By John J. Kucich, American studies, American history, spiritualism, nineteenth century, 19th century, 1800s, religious studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, religion, African American spirituality, African spirituality, Mexican spirituality
During this unheard of e-book, John J. Kucich finds via his readings of literary and historic bills how spiritualism contributed to shaping the phrases wherein local American, eu, and African cultures interacted in the USA from the earliest days of touch during the current. starting his learn with a provocative juxtaposition of the Pueblo Indian insurrection and the Salem Witchcraft trials of the 17th century, Kucich examines how either occasions cast "contact zones" Kucich then chronicles how a various team of writers used spiritualism to reshape more than a few such touch zones. those contain Rochester, big apple, the place Harriet Jacobs tailored the spirit rappings of the Fox Sisters and the abolitionist writings of Frederick Douglass as she crafted her personal tale of get away from slavery; post-bellum representations of the afterlife through Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Mark Twain and the local american citizens who built the Ghost Dance; turn-of-the-century neighborhood colour fiction via writers like Sarah Orne Jewett, Charles Chesnutt and Maria Cristina Mena; and the recent England reformist circles traced in Henry James's The Bostonians and Pauline Hopkins's of 1 Blood. Kucich's end appears at New Age spiritualism, then considers the results of a cross-cultural scholarship that pulls on a number of severe methodologies, from border and ethnic experiences to feminism to post-colonialism and the general public sphere. This learn, which brings canonical writers into dialog with lesser-known writers, is proper to the resurgent curiosity in spiritual reviews and American cultural stories ordinarily.
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Extra info for Ghostly Communion: Cross-Cultural Spiritualism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Sidonie Smith among others has pointed out that Jacobs revises the male slave narrative convention of the “isolato,” defining both her self and her rebellion against an oppressive master and the institution of slavery itself as profoundly shaped by networks of friends and family. ’ Thus Jacobs’s narrative testifies to the ambiguities of any core of irreducible, essentialist ‘selfhood’” (). In Smith’s reading, Incidents figures as the quintessential poststructuralist text, artfully deconstructing categories of race, gender, and identity itself.
Soon after the arrival of the Fox sisters in New York, Willis wrote a long account of the séance he attended along with a group of other literati. His tone was one of amused indulgence and pseudoscientific speculation, far removed indeed from the earnest credulity of Isaac Post, and certainly not calculated to appeal to people like Jacobs. Willis’s article, indeed, marked spiritualism’s transformation from radical reform to fashionable entertainment. While Isaac Post consulted the spirits on the most weighty social issues of the day, the Fox sisters used their mediumship to transcribe messages calculated to help them scale New York’s social ladder, and Willis gleefully transcribed his invitation to the séance: “‘Mrs.
Jean Fagan Yellin presents a writer actively contesting the taboos against female sexuality—Jacobs borrows from the popular tradition of seduction tales (in which the heroine’s sexual sin invariably leads to her death) in order to reject it. Jacobs presents Linda’s sexual sin instead as a calculated move designed to procure her freedom (xxx). Hazel Carby argues that Jacobs’s writing of a narrative that resists so many conventions of domesticity “revealed the concept of true womanhood to be an ideology, not a lived set of social relations” ().