Criticism and the Color Line: Desegregating American Literary Studies / Edition 1

Criticism and the Color Line: Desegregating American Literary Studies / Edition 1

by Todd Vogel
     
 

ISBN-10: 0813522633

ISBN-13: 9780813522630

Pub. Date: 04/28/1996

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

This volume celebrates the hybridity of American literary culture. Over the last decade and more, American literary studies have tended, with only a few rare and recent exceptions, to look at separate strands of literary history and tradition--African American or white, male or female, lesbian or gay or straight. Every contributor to this collection, no matter how

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Overview

This volume celebrates the hybridity of American literary culture. Over the last decade and more, American literary studies have tended, with only a few rare and recent exceptions, to look at separate strands of literary history and tradition--African American or white, male or female, lesbian or gay or straight. Every contributor to this collection, no matter how widely varied the point of view in other ways, examines the dynamic relationship between "mainstream" and African-American expressive traditions in American culture. Engaging the work of writers from Edgar Allan Poe and Frederick Douglass to William Styron and Ernest Gaines, they concur in treating the color line as a site of cultural mutation where American identities are produced, not diluted, through acts of cultural exchange. The book draws new research into the rich, contentious, yet thoroughly pluralistic cultural equation that is American literature. Toni Morrison's ground-breaking lecture, "Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature" opens the book, which then moves on to provocative essays by scholars who have heeded her call for a rethinking of American literary tradition, black and white.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813522630
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
04/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.09(w) x 8.93(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction1
Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Presence in American Literature16
Mr. Clemens and Jim Crow: Twain, Race, and Blackface30
"Who I Was": Ethnic Identity and American Literary Ethnocentrism43
Reading Black, White, and Gray in 1968: The Origins of the Contemporary Narrativity of Slavery63
The Politics of Mourning: Cultural Grief-Work from Frederick Douglass to Fanny Fern95
Black and White Voices in an Early African-American Colonization Narrative: Problems of Genre and Emergence112
Howells, Du Bois, and the Effect of "Common-Sense": Race, Realism, and Nervousness in An Imperative Duty and The Souls of Black Folk126
The Remaking of Americans: Gertrude Stein's "Melanctha" and African-American Musical Traditions140
The Master's Tools Revisited: Foundation Work in Anna Julia Cooper158
The African-American Presence in Stowe's Dred171
Sentimental Abolition in Douglass's Decade: Revision, Erotic Conversion, and the Politics of Witnessing in "The Heroic Slave" and My Bondage and My Freedom191
The Blind Leading the Blind: The Racial Gaze as Plot Dilemma in "Benito Cereno" and "The Heroic Slave"205
The Ghost of Race: Edgar Allan Poe and the Southern Gothic230
Interrogating "Whiteness," Complicating "Blackness": Remapping American Culture251
Notes on Contributors291
Index293

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