Amerikanska litterära responser på utländska revolutioner under det långa artonhundratalet (1776-1989)

Tidsperiod: 2015-01-01 till 2018-12-31

Projektledare: Michael Boyden

Finansiär: Vetenskapsrådet

Bidragstyp: Projektbidrag

Budget: 2 520 000 SEK

Combining close reading with methods taken from the digital humanities, this project analyzes how American writers in the long nineteenth century (1776-1898) engaged with revolutionary movements in the Atlantic world. In spite of repeated calls for a ´transnational turn´ in American Studies, scholars continue to interpret the literary tradition of the United States primarily in terms of domestic concerns and developments, thus undervaluing the many ways in which authors were influenced by, and actively responded to, social and political events elsewhere. The project counteracts this historical myopia by applying a wide-angled lens to the study of nineteenth-century American literature. To begin, the project brings out semantic continuities between revolutionary discourses across the nineteenth-century Atlantic world, thus highlighting how crucial moments in American history and culture were linked to, and often derived their impetus from, contemporary events in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Further, the project analyzes how these semantic patterns play themselves out in a representative set of nineteenth-century American fiction and how this has reflected on America´s evolving self-image. Finally, the project connects with recent theorizing on the transformation of sovereignty and the public sphere in the age of global terrorism and digital activism, showing how these changes can be traced to the rise of international media networks in the nineteenth century.