Domestic Allegories of Political Desire: The Black Heroines Text at the Turn of the Century

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byClaudia Tate

not yet rated|write a review
Why did African-American women novelists use idealized stories of bourgeois courtship and marriage to mount arguments on social reform during the last decade of the nineteenth century, during a time when resurgent racism conditioned the lives of all black Americans? Such stories now seem likeapolitical fantasies to contemporary readers. This is the question at the center of Tate's examination of the novels of Pauline Hopkins, Emma Kelley, Amelia Johnson, Katherine Tillman, and Frances Harper. Domestic Allegories of Political Desire is more than a literary study; it is also a social andintellectual history--a cultural critique of a period that historian Rayford W. Logan called "the Dark Ages of recent American history." Against a rich contextual framework, extending from abolitionist protest to the Black Aesthetic, Tate argues that the idealized marriage plot in these novels doesnot merely depict the heroine's happiness and economic prosperity. More importantly, that plot encodes a resonant cultural narrative--a domestic allegory--about the political ambitions of an emancipated people. Once this domestic allegory of political desire is unmasked in these novels, it can beseen as a significant discourse of the post-Reconstruction era for representing African-Americans' collective dreams about freedom and for reconstructing those contested dreams into consummations of civil liberty.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$67.50

Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From Our Editors

Why did late nineteenth-century African-American women novelist use idealized stories of bourgeois courtship and marriage to mount arguments of social reform during a time when resurgent racism conditioned the lives of all black Americans? This is the question at the center of Tate's examination of the novels of Pauline Hopkins, Emma K...

From the Publisher

Why did African-American women novelists use idealized stories of bourgeois courtship and marriage to mount arguments on social reform during the last decade of the nineteenth century, during a time when resurgent racism conditioned the lives of all black Americans? Such stories now seem likeapolitical fantasies to contemporary readers...

Claudia Tate is Professor of African-American and American Literatures at George Washington University. She is the author of the forthcoming Desire and the Rituals of Race (OUP, November 1996) and editor of The Works of Katherine Davis Chapman Tillman (OUP, 1991).

other books by Claudia Tate

Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195108574

ISBN - 13:9780195108576

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Domestic Allegories of Political Desire: The Black Heroines Text at the Turn of the Century

Reviews

Extra Content

From Our Editors

Why did late nineteenth-century African-American women novelist use idealized stories of bourgeois courtship and marriage to mount arguments of social reform during a time when resurgent racism conditioned the lives of all black Americans? This is the question at the center of Tate's examination of the novels of Pauline Hopkins, Emma Kelley, Amelia Johnson, Katherine Tillman, and Frances Harper.

Editorial Reviews

"Tate provides a fresh, provocative reading of black women's writing..."--Commonweal