9780472070947

Risk Culture

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780472070947

  • ISBN10:

    0472070940

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-06-16
  • Publisher: Univ of Michigan Pr
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Summary

"As a number of recent studies have shown, the north European commercial world made the precise calculation of risk a central concern of the intellectual project of exploration, trade, and colonization. The great merit of Fichtelberg's book is systematizing the imaged world of dangers, and charting the various kinds of ritual and discursive performances marshaled to deal with the pressure of the unspeakable in early America from the 17th into the early 19th century. The readings of texts are invariably careful, and the points made, persuasive." ---David Shields, University of South Carolina Risk Cultureis the first scholarly book to explore how strategies of performance shaped American responses to modernity. By examining a variety of early American authors and cultural figures, from John Smith and the Salem witches to Phillis Wheatley, Susanna Rowson, and Aaron Burr, Joseph Fichtelberg shows how early Americans created and resisted a dangerously liberating new world. The texts surveyed confront change through a variety of performances designed both to imagine and deter menaces ranging from Smith's hostile Indians, to Wheatley's experience of slavery, to Rowson's fear of exposure in the public sphere. Fichtelberg combines a variety of scholarly approaches, including anthropology, history, cultural studies, and literary criticism, to offer a unique synthesis of literary close reading and sociological theory in the service of cultural analysis. Joseph Fichtelberg is Professor of English and Chair of the English Department at Hofstra University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Nightmares of Historyp. 1
The Colonial Stage: Promise and Savagery inp. 14
Suspect Gracep. 50
The Trials of Puritan Faith
Echoes and Infamies: The Languages of Salem
Alien Terrorsp. 94
Phillis Wheatley's Feminine Sublime
The Silence of John Marrant
Infidelitiesp. 145
Disavowing Charlotte Temple
Slander and Honor in Trials of the Human Heart
The Devil Designs a Careerp. 186
Notesp. 217
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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