Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (review)

Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (review) Reviews { 199 With his variants of the republican motherhood or separate spheres ideologies Schloss certainly introduces a welcome challenge to the possibly self-indulgent scholarly belief in the subversive power of early American novels. We should indeed allow ourselves to probe whether our interpretations might fulfill present-day political desires more than the historical frameworks in which these texts were created. As scholars and teachers who actively determine the shape of the canon and the curriculum in our field, however, we should also be allowed to consider not merely the ``cultural work'' novels performed in their own time but also how they might affect the ways in which students today perceive the history and culture of their past. While acquainting students with the otherness of the past, we should not precipitously undermine the common desire to find ourselves in the people who came before us--especially if they count among the male and female founders of the nation (in fact, Benjamin Franklin has recently become the favorite target of such identifications with the past). Schloss himself introduces his section on the ``rights of women'' by quoting Abigail Adams as an example of an early Republican woman resolutely pursuing political emancipation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

Barbaric Traffic: Commerce and Antislavery in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (review)

Early American Literature, Volume 40 (1) – Feb 17, 2005

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X
Publisher site
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Abstract

Reviews { 199 With his variants of the republican motherhood or separate spheres ideologies Schloss certainly introduces a welcome challenge to the possibly self-indulgent scholarly belief in the subversive power of early American novels. We should indeed allow ourselves to probe whether our interpretations might fulfill present-day political desires more than the historical frameworks in which these texts were created. As scholars and teachers who actively determine the shape of the canon and the curriculum in our field, however, we should also be allowed to consider not merely the ``cultural work'' novels performed in their own time but also how they might affect the ways in which students today perceive the history and culture of their past. While acquainting students with the otherness of the past, we should not precipitously undermine the common desire to find ourselves in the people who came before us--especially if they count among the male and female founders of the nation (in fact, Benjamin Franklin has recently become the favorite target of such identifications with the past). Schloss himself introduces his section on the ``rights of women'' by quoting Abigail Adams as an example of an early Republican woman resolutely pursuing political emancipation.

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 17, 2005

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