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Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African American Literary History

Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African American Literary History

by John Ernest
Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African American Literary History

Chaotic Justice: Rethinking African American Literary History

by John Ernest

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Overview

What is African American about African American literature? Why identify it as a distinct tradition? John Ernest contends that too often scholars have relied on naive concepts of race, superficial conceptions of African American history, and the marginalization of important strains of black scholarship. With this book, he creates a new and just retelling of African American literary history that neither ignores nor transcends racial history.

Ernest revisits the work of nineteenth-century writers and activists such as Henry "Box" Brown, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Wilson, William Wells Brown, and Sojourner Truth, demonstrating that their concepts of justice were far more radical than those imagined by most white sympathizers. He sheds light on the process of reading, publishing, studying, and historicizing this work during the twentieth century. Looking ahead to the future of the field, Ernest offers new principles of justice that grant fragmented histories, partial recoveries, and still-unprinted texts the same value as canonized works. His proposal is both a historically informed critique of the field and an invigorating challenge to present and future scholars.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807898505
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 11/15/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 328
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

John Ernest is Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of American Literature at West Virginia University. He is author or editor of six books, including Liberation Historiography: African American Writers and the Challenge of History, 1794-1861 (UNC Press).

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From the Publisher

This is the kind of book I've been waiting for! Only a person with superior command of a broad range of disciplines, a comprehensive knowledge of African American literature, and the courage and missionary zeal to tell it like it is could so deftly demonstrate the relevance of chaos theory to early African American literature. John Ernest gives us a work of outstanding scholarship.—Frances Smith Foster, Emory University

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