This article explains how practices of public reading shaped state sovereignty and citizen subjectivity during the Civil War. Analyzing the Harper’s Weekly account of the 1863 draft lottery, this article locates subjectivity in substitutes—the literal substitutes of the military draft, and the figurative substitutes of journalistic representation. The article anchors these larger theoretical points in two images of crowds that illustrated the article “Resumption of the Draft” published in Harper’s after New York City’s draft riot. The images collectivize and individuate as they connect actual to imagined communities. They shed light on historically developing constructions of multiples that rely on specific modes of address. The drawing of names points to the draft’s individuating power, which is, however, formative of social connections. This article links print culture to emergent forms of state power, and puts pressure on the contributions of the “fourth estate” to the formation of citizen-soldiers.


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pp. 149-166
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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