During the height of nineteenth-century imperialism, Rudyard Kipling published his famous poem. "The White Man's Burden." While some of his American readers argued that the poem served as justification for imperialist practices, others saw Kipling's satirical talents at work and read it as condemnation. Gretchen Murphy explores this tension embedded in the notion of the white man's burden to create a new historical frame for understanding race and literature in America.
Shadowing the White Man's Burden maintains that literature symptomized and channeled anxiety about the racial components of the U.S. world mission, while also providing a potentially powerful medium for multiethnic authors interested in redrawing global color lines. Through a range of archival materials from literary reviews to diplomatic records to ethnological treatises, Murphy identifies a common theme in the writings of African, Asian, and Native American authors who exploited anxiety about race and national identity through narratives about a multiracial U.S. empire. Shadowing the White Man's Burden situates American literature in the context of broader race relations, and provides a compelling analysis of the way in which literature came to define and shape racial attitudes for the next century.
About the Author
Gretchen Murphy is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas-Austin. She is the author of Hemispheric Imaginings: The Monroe Doctrine and Narratives of U.S. Empire.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Writing Race on the World's Stage 1
Part I Reading Kipling in America
1 The Burden of Whiteness 29
2 The White Man's Burden or the Leopard's Spots? Dixon's Political Conundrum 58
Part II The Black Cosmopolite
3 The Plain Citizen of Black Orientalism: Frank R. Steward's Filipino American War Fiction 87
4 Pauline Hopkins's "International Policy": Cosmopolitan Perspective at the Colored American Magazine 121
Part III Pacific Expansion and Transnational Fictions of Race
5 How the Irish Became Japanese: Winnifred Eaton's Transnational Racial Reconstructions 159
6 American Indians, Asiatics, and Anglo-Saxons: Ranald MacDonald's Japan Story of Adventure 187
About the Author 280
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