The Public Intellectualism of Ralph Waldo Emerson and W.E.B. Du Bois: Emotional Dimensions of Race…

Hardcover | February 15, 2010

byRyan Schneider

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In The Public Intellectualism of Ralph Waldo Emerson and W.E.B. Du Bois, Ryan Schneider shows how and why two of America’s most influential public intellectuals—writing from opposite sides of the color line—defined race not only in biological and geo-cultural terms but also as an emotional phenomenon. Drawing on and advancing recent work in Cognitive Literary Studies, Critical Race Theory, and the History of Emotions, Schneider comparatively examines the range of feelings Emerson and Du Bois attribute to the experience of racial difference; his innovative close readings reveal the surprising extent to which they conceive of race reform as an emotive process and how expressions of personal feeling underwrite their public commitments to re-imagining black-white relations.

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In The Public Intellectualism of Ralph Waldo Emerson and W.E.B. Du Bois, Ryan Schneider shows how and why two of America’s most influential public intellectuals—writing from opposite sides of the color line—defined race not only in biological and geo-cultural terms but also as an emotional phenomenon. Drawing on and advancing recent wo...

Ryan Schneider is Associate Professor of English at Purdue University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:February 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230618847

ISBN - 13:9780230618848

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Province of Public Intellectualism: Emerson, Du Bois, Emotion, and Reform Writing * Race: You’ll Know It When You Feel It * Double Consciousness: It’s More Than What You Think * Losing Your Head: Why Du Bois and Emerson (Mostly) Like John Brown * Intimate Attachments: Fathers, Sons, and Public Intellectuals * Conclusion: Theory of Mind and the Color Line

Editorial Reviews

“Both Emersonians and Du Boisians will be deeply engaged by Schneider’s innovative arguments about the understudied interconnections between these two figures. Schneider’s analysis of emotion and intellect—or more precisely, how affect interfaces with cognition—emerges organically out of his close readings of the work of each thinker, and he demonstrates, often to arresting effect, the centrality of feeling in their reform writings. This accessible, penetrating study will appeal to people in a variety of fields—literature, history, philosophy, sociology, and American Studies—and is a must-read for anyone interested in questions of race, affect and cognition, and social reform.”--Dana Nelson, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and American Studies, Vanderbilt University and author of The Word in Black and White and National Manhood “By viewing the intertwined emotional and intellectual development of Emerson and Du Bois through the lens of ‘double consciousness,’ Schneider opens up striking new ways to understand the connections between these major figures, each one arguably the most important reform-minded public intellectual of his day.”--Eric J. Sundquist, Foundation Professor of Literature, UCLA  “A carefully researched, inventive, and compelling study of two towering figures in American intellectual history. Rather than opt for a conventional charting of ‘influence,’ or diachronic trend lines, Schneider takes the more fruitful path of selective concentrated analysis of comparable experiences, interests, and motions of the mind in order to dramatize a complex mix of affinities and discrepancies across the color line. Especially revealing is his demonstration of the intertwinement of emotion and intellect to the public intellectual work of these two notoriously cerebral thinkers.”--Lawrence Buell, Harvard University and author of Emerson