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Imperfect unions : staging miscegenation in U.S. drama and fiction / Diana Rebekkah Paulin.

By: Paulin, Diana Rebekkah.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 2012Description: 1 online resource (345 p.) : ill.ISBN: 9780816680177 (electronic bk.); 0816680175 (electronic bk.).Subject(s): American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism | Miscegenation in literature | American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism | Literature and society -- United States -- History -- 19th century | Literature and society -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Racially mixed people in literature | Race relations in literature | Race in literatureAdditional physical formats: Print version:: No titleDDC classification: 810.9/355 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Introduction. Setting the stage: The Black-white binary in an imperfect union -- Under the covers of forbidden desire: interracial unions as surrogates -- Clear definitions for an anxious world: late nineteenth-century surrogacy -- Staging the unspoken terror -- The remix: Afro-Indian intimacies -- The futurity of miscegenation -- Conclusion: the "sex factor"and twenty-first century stagings of miscegenation.
Summary: " Imperfect Unions examines the vital role that nineteenth- and twentieth-century dramatic and literary enactments played in the constitution and consolidation of race in the United States. Diana Rebekkah Paulin investigates how these representations produced, and were produced by, the black-white binary that informed them in a wide variety of texts written across the period between the Civil War and World War I--by Louisa May Alcott, Thomas Dixon, J. Rosamond Johnson, Charles Chesnutt, James Weldon Johnson, William Dean Howells, and many others. Paulin's "miscegenated reading practices" reframe the critical cultural roles that drama and fiction played during this significant half century. She demonstrates the challenges of crossing intellectual boundaries, echoing the crossings--of race, gender, nation, class, and hemisphere--that complicated the black-white divide at the turn of the twentieth century and continue to do so today. Imperfect Unions reveals how our ongoing discussions about race are also dialogues about nation formation. As the United States attempted to legitimize its own global ascendancy, the goal of eliminating evidence of inferiority became paramount. At the same time, however, the foundation of the United States was linked to slavery that served as reminders of its "mongrel" origins. "-- Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
PS217.M57 P38 2012 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttv6f0 Available ocn811507036

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Description based upon print version of record.

" Imperfect Unions examines the vital role that nineteenth- and twentieth-century dramatic and literary enactments played in the constitution and consolidation of race in the United States. Diana Rebekkah Paulin investigates how these representations produced, and were produced by, the black-white binary that informed them in a wide variety of texts written across the period between the Civil War and World War I--by Louisa May Alcott, Thomas Dixon, J. Rosamond Johnson, Charles Chesnutt, James Weldon Johnson, William Dean Howells, and many others. Paulin's "miscegenated reading practices" reframe the critical cultural roles that drama and fiction played during this significant half century. She demonstrates the challenges of crossing intellectual boundaries, echoing the crossings--of race, gender, nation, class, and hemisphere--that complicated the black-white divide at the turn of the twentieth century and continue to do so today. Imperfect Unions reveals how our ongoing discussions about race are also dialogues about nation formation. As the United States attempted to legitimize its own global ascendancy, the goal of eliminating evidence of inferiority became paramount. At the same time, however, the foundation of the United States was linked to slavery that served as reminders of its "mongrel" origins. "-- Provided by publisher.

Introduction. Setting the stage: The Black-white binary in an imperfect union -- Under the covers of forbidden desire: interracial unions as surrogates -- Clear definitions for an anxious world: late nineteenth-century surrogacy -- Staging the unspoken terror -- The remix: Afro-Indian intimacies -- The futurity of miscegenation -- Conclusion: the "sex factor"and twenty-first century stagings of miscegenation.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Paulin's provocative study examines plays and novels dealing with black-white interracial mixing from the end of the Civil War until the beginning of WW I. Noting the proliferation of works on the subject during this period, Paulin (Trinity College) posits that these works were pivotal in defining the notion of race and what it meant to be an American then; moreover, she suggests the works lay the foundation for the divided racial consciousness that still persists in the US. The author utilizes what she terms "miscegenated reading practices" in her studies, crossing color lines by writing about white and black authors. She also crosses the disciplinary lines of literary studies, history, theater and performance, and racial and ethnic studies. Each chapter compares two sometimes disparate-seeming authors: Dion Boucicault and Louisa May Alcott; Pauline Hopkins and the team of J. Rosamond Johnson and Bob Cole; Hopkins and James Weldon Johnson; William Dean Howells and Bartley Campbell; Charles Chesnutt and Thomas Dixon. Most of the authors and works she examines will be known only to specialists, but Paulin raises intriguing points, and the result is a fascinating study for those interested in American literature, theater studies, and/or black literature. Summing Up: Recommended. Large collections, all levels. L. J. Parascandola Long Island University

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