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Empowering words : outsiders and authorship in early America / Karen A. Weyler.

By: Weyler, Karen A.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Athens : The University of Georgia Press, ©2013Description: 1 online resource (xiii, 311 pages) : illustrations.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780820343259; 0820343250.Subject(s): Outsiders in literature | Authorship -- Social aspects -- United States | Literacy -- Social aspects -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Empowering wordsDDC classification: 810.9/001 LOC classification: PS185 | .W46 2013Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Introduction: Outsider authorship in early America -- Mourning New England: Phillis Wheatley and The broadside elegy -- An "Englishman under English colours": Briton Hammon, John Marrant, and the fungibility of Christian faith -- "Common, plain, every day talk" from "an uncommon quarter": Samson Occom and the language of the execution sermon -- Becoming "the American heroine": Deborah Sampson, collaboration, and performance -- "To proceed with spirit": Clementina Rind and the Virginia Gazette -- When barbers wrote books: mechanic societies and authorship -- Conclusion: Uncovering other outsider authors.
Summary: "Standing outside elite or even middling circles, outsiders who were marginalized by limitations on their freedom and their need to labor for a living had a unique grasp on the profoundly social nature of print and its power to influence public opinion. In Empowering Words, Karen A. Weyler explores how outsiders used ephemeral formats such as broadsides, pamphlets, and newspapers to publish poetry, captivity narratives, formal addresses, and other genres with wide appeal in early America. To gain access to print, outsiders collaborated with amanuenses and editors, inserted their stories into popular genres and cheap media, tapped into existing social and religious networks, and sought sponsors and patrons. They wrote individually, collaboratively, and even corporately, but writing for them was almost always an act of connection. Disparate levels of literacy did not necessarily entail subordination on the part of the less literate collaborator. Even the minimally literate and the illiterate understood the potential for print to be life changing, and outsiders shrewdly employed strategies to assert themselves within collaborative dynamics. Empowering Words covers an array of outsiders including artisans; the minimally literate; the poor, indentured, or enslaved; and racial minorities. By focusing not only on New England, the traditional stronghold of early American literacy, but also on southern towns such as Williamsburg and Charleston, Weyler limns a more expansive map of early American authorship."--Publisher's website.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
PS185 .W46 2013 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt46ngjf Available ocn842875113

Includes bibliographical references (pages 235-300) and index.

Introduction: Outsider authorship in early America -- Mourning New England: Phillis Wheatley and The broadside elegy -- An "Englishman under English colours": Briton Hammon, John Marrant, and the fungibility of Christian faith -- "Common, plain, every day talk" from "an uncommon quarter": Samson Occom and the language of the execution sermon -- Becoming "the American heroine": Deborah Sampson, collaboration, and performance -- "To proceed with spirit": Clementina Rind and the Virginia Gazette -- When barbers wrote books: mechanic societies and authorship -- Conclusion: Uncovering other outsider authors.

Print version record.

"Standing outside elite or even middling circles, outsiders who were marginalized by limitations on their freedom and their need to labor for a living had a unique grasp on the profoundly social nature of print and its power to influence public opinion. In Empowering Words, Karen A. Weyler explores how outsiders used ephemeral formats such as broadsides, pamphlets, and newspapers to publish poetry, captivity narratives, formal addresses, and other genres with wide appeal in early America. To gain access to print, outsiders collaborated with amanuenses and editors, inserted their stories into popular genres and cheap media, tapped into existing social and religious networks, and sought sponsors and patrons. They wrote individually, collaboratively, and even corporately, but writing for them was almost always an act of connection. Disparate levels of literacy did not necessarily entail subordination on the part of the less literate collaborator. Even the minimally literate and the illiterate understood the potential for print to be life changing, and outsiders shrewdly employed strategies to assert themselves within collaborative dynamics. Empowering Words covers an array of outsiders including artisans; the minimally literate; the poor, indentured, or enslaved; and racial minorities. By focusing not only on New England, the traditional stronghold of early American literacy, but also on southern towns such as Williamsburg and Charleston, Weyler limns a more expansive map of early American authorship."--Publisher's website.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Gaining access to print has always been a form of validation in US society. In this study, Weyler (Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro) expertly traces the circuitous paths to publication (broadsides, pamphlets, and so on) nonelite authors took in the colonial and post-Revolution US. Native Americans, free blacks, lower-middle-class mechanics, women, and slaves produced elegies, captivity narratives, sermons, speeches, and, in the case of publisher-editor Clementina Rind, the Virginia Gazette. In so doing, these individuals ingeniously exploited every opportunity--however narrow--to achieve public recognition. Insinuating themselves into religious, political, and cultural discourse, they managed to critique the society from which they were otherwise excluded. Weyler highlights, for example, Native American minister Samson Occom, who drew attention to the alienation of his people while simultaneously affirming evangelical values in his execution sermon for Moses Paul. Deborah Sampson fought disguised as a man in the Revolutionary War and skillfully managed to get men to write on her behalf, thereby appropriating powerful white networks to obtain a military pension. This fascinating book introduces a largely neglected area of scholarship and is an indispensable resource for scholars, teachers, and students of American literature. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. L. A. Brewer Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

KAREN A. WEYLER is an associate professor of American literature in the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the author of Intricate Relations: Sexual and Economic Desire in American Fiction, 1789-1814 .

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