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Transatlantic Spectacles of Race: The Tragic Mulatta and the Tragic Muse
     

Transatlantic Spectacles of Race: The Tragic Mulatta and the Tragic Muse

by Kimberly Snyder Manganelli
 

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The tragic mulatta was a stock figure in nineteenth-century American literature, an attractive mixed-race woman who became a casualty of the color line. The tragic muse was an equally familiar figure in Victorian British culture, an exotic and alluring Jewish actress whose profession placed her alongside the “fallen woman.”

In Transatlantic

Overview

The tragic mulatta was a stock figure in nineteenth-century American literature, an attractive mixed-race woman who became a casualty of the color line. The tragic muse was an equally familiar figure in Victorian British culture, an exotic and alluring Jewish actress whose profession placed her alongside the “fallen woman.”

In Transatlantic Spectacles of Race, Kimberly Manganelli argues that the tragic mulatta and tragic muse, who have heretofore been read separately, must be understood as two sides of the same phenomenon. In both cases, the eroticized and racialized female body is put on public display, as a highly enticing commodity in the nineteenth-century marketplace. Tracing these figures through American, British, and French literature and culture, Manganelli constructs a host of surprising literary genealogies, from Zelica to Daniel Deronda, from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to Lady Audley’s Secret. Bringing together an impressive array of cultural texts that includes novels, melodramas, travel narratives, diaries, and illustrations, Transatlantic Spectacles of Race reveals the value of transcending literary, national, and racial boundaries.

Editorial Reviews

Princeton University - Daphne Brooks

"An engaging, rich, and provocative work that re-directs 'mixed-race' studies back to its complex archival and historical roots, Manganelli’s book challenges readers to consider the deeply imbricated, transnational production of 19th century racial and gender mythologies."
author of Portraits of the New Negro Woman - Cherene Sherrard-Johnson

"Manganelli's clear, engaging writing will captivate readers of nineteenth and early twentieth-century British and American literature. This book provides a powerful and lucid model for scholars and students interested in transatlantic work."
American Studies

"Transatlantic Spectacles of Race is a valuable contribution to race and gender studies. It narrates the spectacular dynamics of power at intersections of race and gender, and illuminates the 'racial taxonomies attempting to controll uncontrollable shades of color.'"
Victorian Studies

"An admirable example of the ways in which American theories of race have recently enriched what had previously been a somwehat circumscribed academic field."
Princeton University

"An engaging, rich, and provocative work that re-directs 'mixed-race'
— Daphne Brooks

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813549880
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
02/29/2012
Series:
The American Literatures Initiative Series
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

KIMBERLY SNYDER MANGANELLI is an assistant professor of English at Clemson University.

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