Order by:

File List

Annotated Bib Uncle Tom's Cabin (128.3k)   Uploaded by Alyssa Northrop on 11/27/2017

Hi all, Here's my bibliography on Uncle Tom's Cabin. Thanks Alyssa

Annotated Bibliography (Emily Dickinson) (32k)   Uploaded by Weiheng Sun on 11/21/2017

Annotated Bibliography (Emily Dickinson)

Marko Gluhaich Annotated Bibliography on Whitman (122.5k)   Uploaded by Marko Gluhaich on 11/13/2017

Here's my annotated bibliography on Whitman. Thanks!

Some more thoughts about our discussion on Wednesday (16.7k)   Uploaded by Austin Bailey on 11/13/2017

Hi everyone. I wanted to add something to the discussion we had about Baldwin's rather scathing essay on Uncle Tom’s Cabin. My response in class was made somewhat off the cuff since I had not read Baldwin’s essay prior to when it came up and now, having the chance to look it over, I want to add a bit to our discussion by clarifying some of the remarks I made. The part in Baldwin’s essay which struck me as correct (I should say that I admire Baldwin intensely) is the following: “Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel; the wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart” (533). I think this statement is generally true, if a bit hyperbolic, of the discourses of sentimentality as such. I take it to be more or less equivalent to Wallace Stevens’s famously pithy observation that sentimentality is “a failure of feeling.” While I agree with Baldwin’s comments on sentimentality qua sentimentality, I do, upon review of his essay, find myself in disagreement with his general assessment of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Baldwin writes: “Apart from her lively procession of field-hands, house-niggers, Chloe, Topsy, etc.—who are the stock, loveable figures presenting no problem—she has only three other Negroes in the book. These are the important ones and two of them may be dismissed immediately, since we have only the author’s word that they are Negro and they are, in all other respects, as white as she can make them” (534). Baldwin is of course referring to Eliza and George Harris, who can pass for white easily in the novel. But on closer inspection, Stowe actually comments on the issue of passing and the color line. For example, in chapter seven, when Eliza and Harry make their way to Ohio, the narrator remarks on the following: “If she should chance to meet any who knew her, she reflected that the well-known kindness of the family would be of itself a blind to suspicion, as making it an unlikely supposition that she could be a fugitive. As she was also so white as not to be known as of colored lineage without a critical survey, and her child was white also, it was much easier for her to pass on unsuspected” (Added emphasis). Baldwin’s critique is that Eliza, George, and Harry are sympathetic because they are (almost) white, or are at least coded that way. Even Uncle Tom’s transformative martyrdom, according to Baldwin, is a process of cleansing his sin of blackness in being recoded with whiteness: “Here, black equates with evil and white with grace…[Stowe] must cover their intimidating nakedness, robe them in white, the garments of salvation” (535). But as shown above, Stowe is aware of the problem of the color line and thematizes it in the novel. Baldwin’s reading of Uncle Tom, who is robed in “the [white] garments of salvation” despite his darker complexion, depends on a somewhat narrow view of Christian political rhetoric. For example, Baldwin writes: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin, then, is activated by what might be called a theological terror, the terror of damnation; and the spirit that breathes in this book, hot, self-righteous, fearful, is not different from that spirit of medieval times which sought to excorcize evil by burning witches” (535). Baldwin’s view of Stowe’s Christianity is that it innocently and naively sees reality in terms of good vs. evil and black vs. white. Thus, blackness is associated with sin and evil; whiteness with enlightenment and salvation. I think this view of Stowe’s Christianity is incorrect; it downplays the role the political jeremiad plays in American dispensations of the sermon as Stowe received them and incorporated them in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. For example, David Howard-Pitney, who has written a lot about what he calls the “The Afro-American Jeremiad” notes, in his article “Wars, White America, and the Afro-American Jeremiad,” that “both Douglass and [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] employed Afro-American variations of an indigenous American rhetorical form, the American jeremiad, to denounce white racist practices for betraying the nation's sacred mission; they worked to provoke a crisis of conscience which would spur whites to take corrective action.” From this perspective, Stowe deploys the discourses of sentimentalism in order to enclose within them the more conscience pricking rhetorics of the jeremiad. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, then, could be seen as a popular literary work which takes part in an indigenous American tradition: the tradition of the jeremiad. This would link Stowe to figures like Douglass and MLK, a form of Christianity explicitly distinct from medieval Christianity. As I mentioned in class, I think the novel is most problematic in its use of minstrelsy. Topsy and Sambo are obvious examples (the chapter on Topsy feels particularly exploitative). But even in the first chapter, when Harry dances for Mr. Shelby and Haley, the narrator’s depictions of Harry are intensely caricatured: “The boy commenced one of those wild, grotesque songs common among the negroes, in a rich, clear voice, accompanying his singing with many comic evolutions of the hands, feet, and whole body, all in perfect time to the music.” Yet I think Stowe’s sentimentalism works in the novel to humanize blacks in genuine ways. The horror that George Harris faces when he realizes that his natural talents for mechanics will never come to fruition because of slavery grants a subjectivity, interiority, and humanity to blacks inconceivable to the American popular imagination. Thanks for reading some of these thoughts. I look forward to continuing our great discussion.

Chicago Style sample paper - Purdue Owl (279.5k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 11/4/2017

This sample essay in Chicago Style includes some instructions.

Journal article in Chicago Style (494.8k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 11/4/2017

A recent example of an article in Chicago Style.

Journal article in Chicago Style (494.8k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 11/4/2017

A recent example of an article in Chicago Style.

MLA sample essay - Pudue Owl (286.2k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 11/4/2017

This sample essay includes some instructions re specific aspects of the MLA Style.

Journal article in MLA Style (182.3k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 11/4/2017

Here's a journal article in the most recent MLA Style.

Gregory Rocco Annotated Bibliography on Slave Narratives (20.8k)   Uploaded by Gregory Rocco on 10/31/2017

This is my annotated bibliography featuring the ways in which slave narratives adhere to a formalized standard applied by abolitionists.

Poe annotated bibliography (499.2k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 10/17/2017

Dawn Hunter's annotated bibliography of some works on Poe.

Reading Moby-Dick as a Sonic Novel (125.5k)   Uploaded by Paul L. Hebert on 10/10/2017

This is a slightly slimmed down version of a presentation I gave at the ESA sound conference last May. I'm a bit loose with style and tone when I'm presenting, so this won't read like a typical "paper." I don't say anything stunning, but it presents an approach, at least, to Moby-Dick. In class I'll also have a few slides from some of my archival research that might be interesting for considering to novel.

Melville letters to NH and others re Moby-Dick (9.6m)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 9/30/2017

Some moving and revealing letters Melville wrote while he was writing "Moby-Dick."

Thoreau Class Report (124.7k)   Uploaded by Caleb Fridell on 9/11/2017

Thoreau essay review in the Aug NY Review of Books (4.9m)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 9/9/2017

An interesting essay-review that covers several recent Thoreau books, including Laura Walls's biography a book on Thoreau and dying by Audrey Raden, my ex-GC student whose Thoreau dissertation I directed.

Syllabus - updated Sept. 5 2017 (23.8k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 9/5/2017

I've tweaked the readings to include Emerson's letter on Indian Removal to Martin Van Burn an Melville's letters to Hawthorne, which appear in the appendix to the Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick. I've also updated the class report schedule.

Syllabus & class reports (23.6k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 8/31/2017

revised syllabus and class report schedule

revised syllabus with class report schedule (23.6k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 8/31/2017

American Renaissance OUP article by Reynolds (355.3k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 8/30/2017

A survey of the American Renaissance and critical approaches to it.

Emerson, lecture on the Fugitive Slave Law 1854 (40.4k)   Uploaded by David S. Reynolds on 8/30/2017

Emerson blasts Daniel Webster, an architect of the Compromise of 1850, which included the the infamous Fugitive Slave Law.

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message