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 ebook, John J. Kucich finds via his readings of literary and old bills how spiritualism contributed to shaping the phrases through which local American, eu, and African cultures interacted in the United States from the earliest days of touch during the current. starting his research with a provocative juxtaposition of the Pueblo Indian rebel and the Salem Witchcraft trials of the 17th century, Kucich examines how either occasions solid "contact zones" Kucich then chronicles how a various staff of writers used spiritualism to reshape quite a number such touch zones. those comprise Rochester, long island, 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 by way of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Mark Twain and the local american citizens who built the Ghost Dance; turn-of-the-century neighborhood colour fiction by way of writers like Sarah Orne Jewett, Charles Chesnutt and Maria Cristina Mena; and the hot England reformist circles traced in Henry James's The Bostonians and Pauline Hopkins's of 1 Blood. Kucich's end seems at New Age spiritualism, then considers the consequences of a cross-cultural scholarship that attracts on quite a few serious methodologies, from border and ethnic stories 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 non secular stories and American cultural stories typically.
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Extra resources for Ghostly Communion: Cross-Cultural Spiritualism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Barbara Johnson oﬀers one useful map of the ideological landscape in which Jacobs moved in Rochester. If white men such as Isaac Post enjoyed the status of universality, subjectivity could be imagined by black men like Frederick Douglass and John Jacobs in their claim of manhood and their status as respectable citizens. Likewise, white women could begin to claim subjectivity by stressing an essential universality and appropriating male roles (as reformers, as public speakers). The black woman, however, remained twice removed from a disembodied subjectivity ( – ).
As Jean Fagan Yellin and Hazel Carby have shown, she carefully crafted her work to take advantage of sentimental literary conventions; Jennifer Rae Greeson has similarly traced Jacobs’s careful adaptation of the urban Gothic in order to draw in readers attuned to antiprostitution rhetoric. It would be remarkable if Jacobs did not make use of spiritualism as she shaped her text for a readership that was largely white, middle class, and female. I will argue that spiritualism is in fact a major element woven carefully and critically into the fabric of her text.
The conclusion, “The Poetics and Politics of Spiritualism,” will follow some of the issues raised in previous chapters into the present, sketching spiritualism’s evolution into its late-twentieth-century forms, from New Age channeling to angelmania, with particular attention to spiritualism’s literary manifestations across a broad cultural front. I will reconsider in a contemporary setting the questions that framed earlier chapters. How do writers from broadly diﬀerent cultural contexts deploy the discourses of spiritualism in a national literary culture?