In this Book

Well-researched analysis of the impact that Spain and Spanish America had on antebellum literature in the United States.
In Hispanicism and Early US Literature, author John C. Havard posits that representations of Spain, Spanish America, Spanishness, and Spanish Americanness are integral elements in the evolution of early national and antebellum US literature. He argues that Spanish-speaking countries have long held a broad fascination for Americans and that stock narratives regarding these peoples were central to the period’s US literature.
Beginning with the work of eighteenth-century literary nationalists such as Joel Barlow, US literature has been drawn to reflect on Spain and Spanish America. Such reflection was often inspired by geopolitical conflicts such as US expansion into Spanish Louisiana and the US-Mexican War. Havard terms the discourse emerging from these reflections “Hispanicism.” This discourse was used to portray the dominant viewpoint of classical liberalism that propounded an American exceptionalism premised on the idea that Hispanophone peoples were comparatively lacking the capacity for self-determination, hence rationalizing imperialism. On the conservative side were warnings against progress through conquest.
Havard delves into selected works of early national and antebellum literature on Spain and Spanish America to illuminate US national identity. Poetry and novels by Joel Barlow, James Fenimore Cooper, and Herman Melville are mined to further his arguments regarding identity, liberalism, and conservatism. Understudied authors Mary Peabody Mann and José Antonio Saco are held up to contrast American and Cuban views on Hispanicism and Cuban annexation as well as to develop the focus on nationality and ideology via differences in views on liberalism.
More than just a work of literary criticism, there is a substantial amount of cultural and political history discussed. Havard’s use of archival sources such as political articles and personal correspondence elucidates not just literary genres and movements such as early national epic poetry, abolitionist fiction, and the American Renaissance, but also US culture writ large.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Half Title, Title Page, Copyright
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-34
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part I. The Black Legend, Hispanicism, and the Emergence of National Identity in the Early United States
  1. 1. Joel Barlow’s The Vision of Columbus and The Columbiad: US National Identity and Spain
  2. pp. 37-63
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. James Fenimore Cooper’s Mercedes of Castile and Jack Tier: Realism and Hispanicism
  2. pp. 64-93
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. Herman Melville’s “Benito Cereno” as Critique of Hispanicist Exceptionalism: Cosmopolitanism and Ironizing Identity
  2. pp. 94-116
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Part II. Hispanicism and the Case of Cuba
  1. 4. Mary Peabody Mann’s Juanita: Cuba and US National Identity
  2. pp. 119-146
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. José Antonio Saco’s Antiannexationist Essays: Cuba, Hispanicism, and National Identity
  2. pp. 147-164
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Epilogue: The Hispanicist Forebears of 1898
  2. pp. 165-186
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 187-192
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 193-206
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 207-212
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.