Inspired by Toni Morrison's call for an interracial approach to American literature, and by recent efforts to globalize American literary studies, Race, Transnationalism, and Nineteenth-Century American Literary Studies ranges widely in its case-study approach to canonical and non-canonical authors. Leading critic Robert S. Levine considers Cooper, Hawthorne, Stowe, Melville, and other nineteenth-century American writers alongside less well known African American figures such as Nathaniel Paul and Sutton Griggs. He pays close attention to racial representations and ideology in nineteenth-century American writing, while exploring the inevitable tension between the local and the global in this writing. Levine addresses transatlanticism, the Black Atlantic, citizenship, empire, temperance, climate change, black nationalism, book history, temporality, Kantian transnational aesthetics, and a number of other issues. The book also provides a compelling critical frame for understanding developments in American literary studies over the past twenty-five years.
Robert S. Levine is Distinguished University Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Conspiracy and Romance (Cambridge, 1989), Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, and the Politics of Representative Identity (1997), Dislocating Race and Nation (2008), and The Lives of Frederick Douglass (2016), and the editor of over twenty volumes, He is the General Editor of The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Levine has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2014, the American Literature Section of the Modern Language Association awarded him the Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement in American Literary Studies.
Introduction; 1. Reading slavery and race in 'classic' American literature; 2. Temporality, race, and empire in Cooper's The Deerslayer: the beginning of the end; 3. Fifth of July: Nathaniel Paul and the circulatory routes of black nationalism; 4. American studies in an age of extinction: Poe, Hawthorne, Katrina; 5. The slave narrative and the revolutionary tradition of African American autobiography; 6. 'Whiskey, blacking, and all': temperance and race in William Wells Brown's Clotel; 7. Beautiful warships: the transnational aesthetics of Melville's Israel Potter; 8. Antebellum Rome: transatlantic mirrors in Hawthorne's The Marble Faun; 9. Edward Everett Hale's and Sutton E. Griggs's Men without a Country; 10. Frederick Douglass in fiction: from Harriet Beecher Stowe to James McBride; Notes.