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Before the West Was West: Critical Essays on Pre-1800 Literature of the American Frontiers ed. by Amy T. Hamilton and Tom J. Hillard (review)

Before the West Was West: Critical Essays on Pre-1800 Literature of the American Frontiers ed. by... Book Reviews{ 945 Before the West Was West: Critical Essays on Pre-1800 Literature of the American Frontiers Edited by aMY t. haMIlton and toM j. hIllaRd Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014 357 pp. The introduction to Hamilton and Hillard's insightful collection describes the marginal presence of early "western" American writings in the history of the Western Literature Association and its journal, Western American Literature. By querying orthodox definitions of "western," "American," and "literature," the editors reimagine the borders-- geographical and chronological--of their field in ways that spill over those of early American literature. While critics have become adept at "examining the where and what western American literature is, the question of when is still largely a blank spot on the map" (1). Hamilton and Hillard's effort overlaps with conversations reflecting similar border disputes in our own Society of Early Americanists and its journal, Early American Literature: as early Americanists, we base ourselves in the when, but quite often stay within old ideas of the where and the what. Moreover, as each field seeks to expand in ways that more genuinely represent the entirety of its ambit--western or early--it encounters new who's--who's speaking and writing different languages, for http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

Before the West Was West: Critical Essays on Pre-1800 Literature of the American Frontiers ed. by Amy T. Hamilton and Tom J. Hillard (review)

Early American Literature , Volume 50 (3) – Nov 18, 2015

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X
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Abstract

Book Reviews{ 945 Before the West Was West: Critical Essays on Pre-1800 Literature of the American Frontiers Edited by aMY t. haMIlton and toM j. hIllaRd Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014 357 pp. The introduction to Hamilton and Hillard's insightful collection describes the marginal presence of early "western" American writings in the history of the Western Literature Association and its journal, Western American Literature. By querying orthodox definitions of "western," "American," and "literature," the editors reimagine the borders-- geographical and chronological--of their field in ways that spill over those of early American literature. While critics have become adept at "examining the where and what western American literature is, the question of when is still largely a blank spot on the map" (1). Hamilton and Hillard's effort overlaps with conversations reflecting similar border disputes in our own Society of Early Americanists and its journal, Early American Literature: as early Americanists, we base ourselves in the when, but quite often stay within old ideas of the where and the what. Moreover, as each field seeks to expand in ways that more genuinely represent the entirety of its ambit--western or early--it encounters new who's--who's speaking and writing different languages, for

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 18, 2015

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