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This collection of original essays examines debates on how written, printed, visual, and performed works produced meaning in American culture before 1900. The contributors argue that America has been a multimedia culture since the eighteenth century. According to Sandra M. Gustafson, the verbal arts before 1900 manifest a strikingly rich pattern of development and change. From the wide variety of indigenous traditions, through the initial productions of settler communities, to the elaborations of colonial, postcolonial, and national expressive forms, the shifting dynamics of performed, manuscript-based, and printed verbal art capture critical elements of rapidly changing societies. The contributors address performances of religion and government, race and gender, poetry, theater, and song. Their studies are based on texts—intended for reading silently or out loud—maps, recovered speech, and pictorial sources. As these essays demonstrate, media, even when they appear to be fixed, reflected a dynamic American experience.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-13
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  1. Hand Piety; or, Operating a Book in Early New England
  2. pp. 14-33
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  1. Poor Performance: Incompetence in Conversation, Manuscript, and Print in British America
  2. pp. 34-48
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  1. Addressing Maps in British America: Print, Performance, and the Cartographic Reformation
  2. pp. 49-72
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  1. Print, Manuscript, and Staged Performance: Dramatic Authorship and Text Circulation in the New Republic
  2. pp. 73-96
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  1. From Performance to Print in the Native Northeast
  2. pp. 97-117
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  1. Beyond the Printed Word: Native Women’s Literacy Practices in Colonial New England
  2. pp. 118-136
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  1. Sarah Wentworth Morton and Changing Models of Authorship
  2. pp. 144-159
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  1. The Path of a Play Script: Louisa Medina’s Nick of the Woods
  2. pp. 153-174
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  1. “The Speaking Eye and the Listening Ear”: Orality, Literacy, and Manuscript Traditions in Northern New England Villages
  2. pp. 175-199
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  1. Print Poetry as Oral “Event” in Nineteenth-Century American Periodicals
  2. pp. 200-219
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  1. Silenced Women and Silent Language in Early Abolitionist Serials
  2. pp. 220-239
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  1. Straddling the Color Line: The Print Revolution and the Transmission, Performance, and Reception of American Vernacular Music
  2. pp. 240-254
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  1. Secret in Altered Lines: The Civil War Song in Manuscript, Print, and Performance Publics
  2. pp. 255-275
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  1. The State between Orality and Textuality: Nineteenth-Century Government Reports and “Orature”
  2. pp. 276-296
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  1. Authentic Revisions: James Redpath and the Promotion of Social Reform in America, 1850–90
  2. pp. 297-318
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  1. Reading the Image: Visual Culture as Print Culture and the Performance of a Bourgeois Self
  2. pp. 319-340
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  1. The Emerging Media of Early America
  2. pp. 341-365
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 367-368
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 369-393
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780268080617
Print ISBN
9780268029760
MARC Record
OCLC
694144513
Pages
400
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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