Recent Publications of Interest to SSAWW Members


Women and Authorship in Revolutionary America
Angela Vietto, Eastern Illinois University
Women and Gender in the Early Modern World
In distinct contrast to earlier studies on early US women's authorship, this
book argues that women writers in Revolutionary America viewed civic
participation as a key component of the social role of authorship, and that
they used authorship as a means to contribute publicly to the evolving
creation of the new nation's political and social identities.
Angela Vietto analyzes poetry, letters, religious texts, essays and plays by
early American writers Mercy Otis Warren, Sarah Osborn and Susanna Anthony,
Hannah Adams, Eunice Smith, Jenny Fenno, Sarah Pogson Smith, Judith Sargent
Murray and Hannah Griffitts, among others.

Includes 4 b&w illustrations
October 2006 978-0-7546-5338-7 Hardback 158 pages 0
7546 5338 2
Available from Ashgate Publishing


Roman, Camille. ELIZABETH BISHOP'S WORLD WAR II-COLD WAR VIEW. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan of St. Martin's Press, 2001, 2004.

This the first full study of the poet's negotiations of mid-twentieth-century national politics, culminating in Bishop's year as national poet laureate in 1949-1950.


Managing Literacy, Mothering America: Women's Narratives on Reading and
Writing in the Nineteenth Century

Hardcover: 326 pages
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press (November 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN: 0822942356

Managing Literacy, Mothering America identifies and defines a previously
unstudied genre, the domestic literacy narrative, and provides a
cultural history of this genre from the early days of the United States
through the turn of the twentieth century.
Domestic literacy narratives often feature scenes that depict
women-mostly middle-class mothers-teaching those in their care to read,
write, and discuss literature, with the goal of promoting civic
participation. These narratives characterize literature as a source of
shared knowledge and social improvement. Authors of these works, which
were circulated in a broad range of publication venues, imagined their
readers as contributing to the ongoing formation of an idealized
American community.

At the center of the genre's history are authors such as Lydia
Sigourney, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and Frances Harper, who viewed
their writing as a form of teaching for the public good. Robbins offers
close readings of texts ranging from the 1790s to the 1920s. These
include influential British precursors to the genre and early
twentieth-century narratives by women missionaries that have been
previously undervalued by cultural historians. She examines texts by
prominent authors that have received little critical attention to
date-such as Lydia Maria Child's Good Wives-and provides fresh context
when discussing such well-known works of the period as Uncle Tom's

MAJOR VOICES: THE DRAMA OF SLAVERY, edited by Eric Gardner (Toby Press, 2005).

For the first time, this Toby anthology brings together a selection of plays-- including a number of rare texts by women writers--that shaped the ways in which slavery was performed in the American theatre. From SLAVES IN ALGIERS (Susanna Rowson, 1794) to PECULIAR SAM; OR, THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (Pauline Hopkins, 1879); from George Aiken's blatantly opportunistic version of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN to THE CHRISTIAN SLAVE (the only dramatization of UNCLE TOM'S CABIN written by Harriet Beecher Stowe) and the ardently abolitionist THE STARS AND STRIPES (Lydia Maria Child, 1858), and from a play written by a former slave, THE ESCAPE (William Wells Brown, 1858), to racist, pro-slavery minstrel texts, this anthology allows readers to see how Americans from diverse backgrounds and standpoints staged slavery. In so doing, it also places important but hard-to-find texts like THE FUGITIVES (written by an early anonymous abolitionist woman) and excerpts from THE KIDNAPPED CLERGYMAN (one of the earliest abolitionist plays) in dialogue with popular drama like THE OCTOROON (Dion Boucicault, 1859--published here for the first time with both of Boucicault's endings).



Family, Kinship and Sympathy in Nineteenth-Century American Literature, by Cindy

Weinstein (Cambridge 2004), recasts our understanding of sentimental fictions

and contends that the novels do nothing less than reimagine the bourgeois family

according to a paradigm of love rather than blood. Much sentimental fiction makes

the case that families organized by choice rather than consanguinity are far more

capable of providing their protagonists with the sentimental education she requires. 

In addition, sentimental novels are profoundly attentive to the fact of slavery, and

many of them self-consciously position the trials of their heroines in relation to the

horrors of slavery.  Novels by Maria Cummins, Mary Jane Holmes, Caroline Lee Hentz ,

and Mary Hayden Green Pike are far more complex -- ideologically and aesthetically --

than has been recognized.   



Writing for Immortality: Women and the Emergence of High Literary
Culture in America
, by Anne E. Boyd (Johns Hopkins University Press,

Writing for Immortality studies the lives and works of four prominent
members of the first generation of American women who strived for
recognition as serious literary artists: Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth
Stuart Phelps, Elizabeth Stoddard, and Constance Fenimore Woolson.
Placing their works and experiences within contemporary discussions
about "genius" and the "American artist," Boyd reaches a sobering
conclusion. Although these women were encouraged by the democratic
ideals implicit in such concepts, they were equally discouraged by
lingering prejudices about their applicability to women. For more
information, see



Out in Public:  Configurations of Women's Bodies in Nineteenth-Century America, by Alison Piepmeier (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).   This book examines women's bodies as a site for their public self-construction.  In particular, the book looks closely at the lives and works of actress and playwright Anna Cora Mowatt (1819-1871), Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), abolitionist and feminist orator Sojourner Truth (1797-1883), antilynching journalist Ida B. Wells (1862-1931), and Godey's Lady's Book editor Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879). Rather than relying on familiar binaries such as public/private and victim/agent, the book presents women's public embodiment as multiple, transitional, strategic, playful, and contested.  More information is available at  


Social Stories:  The Magazine Novel in Nineteenth-Century America, by Patricia Okker (University of Virginia Press, 2003).  This book examines the serialized novel in nineteenth-century America, focusing specifically on the magazine novels' direct engagement with social,
political, and cultural issues of the nineteenth century.  Chapters on the relationship between fashion and the serial novel (with a focus on Ann Stephens) and on Rebecca Harding Davis's treatment of race in Waiting for the Verdict may be of particular interest to
SSAWW members.


The Cambridge Companion to Harriet Beecher Stowe, edited by Cindy Weinstein (Cambridge University Press, June 2004) .

Maternal Body and Voice in Toni Morrison, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Lee Smith , by Paula Gallant Eckard (University of Missouri Press, 2002).

This book examines how maternal experience is depicted in selected novels by three American writers, emphasizing how they focus on the body and the voice of the mother.

Autobiographical Writing and Performing: An Introductory, Contemporary Guide to Process and Research in Speech Performance , by Diane Howard
(McGraw-Hill, 1999).

Based on an historical overview, this book outlines techniques for writing and performing autobiography.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: A Norton Critical Edition . eds.
Frances Smith Foster and Nellie Y. McKay (W.W. Norton, 2001).

This is an annotated edition of Incidents which includes other writings
by Harriet Jacobs, writings by Jacobs's contemporaries about her book,
and critical essays about Incidents by scholars from a variety of
theoretical perspectives or disciplines, including Philosophy, Religion,
History, Law and Literature.

The Island of Lost Luggage , by Janet McAdams (University of Arizona Press, 2000). American Book Award Winner 2001; First Book Award in Poetry, Native Writers Circle of the Americas, 1999.

This award-winning collection of poetry forges surprising links among seemingly unrelated forms of violence and resistance in today's world: war in Central America, abuses against Nature, the battleground of the bedroom. McAdams evokes the absurdity of everyday existence as she sends out a new call for social responsibility.

Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing , edited by
Rajini Srikanth and Esther Y. Iwanaga (Rutgers University Press, 2001).

A literary reader spanning 100 years of Asian American writing,
beginning at the turn of the 19th century and moving into the 21st century.
The selections include memoir, poetry, fiction, and drama by over 60 authors
from diverse Asian American ethnicities: Bangladeshi, Cambodian, Chinese,
Filipino/a, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Vietnamese.
Each genre section is introduced by an essay from a well-known practitioner:
Meena Alexander on memoir, Eileen Tabios on poetry, Gary Pak on fiction, and
Roberta Uno on drama.

Transfiguring America: Myth, Ideology, and Mourning in Margaret Fuller's Writing by Jeffrey Steele (University of Missouri Press, 2001).

Transfiguring America is the product of more than ten years of research and numerous published articles on Margaret Fuller, arguably America's first feminist theorist and one of the most important woman writers in the nineteenth century. Focusing on Fuller's development of a powerful language that paired cultural critique with mythmaking, Steele shows why her writing had such a vital impact on the woman's rights movement and modern conceptions of gender.

From Walden Pond to Jurassic Park: Activism, Culture, American Studies by Paul Lauter (Duke University Press, 2001).

A collection of essays on a variety of subjects related to American Studies and American literature: American Studies at home and abroad, film, modernisms, anthologies, my Junior High School songbook. Of particular interest to SSAWW members are the essays on Amy Lowell and, perhaps, The Heath Anthology of American Literature.

American Indian Literature and the Southwest: Contexts and Dispositions by
Eric Gary Anderson (University of Texas Press, 1999).

Drawing on a wide range of cultural productions, this book investigates the Southwest as both a real and a culturally constructed site of migration and encounter, in which the very identities of "native" and "alien" shift with each act of travel. It includes chapters on Mary Austin and Sarah Winnemucca, Willa Cather, and Leslie Marmon Silko, among many others.

Double Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology , edited by Venetria Patton and Maureen Honey (Rutgers U. Press 2001).

This anthology contains equal numbers of contributions by men and women of the Harlem Renaissance and is intended to highlight issues of gender within the context of the period. It includes essays, poetry, fiction, drama, period illustrations, biographies of the creative writers, and a critical introduction.

Hungry Heart: The Literary Emergence of Julia Ward Howe , by Gary Williams (U Mass P, 1999).

Provides a biographical/cultural context for analysis of Howe's first three published works (Passion-Flowers, 1854; Words for the Hour and The World's Own, both 1857). Also offers a summary of and speculation about Howe's never-published narrative "Laurence," whose eponymous main character is a hermaphrodite.

Approaches to Teaching Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin , edited by Elizabeth Ammons and Susan Belasco (MLA, 2000).

A collection of essays on teaching the novel; includes essays on the historical and cultural context, controversies and debates; UTC in relation to other texts (such as Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and The History of Mary Prince); critical approaches; and bibliographies and resources.

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