Vol. 18 No. 2 : Spring 2018


Parenting for the “Rough Places” in Antebellum America

Sedgwick’s evolving ideas about her children’s natures and her ability to shape them reflected an emerging American skepticism of the perfectibility of the individual and society at large, and an increasing emphasis on the determining power of innate characteristics.


After the Statues Have Fallen

Rusert intervenes in narratives of racist pseudo-science, establishing not only a more inclusive history of early American science, but in doing so, arguing for a revision of the concept of the human.

Chronicling Black Chosenness

The heart of Fagan’s argument concerns how black newspapers transmitted, shaped, and fostered the myriad “practices of a dynamic black chosenness,” a powerful ideological tradition linking the experiences of black Americans with God’s chosen nation.

From Necessity to Nuance: How Edith Maude Eaton Became Sui Sin Far, a Case Study

Edith Maude Eaton is more than a token representative of Asian North American literatures within the overarching fields of American and Canadian literatures.

Manufacturing Kin

The presence of educated Native young men who pursued legal action in American courts, addressed American legislative bodies, and created written constitutions did not confirm the success of American acculturation efforts; rather, it threatened American efforts to seize Native land.

The Arts of Accompaniment: Ornament and Poetry in the American Renaissance

 Davis brings to poetics a newly enlivening framework of gesture, relation, and immediacy that boldly recasts how we read these poets, and with it the worldly work of poetry.  

The Pursuit of Status: Elite Formation in the American Revolution

Obsessed with status, revolutionary gentlemen aimed to strengthen their newly acquired political authority by promoting social, cultural, and economic practices and associations that emphasized hierarchy and obedience in the 1780s.

The Unique Diversity of Black Girls’ Experience

Nazera Sadiq Wright’s Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century is an exemplar of well-researched and innovative scholarship, an exciting book for scholars of early African American literature and beyond.

The Common School

“The Right Path”: The Civil Rights Movement and the 1864 Syracuse Black Convention

I realized that in order to help my students fully understand how black abolitionists in the North thought about the meaning of the Civil War, I needed to engage some issues that were not raised in Savannah and to explore how other black leaders defined freedom.

Notes on the Text

Black Girlhood in Early American Children’s Print Culture

From Black Girlhood in the Nineteenth Century. Copyright 2016 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Used with permission of the University of Illinois Press.
Winner of the 2018 Children’s Literature Association’s Honor Book Award

Poetic Research

Fires in the Hearth

Poet Afaa M. Weaver explores his ancestors’ ability to maintain loving structures despite the pressures of slavery.

The Common School

Oregon Abroad: Staying Home to Investigate the Cultural and Natural History of Our Own Backyard

Our historiographical queries pushed our scientists to think through the meaning and implications, not merely of current scientific consensuses, but also of past ones.

Tales from the Vault

The Advice Jefferson Never Received: Health Counsel Delivered to Jefferson From His Italian Friend Filippo Mazzei, Two Hundred Years Too Late

I entered the archive in Florence in June 2015 looking for one item, and I walked out with something completely unexpected, yet to which I was deeply and personally connected.