Department of American Culture and Literature

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  • ItemOpen Access
    C. Dallet Hemphill, Philadelphia stories: people and their places in early America
    (Oxford Univ Press Inc, 2023-08-16) Johnson, Daniel Peter
  • ItemOpen Access
    Liberalism, Theology, and the Performative in Antebellum American Literature
    (Routledge, 2023-09-19) Mcdonald, Patrick
    The 1850s United States witnessed a far-reaching political, social, and economic crisis. Symptomatic of this, a wide range of narrative fiction from sentimental novels to sensational drama identifies a foundational link between liberal institutions and performative utterances. Auctions, trials, marriages, and contracts, this fiction contends, all depend on the self-constituting authority of words and performances which anybody and everybody can appropriate and are always subject to misfiring. Rather than viewing this as a liberatory and egalitarian political force, however, writers from Herman Melville and James Fenimore Cooper to Captain Mayne Reid and E.D.E.N. Southworth insist that such naked authority must be supplemented. A broad swath of 1850s literature insists that this supplement ought to come from Christianity. Anticipating thinkers like Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben, these works suggest that legitimate political authority depends upon its ability to represent Christian transcendence and account for revealed truth, something firmly outside of speech acts’ and performance’s purview. In so doing, this diverse body of fiction registers a desire to reconstitute political authority on transcendent and representable ground, augmenting institutional reliance on mere words and assuaging the contemporary crises of confidence and authority.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Crime in the city of brotherly love
    (History Today Ltd., 2022-01) Johnson, Daniel
  • ItemOpen Access
    American Gothic; or, what Melville can teach us
    (New Politics Associates, Inc., 2021-07-19) Johnson, Daniel
  • ItemOpen Access
    ‘Profane language, horrid oaths and imprecations’: order and the colonial soundscape in the American mid-Atlantic, 1650–1750
    (Routledge, 2021-08-04) Johnson, Daniel
    One of the most important developments in the historical discipline in recent years has been the growth of histories of the senses, and studies of sound and soundscapes have made important contributions to this growing field. The relationship between a perennial early modern concern for social order and ‘noise’ has received relatively little attention, however. This article examines the formation of novel soundscapes between the 1650s and 1740s in the North American middle colonies, the most ethnically and culturally diverse region of the English Atlantic world. Placing special emphasis on the region’s two largest cities, New York and Philadelphia, it argues that the mid-Atlantic’s distinctive soundscapes posed significant problems of order for urban and provincial authorities during a period of elite Anglicization. Sound was more than a way to encourage new norms of politeness; it was a source of contestation between different cultural systems. Speech, music and other sounds were also instrumental in processes of class, ethnic and racial formation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "Nothing will satisfy you but money" Debt, freedom, and the mid-atlantic culture of money, 1670–1764
    (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021-02-03) Johnson, Daniel
    Politics in British America often centered on the issue of currency. Competing ideas about the nature of money and what constituted just relations of credit and debt also pervaded everyday colonial culture. By the late seventeenth century, some mid-Atlantic colonists believed that colonial debt laws and powerful urban merchants’ monopolization of coin led to the appropriation of debtors’ land and labor. Assembly emissions of bills of credit in New York and Pennsylvania in the 1710s and 1720s eased many debtors’ burdens, but the creation of provincial paper monies enhanced rather than diminished money’s importance as an object of social and political controversy in the region. By the middle of the eighteenth century, supporters of paper money believed that bills of credit uniquely embodied liberty, possessing the power to maintain ordinary inhabitants’ independence. Monetary scarcity, by contrast, portended dispossession and bondage. This article analyzes the petitions, pamphlets, editorials, broadsides, and crowd actions that contributed to the creation of a distinctive culture of money in the mid-Atlantic between the 1670s and 1760s.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The next America: boomers, millennials, and the looming generational showdown (Paul Taylor and Pew Research Center, Public Affairs, New York, 2014, 288 Pages)
    (Uluslararası Stratejik Araştırmalar Kurumu, 2014) Bahar, Hacer
    Paul Taylor, the author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, analyzes the changes that have been occur-ring in the demographic social, political and cultural structures of the present American society, and tries to predict how those changes will form the U.S.’ future and affect the generations. The book illustrates the generations’ perspectives on religion, technology, race, immigration, gender roles, marriage, and employment. The arguments in the book are based on the public surveys and data that Taylor received from Pew Research Center, an independent think that provides knowledge and data in social, political and cultural spectrums. Taylor is the executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Youth in crisis: an Eriksonian interpretation of adolescent identity in "Franny"
    (Children's Research Center, 2008) Bezci, Şenol
    The purpose of this paper is to discuss Jerome David Salinger’s short story "Franny" from an Eriksonian point of view. Erik Erikson, still a major figure in the study of personality development, pays substantial importance to adolescence since it is the main period of identity formation, which some adolescent find difficult to go through. Adolescents that cannot develop fidelity to their society end up having either fanaticism or repudiation as it has been illustrated thorough Salinger’s main characters in “Franny”. Contrary to the general perception of Salinger critics, Franny is not an adolescent to look up to when approached with Erikson’s theories on adolescence and identity formation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Obama's 'whitess' and the politics of recognition: hybridizing white spaces and problematizing blackness
    (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012) Demirtürk, Emine Lale; Rahming, M. B.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Foucault, Michel
    (Springer, 2012) Bryson, Dennis R.; Rieber, R. W.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cult of Domesticity
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    The “cult of domesticity” was first explored as a historical phenomenon in antebellum U.S. society by Barbara Welter, who wrote in 1966 of a “cult of true womanhood,” though the phrase itself was coined by the historian Aileen Kraditor in 1968. Part of a broader nineteenth-century northern middle-class ideology of “separate spheres,” the cult of domesticity identified womanhood with the private or domestic sphere of the home and manhood with the public sphere of economic competition and politics. While the cult of domesticity primarily concerned a definition of femininity, defining the home as a space governed by women's sentimental, moral and spiritual influence, this ideology also contributed to definitions of manliness and sought to control male passions at a time when the market revolution, urbanization, ...
  • ItemOpen Access
    Confidence Man
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    The confidence man—a man who takes advantage of people by gaining their confidence, convincing them to trust him with their possessions, and then stealing those possessions— was a male archetype of Victorian middle-class culture. He symbolized middle-class Americans' anxieties about the potential for predatory male behavior in the increasingly anonymous, impersonal, and competitive social world being created by urbanization and the market revolution.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Democratic Manhood
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    Between 1815 and the 1840s, a concept of democratic manhood emerged in the United States, marking a conscious rejection of European (especially British) notions of ascribed social status. Strongly associated with Democratic president Andrew Jackson, democratic manhood was defined as political equality and broadened political participation among white men—and by the exclusion of women and nonwhites from the privileges of citizenship. It emphasized physical prowess and boisterous patriotism, expressed by the popularity of such frontiersmen as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. Furthermore, the concept informed a developing urban counterculture that resisted the aristocratic pretensions and bourgeois morality of an emerging middle class.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Crisis of Masculinity
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    It was during the late 1960s that historians first developed the notion of a “crisis of masculinity” to describe the nervous concerns that middle-class men had regarding masculinity and the male body during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This idea not only brought scholarly attention to important changes in constructions of manhood in the twentieth century, but also raised questions about the timing of changes in cultural constructions of masculinity, the extent of uniformity and variation in men's experiences of social change, and about men's attitudes toward feminism.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cold War
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    The Cold War, which began after World War II and lasted through the 1980s, was a geopolitical rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union grounded in an ideological rivalry between capitalism and communism. The Cold War raised concerns about both external and internal threats to American strength, social stability, and security, and particularly to material abundance, middle-class lifestyles, and cultural norms about masculinity. Motivated by fears of emasculation, effeminization, and homosexuality, Americans anxiously defined their nation and their way of life in terms culturally associated with masculinity, including power, diplomatic and military assertiveness, economic success, sexual and physical prowess, moral righteousness, and patriotism.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Whiteness
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    Throughout U.S. history, whiteness as a marker of racial identity, like masculinity as a gender identity, has often been associated with power, dominance, and the marginalization (and sometimes oppression) of others. Both whiteness and maleness have often derived their cultural force and power from being represented as universal categories, rather than expressly acknowledged as simply signifiers of race or gender. Whiteness and manhood have reinforced one another in U.S. society, usually through attempts by white males in power to deny that nonwhite males are true “men,” and thereby to exclude them from the privileges, rights, and opportunities associated with manhood in American culture.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Vietnam War
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War (1965–73) reflected and shaped American articulations of masculinity. Because the figure of the male soldier has long been an icon of both national and masculine identity in America, the United States' intervention in Vietnam offered two opportunities. First, within a larger context of Cold War rivalry, it could establish the superiority of U.S. military power and American masculinity over an Asian people and the Communist powers (the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China) that backed them. Second, it could reinvigorate masculinity at home at a time when such social forces as a resurgent women's rights movement, an emerging gay rights movement, the counterculture, and the economic downturn of the late 1960s and early 1970s undercut notions of ...
  • ItemOpen Access
    Class
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    The economic and social transformations engendered by industrialization, urbanization, and the emergence of a market economy in the nineteenth century led to processes of class formation, class difference, and class identity that have profoundly shaped definitions of manliness in the United States. A man's position in the process of production, the type of work he performs, and the amount of managerial and entrepreneurial control he exercises are determinants of class status and are intricately connected to notions of masculinity and gender. As an expression of a man's economic status, and of the cultural attitudes and perceptions that it engenders, class and class difference are connected to articulations of gender and manliness in U.S. society.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Tarzan
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    Created by the author Edgar Rice Burroughs the fictional character Tarzan was born Lord Greystoke, a member of an aristocratic British family. Stranded in the African jungle as a small child, Tarzan is found and raised by a group of primates. The character was first introduced to the public in 1912 in Tarzan of the Apes, which appeared in the magazine All-Story. The twenty-five novels that followed between 1912 and 1947 were a huge commercial success, with over 100 million copies sold, and Tarzan has become symbolic of a primal form of masculinity untouched by Western industrial civilization, as well as an escapist fantasy for generations of boys and men.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Victorian Era
    (SAGE Publications, Inc., 2004) Winter, Thomas; Carroll, Bret E.
    The Victorian Era (1837–1901) is the period in history during which Queen Victoria reigned over Great Britain. This includes both British and American cultural history from the 1830s to the end of the nineteenth century, though Victorian mores and practices had begun to fade during the 1880s. As a set of cultural conventions of male gender identity, Victorianism was generated by the fundamental social and economic changes of the nineteenth century, particularly industrialization, urbanization, and the market revolution. The term usually refers to prescriptions of middle-class manliness and emphasizes self-control in public conduct, companionship and emotional expressiveness in private life, and competitiveness and success in men's occupational lives.