“Objects on the Margins”: How Things Make Persons and Worlds in Nineteenth-Century United States Writing examines how nonhuman things make and unmake persons and worlds in mid-nineteenth-century United States writing. I am interested in how subjects constitute themselves by making objects, and I am equally interested in moments in which things that resist classification as objects dismantle, invert, or evade the received subject-object paradigm. My central contention is that nonhuman things can structure personhood and worlds, rather than merely the reverse. As a result, my reading method is to attend to material specificity and praxis rather than to ideological signification. I find texts clamoring with things that, far from being flat stage props or working-class stand-ins for more glamorous ideologies, are things that behave.
- Programs & Courses
- News & Events