Critical Race Studies

Family Money: Property, Race, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century

Oxford University Press, 2012

Jeffory A. Clymer

Family Money explores the histories of formerly enslaved women who tried to claim inheritances left to them by deceased owners, the household traumas of mixed-race slaves, post-Emancipation calls for reparations, and the economic fallout from anti-miscegenation marriage laws. Authors ranging from Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frank Webb, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Chesnutt, to Lydia Maria Child recognized that intimate interracial relationships took myriad forms, often simultaneously-sexual, marital, coercive, familial, pleasurable, and painful. Their fiction confirms that the consequences of these relationships for nineteenth-century Americans meant thinking about more than the legal structure of racial identity. Who could count as family (and when), who could own property (and when), and how racial difference was imagined (and why) were emphatically bound together. Demonstrating that notions of race were entwined with economics well beyond the direct issue of slavery, Family Money reveals interracial sexuality to be a volatile mixture of emotion, economics, and law that had dramatic, long-term financial consequences.

Fugitive Empire: Locating Early American Imperialism

University of Minnesota Press, 2005

Andy Doolen

In Fugitive Empire, Andy Doolen investigates the relationships among race, nation, and empire in colonial and early national America, revealing how whiteness and American identity were conflated to stabilize racial hierarchy and to repulse challenges to national policies of slavery, war, and continental expansion. Doolen concludes that imperial authority lies at the heart of American republicanism, an unstable mixture of idealism, force, and pragmatism, wielded in the name of freedom even today.


Women and Race in Early Modern Texts

Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Joyce Green MacDonald

Joyce Green MacDonald discusses the links between women's racial, sexual, and civic identities in early modern texts. She examines the scarcity of African women in English plays of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the racial identity of the women in the drama and also that of the women who watched and sometimes wrote the plays. The coverage also includes texts from the late fourteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, by, among others, Shakespeare, Jonson, Davenant, the Countess of Pembroke and Aphra Behn.

Invisible Natives: Myth & Identity in the American Western

Cornell University Press, 2002.

Armando Jose Prats

This book casts a critical eye on the representation of Native Americans in the Western film since the genre's beginnings. Armando Jose Prats shows the ways in which film reflects cultural transformations in the course of America's historical encounter with "the Indian." He also explores the relation between the myth of conquest and American history. Among the films he discusses at length are Northwest Passage, Stagecoach, The Searchers, Hombre, Hondo, Ulzana's Raid, The Last of the Mohicans, and Dances with Wolves.

May All Your Fences Have Gates: Essays on the Drama of August Wilson

University of Iowa Press, 1994

Henry Louis Jr. Gates and Alan Nadel

This stimulating collection of essays, the first comprehensive critical examination of the work of two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, deals individually with his five major play and also addresses issues crucial to Wilson’s canon: the role of history, the relationship of African ritual to African American drama, gender relations in the African American community, music and cultural identity, the influence of Romore Bearden’s colleagues, and the politics of drama.

Invisible Criticism

University of Iowa Press, 1991

Alan Nadel

This new reading of a classic work examines Ellison's relation to and critique of the American literary canon by demonstrating that the pattern of allusions in Invisible Man forms a literary-critical subtext which challenges the accepted readings of such major American authors as Emerson, Melville, and Twain. Modeling his argument on Foucault's analysis of the asylum, Nadel analyzes the institution of the South to show how it moved blacks from "enslavement" to "slavery" to "invisibility"—all in the interest of maintaining an organization of power based on racial caste. He then demonstrates the ways Ellison wrote in the modernist/surreal tradition to trace symbolically the history of blacks in America as they moved not only from the nineteenth century to the twentieth, and from the rural South to the urban North, but as they moved (sometimes unnoticed) through American fiction.

 

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