Abstract

Abstract:

With an increased focus on the intersection of literature and medicine, contagion has become something of a scholarly buzzword in early American studies: it serves metaphorically to demarcate the postcolonial other, demonstrates the transmissibility of revolutionary rhetoric, highlights the instability of republican government, and embodies fears of racial mixture. In this essay, I shift the emphasis from a discourse of contagion (often associated with a fear of the foreign) to a discourse of immunity (a fear associated with foreign immunities) in order to demonstrate a more affirmative biopolitics in Charles Brockden Brown's 1790s outbreak narratives. This affirmative biopolitics can emerge only after deconstructing the intersection of biology and politics in the so-called "age of democratic revolutions."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6571
Print ISSN
0278-9671
Pages
pp. 144-166
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-16
Open Access
No
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