Race, Slavery, and Liberalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

Race, Slavery, and Liberalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature

by Arthur Riss
     
 

Moving boldly between literary analysis and political theory, contemporary and antebellum US culture, Arthur Riss invites readers to rethink prevailing accounts of the relationship between slavery, liberalism, and literary representation. Situating Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Frederick Douglass at the center of antebellum debates over the… See more details below

Overview

Moving boldly between literary analysis and political theory, contemporary and antebellum US culture, Arthur Riss invites readers to rethink prevailing accounts of the relationship between slavery, liberalism, and literary representation. Situating Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Frederick Douglass at the center of antebellum debates over the personhood of the slave, this book examines how a nation dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal" formulates arguments both for and against race-based slavery. This revisionary argument promises to be unsettling for literary critics, political philosophers, and historians of US slavery, as well as those interested in the link between literature and human rights.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521120203
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2009
Series:
Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series, #150
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements     vii
Introduction: the figure a "person" makes: on the aesthetics of liberalism     1
Slaves and persons     27
Family values and racial essentialism in Uncle Tom's Cabin     58
Eva's hair and the sentiments of race     84
A is for Anything: US liberalism and the making of The Scarlet Letter     111
The art of discrimination: The Marble Faun, "Chiefly About War Matters," and the aesthetics of anti-black racism     136
Freedom, ethics, and the necessity of persons: Frederick Douglass and the scene of resistance     164
Notes     186
Index     235

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