The Word in Black and White: Reading Race in American Literature, 1638-1867

Paperback | June 1, 1993

byDana D. Nelson

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Dana Nelson provides a study of the ways in which Anglo-American authors constructed "race" in their works from the time of the first British colonists through the period of the Civil War. She focuses on some eleven texts, ranging from widely-known to little-considered, that deal with therelations among Native, African, and Anglo-Americans, and places her readings in the historical, social, and material contexts of an evolving U.S. colonialism and internal imperialism. Nelson shows how a novel such as The Last of the Mohicans sought to reify the Anglo historical past andsimultaneously suggested strategies that would serve Anglo-Americans against Native Americans as the frontier pushed farther west. Concluding her work with a reading of Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Nelson shows how that text undercuts the racist structures of the pre-CivilWar period by positing a revised model of sympathy that authorizes alternative cultural perspectives and requires Anglo-Americans to question their own involvement with racism.

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Dana Nelson provides a study of the ways in which Anglo-American authors constructed "race" in their works from the time of the first British colonists through the period of the Civil War. She focuses on some eleven texts, ranging from widely-known to little-considered, that deal with therelations among Native, African, and Anglo-Ameri...

Dana D. Nelson is Associate Professor of English at Louisiana State University. She is the editor of the Oxford edition of Rebecca Rush's Kelroy.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.25 × 6.1 × 0.51 inPublished:June 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195089278

ISBN - 13:9780195089271

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"Nelson provides the reader with some valuable and stimulating perceptions which will no doubt lead to much more discourse on the subject of race in our critical literature."--MELUS