- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Shifts, Zigzags, Impacts
- Antipodean American Geography: Washington Irving's “Globular” Narratives
- The Art of Chaos: Community and African American Literary Traditions
- Are “American Novels” Novels? <i>Mardi</i> and the Problem of Boring Books
- Reading Race Through Disability: Slavery and Agency in Mark Twain's <i>Pudd'nhead Wilson</i> and “Those Extraordinary Twins”
- The Invention of Mexican America
- Creole Kinship: Privacy and The Novel in the New World
- Looking at State Violence: Lucy Parsons, José Martí, and Haymarket
- Transatlantic vs. Hemispheric: Toni Morrison's Long Nineteenth Century
- Temporality, Race, and Empire in Cooper's <i>The Deerslayer</i>: The Beginning of the End
- The Visible and Invisible City: Antebellum Writers and Urban Space
- Animals and The Formation of Liberal Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
- Archives of Publishing and Gender: Historical Codes in Literary Analysis
- The Novel As Board Game: Homiletic Identification and Forms of Interactive Narrative
- Skepticism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Philosophy
- On The Redundancy of “Transnational American Studies”
- How To Read: Regionalism and the <i>Ladies' Home Journal</i>
- Literature and The News
- Reading Minds in the Nineteenth Century
- Making An Example: American Literature As Philosophy
- Abolition and Activism: The Present Uses of Literary Criticism
- Whose Protest Novel? <i>Ramona</i>, The <i>Uncle Tom's Cabin</i> of the Indian
- Nineteenth-Century American Literature Without Nature? Rethinking Environmental Criticism
- “Action, Action, Action”: Nineteenth-Century Literature for Twenty-First-Century Citizenship?
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the relationship between literary critical practice and human rights, and describes the present uses of literary criticism. It analyzes an example of abolitionism and activism as it was conceived and practiced by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and William Lloyd Garrison. The article evaluates how our understanding of texts and issues today can be informed by our analysis and understanding of the myths and metaphors of who we are that we have inherited from earlier literatures and movements.
James Dawes is Chair and Professor of English at Macalester College, and Founder and Director of the Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. He is the author of That the World May Know: Bearing Witness to Atrocity and The Language of War: Literature and Culture in the US from the Civil War through World War II.
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