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Papers on Language and Literature
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Volume 56, Number 2, 2020



JULIE WILHELM, “‘All the Fervor of a Camp-Meeting’: Race and Revivalism in Uncle Tom’s Cabin

ABSTRACT: This essay examines Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in light of revival discourse and racialist ideas of the early- to mid-nineteenth-century. It specifically studies how cultural anxieties about merely social or “animal” feelings operating at religious revivals, which some observers feared might overwhelm genuine religious experience, complicate Stowe’s use of embodied knowledge in her novel. To protect her religion of the heart from corrupted embodied emotionality, Stowe tries to carve out a space for social movements of feeling that are immune to the threats ascribed to animal feelings by racializing non-transformative feelings, ironically adapting common racialist images of African Americans as tending toward docility and wild emotionality for her abolitionist purposes. Through these portrayals, she suggests that white readers are not as susceptible to merely social embodied experiences and thus validates white readers’ affective responses to the novel as a reliable path to moral knowledge.

LUIGI JUAREZ, “The Automobile as Epistemological Question in John O’Hara’s Appointment in Samarra

ABSTRACT: In Appointment in Samarra, John O’Hara renders his story-world automobiles as closely as he possibly can to their real-world counterparts. In doing so, he re-inscribes them with extraordinary levels of knowledge that at once subvert the popular, mass car culture of his day and the popular, mass accessibility of his fiction. Degrees of those knowledges, then, become markers for how we approach the novel. Suddenly, the book—which was a best-seller in its day—becomes newly freighted with the epistemological hurdles of specialized knowledge and self-referential language that have long been identified as “modern” and part of the modernist enterprise. I term this modality, (auto)mobility, since O’Hara leverages the textbook definition of automobility—"The use of automobiles or motor vehicles as a mode of transport; motor travel” (OED)—as a compositional principle which then grants him the freedom (“-mobility”) to open up new spaces of narrative action.

AHMED BANISALAMAH, “Colonialism, Sexualities and Culture: A Transnational Interrogation of Caribbean Subjectivities”

ABSTRACT: Colonialism and slavery are the founding blocks of the Caribbean islands. Being the first site of European colonization, it survived the dictates of imperialism and imbibed the cultural influences of Asia and Africa. This resulted in the creation of a hybrid literary body that explored the class, race, gender, sexuality and identity issues of everyday existence of the Caribbean people. The intense pain of erasure; oppressive heteronormativity; diaspora; authenticity; queer (un) belonging; spiritual refuge and social hierarchy enriched by the firsthand experience of the subjugated significantly manifest the Caribbean literary terrain. Drawing on insights from postcolonial studies I wish to study some of the representative works of Caribbean realities to understand the altered psychology, identity, status and culture of the inhabitants. This academic pursuit intends to disrupt the presumed silence on sexuality and cultural bias thus paving way for the future perusal of such critical issues and engagements of daily survival.

JONATHAN GREENBERG reviews Evelyn Waugh’s Satire: Texts and Context by the Naomi Milthorpe

ANNE C. McCARTHY reviews Romantic Shades and Shadows by Susan J. Wolfson


TRACY HAYES reviews Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, A Thomas Hardy Society Study Day


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