Academic journal article Early American Literature

Richard Beale Davis Prize, 2014: Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy

Academic journal article Early American Literature

Richard Beale Davis Prize, 2014: Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy

Article excerpt

Dissociating the term Creole from "its racial connotations," troubling traditional paradigms of "nation" and "period" in American literary studies, and interrogating narratives of authenticity in antebellum fiction, "Creole Frontiers: Imperial Ambiguities in John Richardson's and James Fenimore Cooper's Fiction" invites readers to rethink the parameters of early American literature. One of many superb essays published in Early American Literature in 2014, Oana Godeanu-Kenworthy's "Creole Frontiers" was awarded the Richard Beale Davis Prize for the best essay printed in Early American Literature in that year. "Creole Frontiers" provides a fresh interpretation of the much-written-about early Leatherstocking Tales, seeing The Pioneers in particular as a novel about the constructed nature of both national and white identity. In the process, Godeanu-Kenworthy situates indigenous studies at the forefront rather than the margins of the field.

Yet Godeanu-Kenworthy pushes her reading a step further by inviting readers to reexamine the critical lens that we bring to the body of works perhaps too neatly labeled early American literature. Godeanu-Kenworthy reads Cooper alongside the Canadian writer John Richardson. …

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