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Writing History with Lightning: Cinematic Representations of Nineteenth-Century America ed. by Matthew Christopher Hulbert and John C. Inscoe (review)

Writing History with Lightning: Cinematic Representations of Nineteenth-Century America ed. by... the name of provable facts—and rather cynically dismisses a host of col- leagues in the process. Velasquez’s narrative may be peppered with “confidence scams, and almost grotesque lies” (74); she may have engineered fictions to please her public; but can’t we learn something about the workings of those fictions, and a cultural consciousness ready to believe them? Might we read around the “lies” to understand something larger about the war’s influences on narrativity, the stories it drove hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civil- ians to want to tell, and why those stories mesmerize us today? This isn’t to call for a moratorium on disciplinary principle. But in a field of study that has become increasingly interdisciplinary, opening its doors—on either “side”—to new methodologies and avenues of archival enquiry, it seems remarkable that we wouldn’t all want to look beyond our contested borders and recognize the value in learning from each other. The best recent works of antebellum and Civil War–era literary scholarship—by, for example, Christopher Hager, Eliza Richards, Cody Marrs, and Jeffrey Insko—freely embrace and build on historical scholarship, and their works of literary and cultural history are stronger for it. Gallagher and Cushman’s collection seems poised, yet http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Writing History with Lightning: Cinematic Representations of Nineteenth-Century America ed. by Matthew Christopher Hulbert and John C. Inscoe (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 10 (2) – Jun 1, 2020

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

the name of provable facts—and rather cynically dismisses a host of col- leagues in the process. Velasquez’s narrative may be peppered with “confidence scams, and almost grotesque lies” (74); she may have engineered fictions to please her public; but can’t we learn something about the workings of those fictions, and a cultural consciousness ready to believe them? Might we read around the “lies” to understand something larger about the war’s influences on narrativity, the stories it drove hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civil- ians to want to tell, and why those stories mesmerize us today? This isn’t to call for a moratorium on disciplinary principle. But in a field of study that has become increasingly interdisciplinary, opening its doors—on either “side”—to new methodologies and avenues of archival enquiry, it seems remarkable that we wouldn’t all want to look beyond our contested borders and recognize the value in learning from each other. The best recent works of antebellum and Civil War–era literary scholarship—by, for example, Christopher Hager, Eliza Richards, Cody Marrs, and Jeffrey Insko—freely embrace and build on historical scholarship, and their works of literary and cultural history are stronger for it. Gallagher and Cushman’s collection seems poised, yet

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 1, 2020

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