- 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? Mardi and the Problem of Boring Books
- Reading Race Through Disability: Slavery and Agency in Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson 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 The Deerslayer: 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 Ladies' Home Journal
- 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? Ramona, The Uncle Tom's Cabin 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 what can be learned from nineteenth-century American literature regarding twenty-first-century citizenship. It investigates how the intellectual project of reading and interpreting American literature can prepare us for the deliberative work of democracy and what American literature tells us about this difficult relationship. The article explores how literature can be read politically, and describes the relevant works of Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown.
Russ Castronovo is Dorothy Draheim Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is author of three books: Fathering the Nation: American Genealogies of Slavery and Freedom; Necro Citizenship: Death, Eroticism, and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth-Century United States; and Beautiful Democracy: Aesthetics and Anarchy in a Global Era. He is also editor of Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics (with Dana Nelson) and States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies (with Susan Gillman).
Dana D. Nelson is the Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches courses on democratic activism and the commons. She is author of three books: The Word in Black and White: Reading “Race” in American Literature, 1638–1867; National Manhood: Capitalist Citizenship and the Imagined Fraternity of White Men; and Bad for Democracy: How the Presidency Undermines the Power of the People. She is also editor of Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics (with Russ Castronovo) She is currently at work on a book that studies alternative democratic cultures in the early US.
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