Black and White Women's Travel Narratives: Antebellum Explorations

Black and White Women's Travel Narratives: Antebellum Explorations


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Cheryl J. Fish argues that the concept of mobility offers a significant paradigm for reading literature of the United States and the Americas in the antebellum period, particularly for women writers of the African diaspora. Charting journeys across nations and literary traditions, she examines works by three undervalued writers - Nancy Prince, an African American from Boston; and Margaret Fuller, a white New Englander and Transcendentalist - in whose lives mobility, travel literature, and benevolent work all converge. Refiguring the forms of domesticity, they traveled to the outposts of conflict and imperial expansion - colonial crossroads in Panama, Tsarist Russia, the Crimean War front, the U.S. frontier, and Jamaica after emancipation - and worked as healers, educators, and reformers. Each writer blended themes from exploration literature and various autobiographical genres to reconfigure racial and national identities and to issue a call for social action. They intervened strategically into discourses of medicine, education, religion, philanthropy, and emigration through a shifting and mobile subjectivity, negotiating relationships to various institutions, persons, and locations.

About Author

Cheryl J. Fish is associate professor of English at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, She is the coeditor of A Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African American Travel Writing.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780813027111
  • Format: Hardback
  • ID: 9780813027111
  • ISBN10: 081302711X

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