Revising Charles Brockden Brown: Culture, Politics, and Sexuality in the Early Republic

Revising Charles Brockden Brown: Culture, Politics, and Sexuality in the Early Republic

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Overview

Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810), a prolific and often controversial writer,  has long been recognized as a significant figure in U.S. literary and cultural history. Brown’s prose fiction, periodical writings, historiography, and pamphlets take part in the full range of political, literary, scientific, and other debates that form the cultural landscape of the first decades of the American republic from 1790 to 1810. Scholarship in the twentieth century developed a general understanding of Brown as an ambitious novelist but only began to explore the full extent of his writings and the issues they raise.

Revising Charles Brockden Brown explores the writer as a key figure for understanding the cultural politics of this crucial era of U.S. and Atlantic history. Using contemporary critical models drawn from history, interdisciplinary cultural studies, postcolonial studies, gender and queer theory, and other areas, the essays in this collection bring Brown studies into the twenty-first century, synthesizing and extending the implications of the upsurge in Brown scholarship that has occurred over the last twenty years.

These essays explore Brown in his own right and as a window onto the social dynamics of the early republic, as a participant in and commentator on the tumultuous conflicts and transformations of this postrevolutionary moment. These studies focus on the period’s political and ideological discourses in “Revolution and Republican Communities,” address questions concerning the construction of subjectivity and gender in “Gender and Sexuality,” and explore the later development of Brown’s intellectual origins in the radical enlightenment in the “Cultural Politics of the Later Years.”

Contributors: Philip Barnard, Martin Brückner, Bruce Burgett, Michelle Burnham, Sean X. Goudie, Mark L. Kamrath, Robert S. Levine, Stephen Shapiro, Frank Shuffelton, Julia Stern, Fredrika J. Teute, W. M. Verhoeven, and Ed White

Philip Barnard teaches in the Department of English at the University of Kansas. He writes on American literature and cultural theory and has translated and edited work by such figures as Victor Séjour, Philippe Sollers, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. Mark L. Kamrath teaches early American literature in the Department of English at the University of Central Florida. He is author of a forthcoming book on Brown’s historical writing, and co-editor of a collection of essays on eighteenth-century American periodicals. Stephen Shapiro teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick. He writes on American literature and cultural materialism and is preparing a book-length study on Brown, ideology, and the Atlantic world-system.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572332447
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Publication date: 04/28/2004
Edition description: 1
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Philip Barnard teaches in the Department of English at the University of Kansas. He writes on American literature and cultural theory and has translated and edited work by such figures as Victor Séjour, Philippe Sollers, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. Mark L. Kamrath teaches early American literature in the Department of English at the University of Central Florida. He is author of a forthcoming book on Brown’s historical writing, and co-editor of a collection of essays on eighteenth-century American periodicals. Stephen Shapiro teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick. He writes on American literature and cultural materialism and is preparing a book-length study on Brown, ideology, and the Atlantic world-system.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsi
Introductioniii
Part 1Revolution and Republican Communities
Introduction2
"This blissful period of intellectual liberty": Transatlantic Radicalism and Enlightened Conservatism in Brown's Early Writings7
Carwin the Peasant Rebel41
On the Origin of American Specie(s): The West Indies, Classification, and the Emergence of Supremacist Consciousness in Arthur Mervyn60
Juries of the Common Reader: Crime and Judgment in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown88
Part 2Gender and Sexuality
Introduction118
Between Speculation and Population: The Problem of "Sex" in Thomas Malthus's Essay on the Principle of Population and Charles Brockden Brown's Alcuin122
A "Republic of Intellect": Conversation and Criticism among the Sexes in 1790s New York149
The State of "Women" in Ormond; or, Patricide in the New Nation182
"Man to Man I Needed Not to Dread His Encounter": Edgar Huntly's End of Erotic Pessimism216
Part 3Cultural Politics of the Later Years
Introduction254
Epistolarity, Anticipation, and Revolution in Clara Howard260
Sense, Census, and the "Statistical View" in the Literary Magazine and Jane Talbot281
Culture and Authority in Brown's Historical Sketches310
Race and Nation in Brown's Louisiana Writings of 1803332
American Exceptionalism and Radicalism in the "Annals of Europe and America"354
Notes on Contributors385
Index389

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