By Robert S. Levine
American literary nationalism is commonly understood as a cohesive literary culture built within the newly autonomous usa that emphasised the original beneficial properties of the US and consciously differentiated American literature from British literature. Robert S. Levine demanding situations this review by means of exploring the conflicted, multiracial, and contingent dimensions found in the works of past due eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American and African American writers. clash and uncertainty, no longer 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 opinions of modern advancements in whiteness and imperialism reviews, arguing renewed awareness to where of contingency in American literary historical past is helping us to higher comprehend and research from writers attempting to make experience in their personal historic moments.
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Extra info for Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism
S. leaders would do if they had a footing in France: attempting to advance their own national ends. Instead of presenting continental conﬂict in terms of good versus evil, Brown therefore relativizes and universalizes nations’ geopolitical ambitions to ‘‘cover the globe,’’ suggesting that such ambitions tend not to be the province of a single country. ‘‘I hate not the French,’’ he remarks. ’’∂∑ Viewed from this perspective, expansionism is something that nations do, not because such activity is sanctioned by God (though some may believe it is), but because power fuels the geopolitics of nationhood.
The doubling of the size of the new nation at a time of intense geopolitical conﬂict gave material support to those who were committed to expansion, while prompting dissenters to raise questions about the wisdom of expansion. As it turned out, Americans sharing Jefferson’s vision of an ‘‘empire of liberty’’ were increasingly committed to slavery, Indian removal, and territorial acquisition. For this reason, some cultural historians have argued that the Louisiana Purchase led directly to the debates on Missouri, the hardening of sectional rivalries, the war with Mexico, the further expansion of slavery into the South and West, the Civil War, and the imperialism that would come to deﬁne the United States’ global presence by century’s end.
Citizenry to rid itself of the ‘‘foreign race’’ in its ‘‘bosom’’ (73). What remains somewhat problematic in Address is how to distinguish the subversives from the countersubversives, the ‘‘alien’’ from the ‘‘American,’’ imperialists from their prey. As Alan Axelrod and others have observed, Address, with its competing ﬁrst-person narrators, ventriloquial motifs, and emphasis on secrecy, has the feel of a Brown romance, akin, say, to Wieland, Edgar Huntly, and ‘‘Memoirs of Carwin’’ (1803–5). S. S.