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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the so-called Creole kinship in American novels during the nineteenth century. It argues in the first instance that the political origins of the novel are the source of the genre's ability to conduct experiments in imagining subjectivity, the space of interior thought and feeling. The article investigates why novels about New World families knock notions of liberal subjectivity off their stable centers and discusses the explanations of several well-known American personalities on the topic of kinship and privacy, including Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Nancy Bentley.

Keywords: Creole kinship, American novels, imagining subjectivity, New World families, privacy, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nancy Bentley

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