The Right to Write: The Literary Politics of Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley

The Right to Write: The Literary Politics of Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley

by Kathrynn Seidler Engberg


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The Right to Write examines how the early American poets Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley gained agency within a traditionally patriarchal field of literary production. Tracing the careers of Bradstreet and Wheatley through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Engberg shows that these women used their positions within society to network themselves into publication. Each woman represents a unique way in which a majority of early American women negotiated their roles as both women and writers while influencing the political and social fabric of the new republic. Examining the context in which these women worked, Engberg provides a window into the social conditions and aesthetic decisions they negotiated in order to write. This is not simply a historical and literary examination of the field of literary production; this study provides new conceptions of early American women's writing that are valuable to feminist inquiry. Engberg's research is innovative and recaptures a part of early American literary history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761846093
Publisher: UPA
Publication date: 01/16/2010
Pages: 118
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Kathrynn Seidler Engberg, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Department of English at Alabama A&M University and lives in Huntsville, Alabama.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Acknowledgements Chapter 3 Introduction: Remember the Ladies Chapter 4 Chapter 1: Anne Bradstreet Part 5 I. To Be a Woman in Print: Prefatory Politics Part 6 II. From Coterie to Print: The Promiscuity of Public Exchange Part 7 III. "To Play the Rex" Part 8 IV. Vexed by Vanity, She Speaks Her Mind Chapter 9 Chapter 2: Phillis Wheatley Part 10 I. To Be a Slave in Print: Prefatory Politics Part 11 II. The Power Of Passivity: Phillis's Poetics Part 12 III. "In Vain the Feather'd Warblers Sing" Chapter 13 Conclusion: Female Poets in Nineteenth Century America Chapter 14 Works Cited

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