting Adventure: Critics, Captives, and Narrative Dissent
2: Her Tortures Were Turned into Frolick: Captivity and Liminal Critique,
3: That Was Not My Idea of Independence: The Captivity of Patty Hearst
4: The Wilderness of Fiction: From Captivity Narrative to Captivity Romance
5: Captives in History: Susanna Rowson's Reuben and Rachel
6: A Hostage in the House: Domestic Captivity and Catharine Sedgwick's Hope
Conclusion: Contemporary Captives

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