Criticism and the Color Line: Desegregating American Literary Studies

By Henry B. Wonham | Go to book overview

rial one: both depend on persuasive speech's emancipating power. Madison's liberatory strategy reflects Douglass's rendition of the slave who counters his master's arguments about the peculiar institution and persuades his master to grant him his freedom in Douglass first formal primer, "The Columbian Orator." Each of the narratives and the novella he writes during what I call "Douglass's decade" seeks to convert whites through language that touches their core and compels them to work for abolition. Douglass offers affectional means of relation, voice, and sentiment as the medium for change.

Sentimental abolition is an important critical category because it names the models and mechanisms of domesticity that inform, but are not limited to, moral suasion. Domestic ideology's influence--which is not simply contained in the bodies and presences of women--provides the weft between sentiment and standing, between the fraternal and the feminized. Moreover, in antislavery writings that deal with the erotically charged representations of Black bodies engaged in transracial relations, affectional discourse acts as a catalyst for further sexualization, whether the object of desire be a man or a woman, whether the subject of desiring be a woman or a man.


Notes

At the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, I would like to thank the Center for African- American and African Studies (CAAS) for the fellowship that allowed me to research and write this paper. The University of Chicago's CAAS invited me to present an earlier draft, and I appreciate the helpful feedback I received. I would also like to thank Arthur Aubin Saint-Flannigan, Tyler Steben and especially Jacqueline Goldsby and Eric C. Williams for their useful suggestions at the final stages of this piece.

1.
Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom ( New York: Dover, 1969). All subsequent Douglass quotations are cited as follows: MB: My Bondage and My Freedom; N: The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass, ed. Houston Baker ( New York: Penguin Books, 1982); HS: "The Heroic Slave" in Three Classic African-American Novels, ed. William L. Andrews ( New York: Mentor, 1990).
2.
See William Andrews, "My Bondage and My Freedom and the American Literary Renaissance of the 1850s," in Critical Essays on Frederick Douglass, ed. William Andrews ( Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1991), 133-147; Eric J. Sundquist, ed., Frederick Douglass: New Literary, and Historical Essays ( New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990); William S. McFeely, Frederick Douglass ( New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1991).
3.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin ( 1852; rpt. New York: Macmillan, 1962). Subsequent references are cited UTC within the text. Slave narrators in the fifties often make explicit reference to Uncle Tom or to Stowe. Solomon Northup's 1853 narrative is dedicated to Stowe. "The Heroic Slave" and A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin also appear in the same year. Harriet Beecher Stowe, A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin (rpt. New York: Arno Press, 1969); J. Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave ( Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1968).
4.
I refer most recently to Richard Yarborough, Eric Sundquist, and William Andrews. The latter two lament that Douglass's second narrative has been largely overlooked, and

-201-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Criticism and the Color Line: Desegregating American Literary Studies
Table of contents
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 300

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.