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dc.contributor.advisorMenand, Louis
dc.contributor.advisorSollors, Werner
dc.contributor.authorGram, Margaret Hunt
dc.date.accessioned2013-10-18T15:11:24Z
dash.embargo.terms2015-10-10en_US
dc.date.issued2013-10-18
dc.date.submitted2013
dc.identifier.citationGram, Margaret Hunt. 2013. Matters of State: American Literature in the Civil Rights Era. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.en_US
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/gsas.harvard:11083en
dc.identifier.urihttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11181219
dc.description.abstract"Matters of State: American Literature in the Civil Rights Era" argues that American writers engaged with the American civil rights movement as it unfolded by turning their attention to the state and the state's relationship to its subjects and by imagining new forms for both. Postwar American literary culture, then, understood racial inequality not solely as a problem of identity and difference, nor simply as an economic problem, but as a problem of formal citizenship. Between around 1948 and around 1968, that problem as such spurred diverse and unruly literary inquiries into a range of matters of state, each taken up in dialogue with American constitutional law and each also a meditation on the particular capacities of literary art as a site for political thinking. William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor tried to reimagine the structure of federalism; James Baldwin and Harper Lee interrogated the real workings of democracy; Chester Himes and Sam Greenlee asked whether social movements ought to collaborate with the existing U.S. state in the first place; Norman Mailer, William Styron, Amiri Baraka, and others reoriented literary culture toward a new, post-civil-rights set of questions. Read as one archive, the novels and plays and essays that they produced tell a new story about American literature at midcentury: a story about literature's quasi-autonomous engagement with the political-theoretical questions that racial inequality had rendered urgent. They remind us of the complexity of history itself, and of the difficulty and uncertainty obscured by triumphalist narratives of democratic liberalism's inevitable civil-rights redemption. And they afford a glimpse into the kaleidoscopic legal worldmaking for which literary art in general can be an arena.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dash.licenseMETA_ONLY
dc.subjectAmerican literatureen_US
dc.subjectLawen_US
dc.subjectAfrican American studiesen_US
dc.subjectAfrican American literatureen_US
dc.subjectAmerican literatureen_US
dc.subjectcivil rightsen_US
dc.subjectlaw and literatureen_US
dc.subjectregionalismen_US
dc.titleMatters of State: American Literature in the Civil Rights Eraen_US
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen_US
dash.depositing.authorGram, Margaret Hunt
dash.embargo.until10000-01-01
thesis.degree.date2013en_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorHarvard Universityen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberBuell, Lawrenceen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberClaybaugh, Amandaen_US
dash.contributor.affiliatedGram, Margaret Hunt


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