Monthly Archives: March 2015

New Book: Tropics of Haiti Race and the Literary History of the Haitian Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1789-1865 by Marlene L. Daut

From Liverpool University PressTropics of Haiti,jpgThe Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) was an event of monumental world-historical significance, and here, in the first systematic literary history of those events, Haiti’s war of independence is examined through the eyes of its actual and imagined participants, observers, survivors, and cultural descendants. The ‘transatlantic print culture’ under discussion in this literary history reveals that enlightenment racial ‘science’ was the primary vehicle through which the Haitian Revolution was interpreted by nineteenth-century Haitians, Europeans, and U.S. Americans alike. Through its author’s contention that the Haitian revolutionary wars were incessantly racialized by four constantly recurring tropes—the ‘monstrous hybrid’, the ‘tropical temptress’, the ‘tragic mulatto/a’, and the ‘colored historian’—Tropics of Haiti shows the ways in which the nineteenth-century tendency to understand Haiti’s revolution in primarily racial terms has affected present day demonizations of Haiti and Haitians. In the end, this new archive of Haitian revolutionary writing, much of which has until now remained unknown to the contemporary reading public, invites us to examine how nineteenth-century attempts to paint Haitian independence as the result of a racial revolution coincide with present-day desires to render insignificant and ‘unthinkable’ the second independent republic of the New World.

 

New Book: Transatlantic Romanticism by Andrew Hemingway and Alan Wallach, Eds.

From the University of Massachusetts Press:transatlantic.romanticism.cover That the Romantic movement was an international phenomenon is a commonplace, yet to date, historical study of the movement has tended to focus primarily on its national manifestations. This volume offers a new perspective. In thirteen chapters devoted to artists and writers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, leading scholars of the period examine the international exchanges that were crucial for the rise of Romanticism in England and the United States.

In the book’s introduction, Andrew Hemingway—building on the theoretical work of Michael Lowy and Robert Sayre—proposes that we need to remobilize the concept of Weltanschauung, or comprehensive worldview, in order to develop the kind of synthetic history of arts and ideas the phenomenon of Romanticism demands. The essays that follow focus on the London and New York art worlds and such key figures as Benjamin West, Thomas Bewick, John Vanderlyn, Washington Allston, John Martin, J. M. W. Turner, Thomas Cole, James Fenimore Cooper, George Catlin, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Herman Melville. Taken together, these essays plot the rise of a romantic anti-capitalist Weltanschauung as well as the dialectic between Romanticism’s national and international manifestations.

In addition to the volume editors, contributors include Matthew Beaumont, David Bindman, Leo Costello, Nicholas Grindle, Wayne Franklin, Janet Koenig, William Pressly, Robert Sayre, William Truettner, Dell Upton, and William Vaughan. – See more at: http://www.umass.edu/umpress/title/transatlantic-romanticism#sthash.ZBjrHmlo.dpuf