By Shelley Streeby
This cutting edge cultural historical past investigates an fascinating, exciting, and infrequently lurid collection of sensational literature that used to be very popular within the usa in 1848--including dime novels, reasonable tale paper literature, and journalism for working-class americans. Shelley Streeby uncovers subject matters and photographs during this "literature of sensation" that show the profound effect that the U.S.-Mexican conflict and different nineteenth-century imperial ventures in the course of the Americas had on U.S. politics and tradition. Streeby's research of this interesting physique of renowned literature and mass tradition broadens right into a sweeping demonstration of the significance of the concept that of empire for realizing U.S. historical past and literature. This available, interdisciplinary ebook brilliantly analyzes the sensational literature of George Lippard, A.J.H Duganne, Ned Buntline, Metta Victor, Mary Denison, John Rollin Ridge, Louisa may perhaps Alcott, and lots of different writers. Streeby additionally discusses antiwar articles within the exertions and land reform press; principles approximately Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua in pop culture; and lots more and plenty extra. even supposing the Civil battle has routinely been a tremendous interval marker in U.S. heritage and literature, Streeby proposes a huge paradigm shift through the use of mass tradition to teach that the U.S.-Mexican struggle and different conflicts with Mexicans and local american citizens within the borderlands have been primary in forming the complicated nexus of race, gender, and sophistication within the usa.
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Additional resources for American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture (American Crossroads, 9)
This raises the question: is sensationalism basically a male discourse? That is, could we characterize sensationalism as a set of genres written exclusively by, for, and about men? In Parts 2 and 3, especially, I show how publishers of sensational story-paper literature and early dime novels appealed to a female as well as a male audience. And throughout the book, I insist that sensationalism is not just about men, for constructions of womanhood and sexuality are also central to this literature.
S. West. S. modernity. S. sentimental-domestic literature often includes glimpses at least of urban scenes and foreign views and although the urban and Introduction 31 the foreign are frequently crucial to the plots, they are rarely the central focus in the way that they are in a good deal of sensational literature. Certainly sensational literature lingers on potentially shocking and disturbing aspects of such scenes and views more than sentimental literature does. 104 Although Lippard’s sensationalism contributes to an attack on class hierarchies, however, he also “sensationalizes” constructions of race and nation and thereby promotes empire as the antidote to such hierarchies despite the doubts and contradictions that haunt his war literature.
This brings us back to a point that I have repeated in this introduction, that the emphasis on the body in the culture of sensation must be assessed in relation to a politics of not only class but also race and empire. Blackface minstrelsy is probably the most widely discussed sensational body genre of the mid–nineteenth century. Recent debates among Saxton, Lott, Roediger, Rogin, and others have helped us to understand how nineteenth-century working-class men, many of whom were Irish immigrants, constructed white identities by staging blackness.
American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture (American Crossroads, 9) by Shelley Streeby