Michelle R. Sizemore
Book Manuscript in Preparation:
NATIONAL ENCHANTMENT: Time, New Sovereignty, and the Vanishing State, 1790-1840
National Enchantment 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. 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, Leonora Sansay, 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.
 Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Trans. Gerald E. Bevan, (London: Penguin Books, 2003): 562.
Areas of Specialty:
- Early and Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture
- Historical Fiction
- Postcolonial Theory
- Political Theory and Literature
- Time Studies
“ ‘Changing by Enchantment’: Historical Convergence, Early National Comparisons, and Washington Irving’s Sketchbook.” Forthcoming, Studies in American Fiction, Fall 2013.
“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.