Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-v5vhk Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-16T19:56:27.703Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 18 - Security Theory

from Theory in the City

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2021

Kevin R. McNamara
Affiliation:
University of Houston-Clear Lake
Get access

Summary

This chapter extends the study of security from political science, sociology, and cultural anthropology to literary studies. To this end, the chapter puts into conversation Charles Brockden Brown’s urban gothic novel Arthur Mervyn (1799/1800) and the theorization of security offered by Michel Foucault. Brown’s fictional exploration of security and Foucault’s historico-theoretical approach both focus on political responses to infectious disease in urban spaces. While there are striking similarities between their perspectives, this chapter does not read Brown with Foucault. Rather, it shows how Brown’s literary treatment of the yellow fever epidemic that raged through Philadelphia in 1793 differs from what Foucault called the “security dispositif.” Brown proposes that the embrace of uncertainty in responding to the epidemic will have positive effects on the moral fiber of the republic. His republican security imaginary is irreducible to the Foucauldian program of critiquing the biopolitical regulation of individual and collective life, not least because Foucault’s target is a political order that is liberal rather than republican.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Security Theory
  • Edited by Kevin R. McNamara, University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Book: The City in American Literature and Culture
  • Online publication: 06 August 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108895262.019
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Security Theory
  • Edited by Kevin R. McNamara, University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Book: The City in American Literature and Culture
  • Online publication: 06 August 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108895262.019
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Security Theory
  • Edited by Kevin R. McNamara, University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • Book: The City in American Literature and Culture
  • Online publication: 06 August 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108895262.019
Available formats
×