Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American

Hardcover | June 1, 1999

byRobert F. Reid-Pharr

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In Conjugal Union, Robert F. Reid-Pharr argues that during the antebellum period a community of free black northeastern intellectuals sought to establish the stability of a Black American subjectivity by figuring the black body as the necessary antecedent to any intelligible Black Americanpublic presence. Reid-Pharr goes on to argue that the fact of the black body's constant and often spectacular display demonstrates an incredible uncertainty as to that body's status. Thus antebellum black intellectuals were always anxious about how a stable relationship between the black communitymight be maintained. Paying particular attention to Black American novels written before the Civil War, the author shows how the household was utilized by these writers to normalize this relationship of body to community such that a person could enter a household as a white and leave it as ablack.

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In Conjugal Union, Robert F. Reid-Pharr argues that during the antebellum period a community of free black northeastern intellectuals sought to establish the stability of a Black American subjectivity by figuring the black body as the necessary antecedent to any intelligible Black Americanpublic presence. Reid-Pharr goes on to argue th...

Robert F. Reid-Pharr is at Johns Hopkins University.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:June 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195104021

ISBN - 13:9780195104028

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"Conjugal Union's greatest strength lies in Reid-Pharr's willingness to complicate, in necessary ways, not only classic treatments of modern narrative, but his own analysis as well. Roberts Reid-Pharr's book clearly helps fulfill the need for further analysis o the emergence of a BlackAmerican novelistic tradition and of the ways that scholars have habitually constructed that tradition." -- Callaloo