Vol. 17 No. 2.5 : Winter 2017



A Nation Apart, Together

Because of their insistence on pacifism, Quakers historically have been treated as suspicious, at best, or traitors, at worst.

Bibles, American Style

John Fea argues that the American Bible Society was an eminently American institution that sought to build a Christian nation.

Conjecturing Histories

Gretchen J. Woertendyke unsettles and unmoors our geographic conceptions, whether arranged by nation, region, continent, or hemisphere.

The Relational Turn

Wigginton reveals the many different kinds of American women—including women of color, lower-status women, and dissenting or exiled women—who participated in the public dialogues that helped to constitute an American sense of national identity.

Poetic Research


Jill McDonough explores the pains–explicit and suppressed–suffusing early American culture.

Vol. 17 No. 2 : Winter 2017


Editor’s Note: Issue 17.2

Presenting a new, themed issue of Common-place on Care and Dependence in Early America.

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Incarcerating Children in the Age of Emancipation

In 1872, a small group of juvenile inmates challenged the terms of their incarceration, but even their modest success suggests the hazards of imagining children’s rights outside of human rights.


Cindy Weinstein, Time, Tense, and American Literature: When is Now? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 194 pp., $89.99.

Reading Time

Focusing attention on the various “temporal markers” in each text, Weinstein reveals the ways the novels in her archive unsettle straightforward chronology and leave time in disarray.

Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Michael J. Drexler, eds., The Haitian Revolution and the Early United States: Histories, Textualities, Geographies. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. 432 pp., $55.

Revolutionary Neighbors

Many of the essays in Dillon’s and Drexler’s book focus on incidents of “obscured interdependence,” moments when the United States’s very attempts to distance itself from Haiti reveal the presence of a deep and abiding, if disavowed, relationship between the revolutionary neighbors.

The Queer Young American Comes of Age

Winthrop’s 1861 novel is touted in 2016 as one of the queerest texts of the nineteenth century.

Ask the Author

“On the list of free nations”: Haitian Foreign Relations in the Revolutionary Atlantic

We talkwith Julia Gaffield about Haiti’s foreign relations in its early years of independence, the place of the Haitian Revolution, and the impact of the Haitian Declaration of Independence.

Object Lessons

Antiquarian Collecting and the Transits of Indigenous Material Culture: Rethinking “Indian Relics” and Tribal Histories 

Sponsored by The Chipstone Foundation. The Indigenous objects that once resided in early American collections present powerful opportunities for institutions to reflect on their own entanglements with centuries-long patterns of dispossession and settler colonialism.

Poetic Research

At the Experimental Forest

The importance of clarity—of, as a white writer, being crystal clear about what I was saying, particularly in regard to indigenous languages and history—led me toward prose.

Tales from the Vault

Early National Bro Culture in Daniel Parker’s War Department

Participation in a privileged culture of masculinity was an important part of achieving and maintaining political power.

Web Library

Early Native American Digital Collections

These projects represent different approaches to the larger project of decolonizing archives, ranging from digital repatriation to deeper reflections on the colonial nature of the archive itself.

The Common School

The Caribbean Game: Building Students’ Vision of European Power Dynamics ‘Beyond the Line’

Calling the exercise a Caribbean “game” begs the question of who, in the end, won the Caribbean.

Notes on the Text

The Difference Greek Makes: Race, Typos, and the Classics in Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia

Jefferson quoted in Greek to substantiate a racial hierarchy by linking racial identity and classical learning, but the Greek in that quotation has been plagued by errors.