Catalogue


Fleshing out America : race, gender, and the politics of the body in American literature, 1833-1879 /
Carolyn Sorisio.
imprint
Athens : University of Georgia Press, c2002.
description
x, 299 p.
ISBN
0820323578 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Athens : University of Georgia Press, c2002.
isbn
0820323578 (hardcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
4718454
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [273]-285) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Carolyn Sorisio is an assistant professor of English at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Impressive study . . . Fleshing Out America offers a complex understanding of nineteenth-century American literature's preoccupation with race and the body. . . . [A] superb, beautifully argued study."--Hildegard Hoeller, Legacy
"Impressive study . . .Fleshing Out Americaoffers a complex understanding of nineteenth-century American literature's preoccupation with race and the body. . . . [A] superb, beautifully argued study."--Hildegard Hoeller,Legacy
"Sorisio writes with clarity and intelligence. Using a remarkable range of writersfrom canonical white male authors like Emerson and Whitman, to white and African American women authors like Lydia Maria Child and Frances E. W. Harper, to the black male writer Martin Delanyshe presents a strong and compelling argument about how nineteenth-century American authors theorized and wrote about the body."--Carla L. Peterson, author of Doers of the Word: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (18301880)
"Sorisio writes with clarity and intelligence. Using a remarkable range of writersfrom canonical white male authors like Emerson and Whitman, to white and African American women authors like Lydia Maria Child and Frances E. W. Harper, to the black male writer Martin Delanyshe presents a strong and compelling argument about how nineteenth-century American authors theorized and wrote about the body."--Carla L. Peterson, author ofDoers of the Word: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (18301880)
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2003
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Can we work through the imaginative space of literature to combat the divisive nature of the politics of the body? Here, the author examines this question and explores the representation of the body in the work of seven authors.
Main Description
Can we work through the imaginative space of literature to combat the divisive nature of the politics of the body? That is the central question asked of the writings Carolyn Sorisio investigates in Fleshing Out America . The first half of the nineteenth century ushered in an era of powerful scientific and quasi-scientific disciplines that assumed innate differences between the "types" of humankind. Some proponents of slavery and Indian Removal, as well as opponents of women's rights, supplanted the Declaration of Independence's higher law of inborn equality with a new set of "laws" proclaiming the physical inferiority of women, "Negroes," and "Aboriginals." Fleshing Out America explores the representation of the body in the work of seven authors, all of whom were involved with their era's reform movements: Lydia Maria Child, Frances E. W. Harper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman, Harriet Jacobs, and Martin R. Delany. For such American writers, who connected the individual body symbolically with the body politic, the new science was fraught with possibility and peril. Covering topics from representation, spectatorship, and essentialism to difference, power, and authority, Carolyn Sorisio places these writers' works in historical context and in relation to contemporary theories of corporeality. She shows how these authors struggled, in diverse and divergent ways, to flesh out America--to define, even defend, the nation's body in a tumultuous period. Drawing on Euro- and African American authors of both genders who are notable for their aesthetic and political differences, Fleshing Out America demonstrates the surprisingly diverse literary conversation taking place as American authors attempted to reshape the politics of the body, which shaped the politics of the time.
Main Description
Can we work through the imaginative space of literature to combat the divisive nature of the politics of the body? That is the central question asked of the writings Carolyn Sorisio investigates inFleshing Out America. The first half of the nineteenth century ushered in an era of powerful scientific and quasi-scientific disciplines that assumed innate differences between the "types" of humankind. Some proponents of slavery and Indian Removal, as well as opponents of women's rights, supplanted the Declaration of Independence's higher law of inborn equality with a new set of "laws" proclaiming the physical inferiority of women, "Negroes," and "Aboriginals."Fleshing Out Americaexplores the representation of the body in the work of seven authors, all of whom were involved with their era's reform movements: Lydia Maria Child, Frances E. W. Harper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Walt Whitman, Harriet Jacobs, and Martin R. Delany. For such American writers, who connected the individual body symbolically with the body politic, the new science was fraught with possibility and peril. Covering topics from representation, spectatorship, and essentialism to difference, power, and authority, Carolyn Sorisio places these writers' works in historical context and in relation to contemporary theories of corporeality. She shows how these authors struggled, in diverse and divergent ways, to flesh out America--to define, even defend, the nation's body in a tumultuous period.Drawing on Euro- and African American authors of both genders who are notable for their aesthetic and political differences,Fleshing Out Americademonstrates the surprisingly diverse literary conversation taking place as American authors attempted to reshape the politics of the body, which shaped the politics of the time.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Remapping the Nineteenth-Century Literary Landscapep. 1
The Body in the Body Politic: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century Americap. 14
The Spectacle of the Body: Corporeality in Lydia Maria Child's Antislavery Writingp. 47
Deflecting the Public's Gaze and Disciplining Desire: Harper's Antebellum Poetry and Reconstruction Fictionp. 79
Saxons and Slavery: Corporeal Challenges to Ralph Waldo Emerson's Republic of the Spiritp. 104
The New Face of Empire: The Price of Margaret Fuller's Progressive Feminist Projectp. 143
"Who Need Be Afraid of the Merge?" Whitman's Radical Promise and the Perils of Seductionp. 173
"Never Before Had My Puny Arm Felt Half So Strong" Corporeality and Transcendence in Jacobs's Incidentsp. 202
Epilogue: Martin R. Delany and the Politics of Ethnologyp. 226
Notesp. 241
Works Citedp. 273
Indexp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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