“I’ve only to say the word!”: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Performative Speech Theory
Debra J. Rosenthal, John Carroll University
From the Archives
Lost and Found: Making Claims on Archives
Eve Allegra Raimon, University of Southern Maine
Using the case of recovering Harriet E. Wilson as well as recovering her own mother’s story, Eve Allegra Raimon discusses the process of archival research and the difficulties inherent in representing individuals’ lives through what they have left behind. Through editing Harriet Wilson’s New England: Race, Writing, and Region, Raimon argues that she became more cognizant of how we represent figures such as Wilson, considering especially the obstacles scholars face when trying to recover African Americans in that they experienced deliberate expurgation. The difficulty of recovering her own mother, who was at least represented in boxes full of materials, serves as an example–along with Wilson–of how cautious archivists must be about assumptions regarding voice, intent, and representation.
Special Thematic Cluster on Periodical Studies and Women Writers
The Second Sex in the Fourth Estate
Nicole Tonkovich, University of California, San Diego
Profligate Gleaning and the Textual Economies of Judith Sargent Murray
Elizabeth Hewitt, The Ohio State University
Turning scholars’ attention toward Judith Sargent Murray’s “The Gleaner” essays for the Massachusetts Magazine, which were included and expanded in Murray’s 1798 book The Gleaner, Elizabeth Hewitt argues that these essays evince Murray’s stance on the commercial marketplace and the changing social world wherein goods can be acquired in large cities but the acquirer is removed from their manufacture. Hewitt argues that these considerations were important to Murray’s feminism because men and women were equally dependent on social and economic systems. Murray’s author, the Gleaner, presents himself as Mr. Vigillius and writes in various genres on diverse topics that, Hewitt claims, do not just showcase Murray’s talent but also represent the network of relations seen in the commercial world that involves all of The Gleaner’scharacters and authors. Hewitt argues that Murray engages in a commercial poetics that does not glorify capitalism but instead illustrates the dangers of commercial capitalism and the precariousness of consumer dependence.
Beyond the Bounds of the Book: Periodical Studies and Women Writers of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Jean Marie Lutes, Villanova University
Jean M. Lutes overviews the practices of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century scholars of American women’s writing as she argues for the need to study periodicals to access often-neglected issues and voices. The popularity of periodicals at the turn of the twentieth century created and evinces cultural diversity, and women played a great role as contributors to and consumers of periodicals. Periodicals are unstable texts that disrupt common concepts about reading and authorship because of their breadth of topics, genres, and authorial voices as well as their multiple uses and circulations. Lutes examines the transnational exchanges of information through periodicals, the need for interdisciplinarity in periodical studies, the tradition of African American women’s writing as fostered in periodicals, the roles of consciousness raising and community building through periodicals, and issues of self-display and embodied subjectivity when considering women’s journalism and reading practices.
Nineteenth-Century Abolitionists and the Databases They Created
Ellen Gruber Garvey, New Jersey City University
According to Ellen Gruber Garvey, American Slavery As It Is: Testimony of a Thousand Witnessesby Angelina Grimké Weld, Sarah Grimké, and Theodore Weld greatly impacted the abolitionist movement as a repository of testimonies and other data about US slavery. The American Anti-Slavery Society issued the text in 1839, and the Grimkés and Weld used the press as a database for the book’s contents, which chronicled the harshness of slavery. Garvey argues that their methods of mining newspapers for material allowed a large audience to access information such as slaveholders’ questionnaires and slave ads from Southern newspapers held largely in all-male, white-only reading rooms and libraries. The Grimkés and Weld presented slaveholders’ words in their own voices to enhance the credibility of their publication and made the data easily accessible through a table of contents and detailed index. The editors did selectively choose the worst representations of slavery and editorialized in their index to make their abolitionist stance clear, but readers were convinced of the text’s reliability and, Garvey argues, were confident in allowing the editors’ readings to substitute their own. Their practices resemble current methods of mining databases for information as the editors picked details and fragments to condemn slavery using the words of slaveholders against themselves.
“Yours, for the cause”: The Christian Recorder Writings of Lizzie Hart
Eric Gardner, Saginaw Valley State University
Recovering the Christian Recorder articles of Lizzie Hart (1837-1887), Eric Gardner argues that, though Hart was not well known in the abolitionist cause, her fourteen publications for the Recorder in 1864 and 1865 shed light on women’s involvement in the black press. Born to free African American parents in Kentucky, she was involved with the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Ohio and subscribed to the Recorder at a time when previously struggling black newspapers were beginning to thrive. Corresponding with the paper through letters and poetry in a number of stylistic modes, she discusses the work of black Union soldiers, the racist policies of the US, and the domestic roles of citizen-soldiers. Gardner argues that, although her contributions comment largely on constructions of black manhood, she also challenges views of black women’s agency (or lack thereof) as these women used their voices in public debates.
Elizabeth Stoddard’s Civil War: “Gossip from Gotham” and the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin
Jennifer Putzi, College of William and Mary
Jennifer Putzi writes about discovering in 2008 that Elizabeth Stoddard, who desired an opportunity to be a war correspondent, fulfilled her desire by writing as an anonymous “Lady Correspondent” for the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin from May 1862 to March 1863. In these articles, Stoddard argues that she is unlike other women correspondents because she presents facts and opinions rather than using ornate language and is a war correspondent who could rival her male counterparts. Putzi argues that Stoddard continued her work for the Daily Alta California in the Bulletin and expanded the definition of war correspondence by valuing women’s perspectives on wars. Writing most of her letters under the title “Gossip from Gotham,” Stoddard blended news about war, observations of city life, travel writing, and news and reviews. She used her experiences and opinions to speak to audiences who were removed geographically from, for instance, the Civil War but were not removed intellectually or emotionally. As Putzi sees Stoddard’s politics (such as her abolitionism) in her correspondence, she calls on more attention to these materials as a means of better understanding women’s journalism and Stoddard’s own writing process, politics, and role as a journalist.
Ida M. Tarbell’s “Women in Journalism”
Robin L. Cadwallader, Saint Francis University, Pennsylvania
Jane McManus Storm Cazneau, 1807-1878
Megan Jenison Griffin, Texas Christian University
Megan Jenison Griffin profiles the life and work of Jane McManus Storm Cazneau, who also wrote under pseudonyms such as Montgomery, Storms, and Mrs. William L. Cazneau. Writing as a war correspondent (largely for the New York Sun) and travel writer, Cazneau was an expansionist who advocated the annexations of Texas and Cuba, wrote articles about the US-Mexico War and European revolutions, and decried US policies toward Native Americans. She countered Margaret Fuller by arguing that real women of the nineteenth century consisted largely of the laboring classes, and she advocated workplace equality and women’s education in business. Griffin argues that studying Cazneau can aid in a better understanding of the roles of women in journalism, women’s rhetoric, and women’s involvement in politics.
The Literary Work of Editing Letters
Elizabeth Hewitt, The Ohio State University, Columbus
Figuring Modesty in Feminist Discourse Across the Americas, 1633-1700 by Tamara Harvey
Anne G. Myles, University of Northern Iowa
Reforming the World: Social Activism and the Problem of Fiction in Nineteenth-Century Fiction in Nineteenth-Century America by Maria Carla Sánchez
Susan M. Ryan, University of Louisville
Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women in the Nineteenth Century by P. Gabrielle Foreman
Chorine Sherrard-Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Uncommon Women: Gender and Representation in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women’s Writing by Laura Laffrado
Katherine Adams, University of South Carolina
Working Women, Literary Ladies: The Industrial Revolution and Female Aspirations by Sylvia Jenkins Cook
Leslie Wallace Wooton, University of Oregon
Enterprising Youth: Social Values and Acculturation in Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Literature edited by Monika Elbert
Carol J. Singley, Rutgers University-Camden
Vision, Gender, and Power in Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Writing, 1860-1900 by Birgit Spengler
Rita Bode, Trent University
The Color of Democracy in Women’s Regional Writing by Jean Carol Griffith
Philip Joseph, University of Colorado Denver
Sapphira and the Slave Girl by Willa Cather, edited by Frederick M Link, Charles W. Mignon, and Kari A Ronning and Youth and the Bright Medusa by Willa Cather, edited by Frederick M. Link, Charles W. Mignon, Judith Boss, and Kari A. Ronning
Michael Gorman, Hiroshima Jogakuin University
Emily Hamilton and Other Writings by Susan Vickery edited by Scott Slawinski and Lucinda; or, the Mountain Mourner by P. D. Manville, edited by Mischelle B. Anthony
Jill Kristen Anderson, Southern Illinois University
A Black Daughter of the Revolution
Frances Smith Foster, Emory University
Reviews of Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins: Black Daughter of the Revolution by Lois Brown
Jacqueline Bacon, Independent Scholar
Susan Tomlinson, University of Massachusetts Boston
Last Updated: 03/29/2013 19:20 PDT