Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism / Edition 1

Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism / Edition 1

by Robert S. Levine
     
 

ISBN-10: 0807859036

ISBN-13: 9780807859032

Pub. Date: 10/08/2008

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

American literary nationalism is traditionally understood as a cohesive literary tradition developed in the newly independent United States that emphasized the unique features of America and consciously differentiated American literature from British literature. Robert S. Levine challenges this assessment by exploring the conflicted, multiracial, and contingent

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Overview

American literary nationalism is traditionally understood as a cohesive literary tradition developed in the newly independent United States that emphasized the unique features of America and consciously differentiated American literature from British literature. Robert S. Levine challenges this assessment by exploring the conflicted, multiracial, and contingent dimensions present in the works of late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American and African American writers. Conflict and uncertainty, not consensus, Levine argues, helped define American literary nationalism during this period.

Levine emphasizes the centrality of both inter- and intra-American conflict in his analysis of four illuminating "episodes" of literary responses to questions of U.S. racial nationalism and imperialism. He examines Charles Brockden Brown and the Louisiana Purchase; David Walker and the debates on the Missouri Compromise; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Hannah Crafts and the blood-based literary nationalism and expansionism of the mid-nineteenth century; and Frederick Douglass and his approximately forty-year interest in Haiti. Levine offers critiques of recent developments in whiteness and imperialism studies, arguing that a renewed attention to the place of contingency in American literary history helps us to better understand and learn from writers trying to make sense of their own historical moments.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807859032
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
10/08/2008
Edition description:
1
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix Prologue: Undoings 1 Chapter 1 Charles Brockden Brown, Louisiana, and the Contingencies of Empire 17 Chapter 2 Circulating the Nation: David Walker, the Missouri Compromise, and the Appeals of Black Literary Nationalism 67 Chapter 3 Genealogical Fictions: Melville and Hannah Crafts in Hawthorne's House 119 Chapter 4 Frederick Douglass's Hemispheric Nationalism, 1857-1893 179 Epilogue: Undoings Redux 237 Notes 245 Index 303

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