Michelle R. Sizemore

mrsize0's picture
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; B.A., University of Kentucky

Book Manuscript in Preparation:

AMERICA'S ENCHANTMENTS: Time and the Magic of the People in the Post-Revolutionary World, 1790-1850

America's Enchantments seeks to understand the new republic’s captivation by the colonial past, even as it was gaining the reputation for “car[ing] but little for what has been” and for hurtling headlong into the future.[1] My project views this temporal paradox as one of many complex forms of time consciousness developing from both the rapid transformations of post-revolutionary society and the accelerated historical experience of modernity.  In works by Charles Brockden Brown, Washington Irving, Catharine Sedgwick, and Nathaniel Hawthorne—as well as in Delaware oral histories, accounts of George Washington’s inauguration, Erasmus Darwin’s medical studies, and Methodist conversion narratives—enchantment produces temporal arrangements that capture affiliations across non-contemporaneous cultural fields and time frames. This phenomenon not only grants insight to alternative histories and unexpected relationships but also gives rise to extraordinary re-imaginings of sovereign agency and subjectivity.

[1] Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Trans. Gerald E. Bevan, (London: Penguin Books, 2003): 562.

Areas of Interest:

  • Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture
  • Political Theory
  • Literature and Science
  • Time Studies
  • Affect Studies



Selected Publications: 

“ ‘Changing by Enchantment’: Temporal Convergence and Early National Comparisons in Washington Irving’s Sketchbook.” Studies in American Fiction. 40.2 (2013): 157-180.

“When are the People?: Temporality, Popular Sovereignty, and the U.S. Settler State.”  South Central Review Special Issue on U.S. Imperialism. 30.1(2013): 3-31.

Sample Publications:
Enter your English username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected