Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century by Robert S. Levine

By Robert S. Levine

American literary nationalism is commonly understood as a cohesive literary culture constructed within the newly self sufficient usa that emphasised the original gains of the United States and consciously differentiated American literature from British literature. Robert S. Levine demanding situations this overview via exploring the conflicted, multiracial, and contingent dimensions found in the works of overdue eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American and African American writers. clash and uncertainty, now not consensus, Levine argues, helped outline American literary nationalism in this interval. Levine emphasizes the centrality of either inter- and intra-American clash in his research of 4 illuminating "episodes" of literary responses to questions of U.S. racial nationalism and imperialism. He examines Charles Brockden Brown and the Louisiana buy; David Walker and the debates at the Missouri Compromise; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Hannah Crafts and the blood-based literary nationalism and expansionism of the mid-nineteenth century; and Frederick Douglass and his nearly forty-year curiosity in Haiti. Levine bargains evaluations of contemporary advancements in whiteness and imperialism experiences, arguing renewed realization to where of contingency in American literary background is helping us to higher comprehend and study from writers attempting to make experience in their personal historic moments.

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To what extent are the pamphlets fictional performances and the novels political utterances? S. S. nationality what Etienne Balibar calls ‘‘the relative indeterminacy of the process of constitution and development of the nation form’’;Ω and that Brown himself probed these indeterminacies in his writings on race, nation, and empire. Though I will be challenging those readings of Brown that present him as some sort of dupe, apologist, or promoter of white imperialism or colonialism, I am not suggesting that he ‘‘transcended’’ the cultural discourses and logics of his period.

S. expansionism (and war with France) by tapping into whites’ anxieties of rebellious blacks. ’’∂∞ That fear may have been well-founded (though it is by no means clear that such fears were harbored by all Americans), but Brown makes plain both in Address and in his periodical writings on slavery and Saint Domingue that those fears should be founded not on stereotypical notions of black savagery but on the fact of black humanity. S. whites has everything to do with their all-too-human hatred of slavery.

Envisioning the whites and blacks of the United States killing each other in an apocalyptic war of extermination, the consul remarks that to set the slaves against their masters, all the French have to do is ‘‘fan at pleasure, the discontents of this intestine enemy’’ (75). And he asserts that the French would be best positioned to wreak such havoc on the United States from within the Louisiana Territory. S. expansionism (and war with France) by tapping into whites’ anxieties of rebellious blacks.

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