The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-century American Literature

ISBN : 9780199355891

Russ Castronovo
458 Pages
170 x 248 mm
Pub date
Jan 2014
Oxford Handbooks
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How do we approach the rich field of nineteenth-century American literature? How might we recalibrate the coordinates of critical vision and open up new areas of investigation? To answer such questions, this volume brings together 23 original essays written by leading scholars in American literary studies. By examining specific novels, poems, essays, diaries and other literary examples, the authors confront head-on the implications, scope, and scale of their analysis. The chapters foreground methodological concerns to assess the challenges of transnational perspectives, disability studies, environmental criticism, affect studies, gender analysis, and other cutting-edge approaches. The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature is thus both critically incisive and sharply practical, inviting attention to how readers read, how critics critique, and how interpreters interpret. It offers forceful strategies for rethinking protest novels, women's writing, urban literature, slave narratives, and popular fiction, just to name a few of the wide array of topics and genres covered. This volume, rather than surveying established ideas in studies of nineteenth-century American literature, registers what is happening now and anticipates what will shape the field's future.


Introduction: Shifts, Zigzags, Impacts
Russ Castronovo
1. Paul Giles, "Antipodean American Geography: Washington Irving's "Globular" Narratives"
2. John Ernest, "The Art of Chaos: Community and African American Literary Traditions"
3. Jordan Stein, "Are 'American Novels' Novels?: Mardi and the Problem of Boring Books"
4. Ellen Samuels, Reading Race through Disability: Slavery and Agency in Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson and "Those Extraordinary Twins"
5. Jesse Aleman, "The Invention of Mexican America"
6. Nancy Bentley, "Creole Kinship: Privacy and the Novel in the New World"
7. Shelley Streeby, "Looking at State Violence: Lucy Parsons, Jose Marti, and Haymarket"
8. Anna Brickhouse, "Transatlantic vs. Hemispheric: Toni Morrison's Long Nineteenth Century"
9. Robert S. Levine, "Temporality, Race, and Empire in Cooper's The Deerslayer: The Beginning of the End"
10. Jeffrey Steele, "The Visible and Invisible City: Antebellum Writers and Urban Space"
11. Colleen Glenney Boggs, "Animals and the Formation of Liberal Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature"
12. Shirley Samuels, "Archives of Publishing and Gender: Historical Codes in Literary Analysis"
13. Gregory S. Jackson, "The Novel as Board Game: Homiletic Identification and Forms of Interactive Narrative"
14. Maurice S. Lee, "Skepticism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Philosophy"
15. Jared Hickman, "On the Redundancy of "Transnational American Studies"
16. Travis Foster, "How to Read: Regionalism and the Ladies' Home Journal"
17. Elisa Tamarkin, "Literature and the News"
18. Paul Gilmore, "Reading Minds in the Nineteenth Century"
19. Elizabeth Duquette, "Making an Example: American Literature as Philosophy"
20. James Dawes, "Abolition and Activism: The Present Uses of Literary Criticism"
21. Susan Gillman, "Whose Protest Novel? Ramona, the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Indian"
22. Stephanie Lemenager, "Nineteenth-Century American Literature without Nature? Rethinking Environmental Criticism"
23. Russ Castronovo and Dana D. Nelson, "Action, Action, Action": Nineteenth-Century Literature for Twenty-first-Century Citizenship?"

About the author: 

Russ Castronovo is is Dorothy Draheim Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Beautiful Democracy: Aesthetics and Anarchy in a Global Era (University of Chicago Press, 2007); Necro Citizenship: Death, Eroticism, and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth-Century United States (Duke UP, 2001), and Fathering the Nation: American Genealogies of Slavery and Freedom (University of California Press, 1996).

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