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The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Renaissance
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Book description

The American Renaissance has been a foundational concept in American literary history for nearly a century. The phrase connotes a period, as well as an event, an iconic turning point in the growth of a national literature and a canon of texts that would shape American fiction, poetry, and oratory for generations. F. O. Matthiessen coined the term in 1941 to describe the years 1850–1855, which saw the publications of major writings by Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman. This Companion takes up the concept of the American Renaissance and explores its origins, meaning, and longevity. Essays by distinguished scholars move chronologically from the formative reading of American Renaissance authors to the careers of major figures ignored by Matthiessen, including Stowe, Douglass, Harper, and Longfellow. The volume uses the best of current literary studies, from digital humanities to psychoanalytic theory, to illuminate an era that reaches far beyond the Civil War and continues to shape our understanding of American literature.

Reviews

'The essays are consistently engaging and … address a general as well as a scholarly audience. The most successful contributions not only introduce an author (or authors) but also stake a claim. Most readers will find that the collection expands one's reading list by reminding one of the importance of authors such as William Gilmore Simms, George Lippard, and Alice Cary, whose works afford opportunities to reassess the idea of an American Renaissance.'

G. D. MacDonald Source: Choice

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Contents


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Page 1 of 2


Bercovitch, Sacvan. The American Jeremiad. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1978.
Bercovitch, Sacvan. ed. The Cambridge History of American Literature. 8 vols. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994–2005.
Bercovitch, Sacvan. The Puritan Origins of the American Self. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975.
Bercovitch, Sacvan. Rites of Assent: Transformations in the Symbolic Construction of America. New York: Routledge, 1993.
Bercovitch, Sacvan and Jehlen, Myra, eds. Ideology and Classic American Literature. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Blum, Hester, ed. Turns of Event: Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies in Motion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.
Brown, Gillian. Domestic Individualism: Imagining Self in Nineteenth-Century America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
Buell, Lawrence. The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.
Buell, Lawrence. New England Literary Culture: From Revolution Through Renaissance. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Bush, Harold K. and Yothers, Brian, eds. Above the American Renaissance. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2018.
Castiglia, Christopher. Interior States: Institutional Consciousness and the Inner Life of Democracy in the Antebellum United States. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.
Chase, Richard Volney. The American Novel and Its Tradition. Garden City: Doubleday, 1957.
Cohen, Michael C. The Social Lives of Poems in Nineteenth-Century America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.
Crain, Patricia. The Story of A: The Alphabetization of America from the New England Primer to the Scarlet Letter. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000.
Douglas, Ann. The Feminization of American Culture. New York: Knopf, 1977.
Fiedler, Leslie A. Love and Death in the American Novel. New York: Criterion Books, 1960.
Franchot, Jenny. Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Encounter with Catholicism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.
Fuller, Randall. From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Grossman, Jay. Reconstituting the American Renaissance: Emerson, Whitman, and the Politics of Representation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003.
Hager, Christopher. Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.
Kevorkian, Martin. Writing Beyond Prophecy: Emerson, Hawthorne, and Melville After the American Renaissance. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013.
Leverenz, David. Manhood and the American Renaissance. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989.
Lewis, R. W. B. The American Adam: Innocence, Tragedy, and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955.
Loeffelholz, Mary. From School to Salon: Reading Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Poetry. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Marrs, Cody. Nineteenth-Century American Literature and the Long Civil War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
Marx, Leo. The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1964.
Matthiessen, F. O. American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1941.
McGill, Meredith. American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1834–1853. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.
McGill, Meredith. ed. The Traffic in Poems: Nineteenth-Century Poetry and Transatlantic Exchange. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2008.
Michaels, Walter Benn and Pease, Donald E., eds. The American Renaissance Reconsidered. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.
Otter, Samuel. “American Renaissance and Us.” Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 3.2 (Fall 2015): 228–35.
Pattee, Fred Lewis. The Feminine Fifties. New York: Appleton-Century, 1940.
Pease, Donald E. Visionary Compacts: American Renaissance Writings in Cultural Context. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.
Phillips, Christopher N. Epic in American Culture, Settlement to Reconstruction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
Powell, Timothy B. Ruthless Democracy: A Multicultural Interpretation of the American Renaissance. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
Reynolds, David S. Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville. New York: Knopf, 1988.
Reynolds, David S. Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography. New York: Knopf, 1995.
Rifkin, Mark. Settler Common Sense: Queerness and Everyday Colonialism in the American Renaissance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.
Sánchez-Eppler, Karen. Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
Slotkin, Richard. Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600–1860. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1973.
Sollors, Werner and Marcus, Greil, eds. A New Literary History of America. Cambridge, MA: Belknap/Harvard University Press, 2009.
Stokes, Claudia. Writers in Retrospect: The Rise of American Literary History, 1875–1910. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
Sundquist, Eric J. To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Tompkins, Jane P. Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790–1860. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Weikle-Mills, Courtney. Imaginary Citizens: Child Readers and the Limits of American Independence, 1640–1868. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.