Category: catharine maria sedgwick

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The Enlightenment, Religious Hypocrisy, and Republican Motherhood in Sedgwick’s “A New England Tale”

Note: During my first year as a PhD student, I took a class on novels in the Early Republic. The class looked at authors such as William Hill Brown, Charles Brockden Brown, Susanna Rowson, Hannah Webster Foster, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and others. For the course, we had to write brief responses (2-3 pages) to the novels and discussions. While packing to move recently, I … Read More The Enlightenment, Religious Hypocrisy, and Republican Motherhood in Sedgwick’s “A New England Tale”

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Josephine’s Invisibility in Kevin Sacco’s “Josephine”

Kevin Sacco’s Josephine (2017) is poignant and moving. Told only through sepia colored panels, without words, the semi-autobiographical¬†Josephine¬†centers on a seven year-old protagonist as he navigates Manhattan’s Upper West Side in the 1960s, guided in part by his Black caretaker, Josephine. Josephine is, as Sacco notes, a melding together “of my caretakers. . . Leonora, Cleo, Mildred, Louise, and Josephine.” Through Josephine, Sacco’s tale … Read More Josephine’s Invisibility in Kevin Sacco’s “Josephine”

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Chronicling the Rise of A Distinctly American Literature in the Survey Course

Every semester, I discuss how American authors sought to carve out their space in a early-nineteenth century world that countered European cultural and artistic influence. As we read throughout the semester, we encounter numerous authors who either explicitly or indirectly address the question, “How do we construct a distinctly American literature?” For me, this topic arises from the outset of the semester due to … Read More Chronicling the Rise of A Distinctly American Literature in the Survey Course

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Sarah Kemble Knight and Calls for a Distinctly American Literature

During our discussion of Sarah Kemble Knight’s Journal, I asked students to think about a broad topic regarding the first publication of Knight’s text in 1825 in relation to calls for a distinctly American literature during the early part of the nineteenth century. I have written about this before in regards to the turn towards Native American characters and more specifically King Phillip; however, … Read More Sarah Kemble Knight and Calls for a Distinctly American Literature

King Philip, William Apess, and the Emergence of a Distinct American Literature

Paul Revere’s caricature of King Philip (1772) Last post, I wrote briefly about Philip F. Gura’s biography of William Apess, and I discussed some of the links between Apess and Hosea Easton. Along with the links between Apess and the abolitionist movement, I have been intrigued with the relationship between Apess and the literary production of the period. Gura speaks to this topic some; … Read More King Philip, William Apess, and the Emergence of a Distinct American Literature