Month: March 2018

Teaching “Sentimental Fragments”

This semester, I taught the “Sentimental Fragments” collection in my American Literature survey course through 1865. Initially, I was a had a little trepidation about teaching these fragments in the course, specifically since I do no incorporate much sentimental fiction into the syllabus. As well, I do not have any fiction texts before the 1820s, Since it is a survey course, I use the … Read More Teaching “Sentimental Fragments”

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The Cult of Domesticity in Two of Lydia Maria Child’s Stories

Every time I read Lydia Maria Child’s work, new thoughts and paths emerge. Discussing “Chocura’s Curse” and “Slavery’s Pleasant Homes” this semester, my classes explored the ways that Child address the Cult of Domesticity. In the above stories, Child does not necessarily address each of the four pillars of the Cult of Domesticity–piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity. Notably, she addresses the pillars of domesticity … Read More The Cult of Domesticity in Two of Lydia Maria Child’s Stories

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Illuminating the Truth in Ethiop’s “Afric-American Picture Gallery”

Last post, I wrote about William J. Wilson’s motivation for writing the “Afric-American Picture Gallery (1859). Today, I want to expand on that conversation some and show how Wilson, under the pen-name Ethiop, challenges the master narratives of American history in much the same ways that David Walker, John Russwurm, Samuel Cornsih, Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup, and others did during the early to mid-nineteenth … Read More Illuminating the Truth in Ethiop’s “Afric-American Picture Gallery”

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“Afric-American Picture Gallery” and Representation

This semester, I added William J. Wilson’s “Afric-American Picture Gallery” (1859) to my Early American literature syllabus. Every semester, I add one or two texts I have never taught to my courses. Recently, I have headed over to the Just Teach One site for some ideas. That is where I came across Rosa and the “Afric-American Picture Gallery.” Today, I want to talk briefly about … Read More “Afric-American Picture Gallery” and Representation

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Black Labor in Waid and Jones’ “Strange Fruit”

My expectations going into Mark Waid and J.G. Jones’ Strange Fruit were high. I expected to encounter, between the covers, a work that would explore “themes of racism, cultural legacy, and human nature.” Overall, I was a little underwhelmed, and I even questioned the purpose of the comic itself. If, as Waid and Jones argued, they wanted to present a text that examined issues … Read More Black Labor in Waid and Jones’ “Strange Fruit”