Description : With long, solitary periods at sea, far from literary and cultural centers, sailors comprise a remarkable population of readers and writers. Although their contributions have been little recognized in literary history, seamen were important figures in the nineteenth-century American literary sphere. In the first book to explore their unique contribution to literary culture, Hester Blum examines the first-person narratives of working sailors, from little-known sea tales to more famous works by Herman Melville, James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, and Richard Henry Dana. In their narratives, sailors wrote about how their working lives coexisted with--indeed, mutually drove--their imaginative lives. Even at leisure, they were always on the job site. Blum analyzes seamen's libraries, Barbary captivity narratives, naval memoirs, writings about the Galapagos Islands, Melville's sea vision, and the crisis of death and burial at sea. She argues that the extent of sailors' literacy and the range of their reading were unusual for a laboring class, belying the popular image of Jack Tar as merely a swaggering, profane, or marginal figure. As Blum demonstrates, seamen's narratives propose a method for aligning labor and contemplation that has broader applications for the study of American literature and history.
Description : "This may well be the most complete and fascinating historical investigation of the myths and stereotypes through which European elites have observed and judged the south of Italy in the modern era."—Piero Bevilacqua, University of Rome "A tour de force exploration of how the idea of the south of Italy – the Southern question – developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in Europe and Italy. Nelson Moe’s book is a provocative reassessment of an old question, newly conceived and dictated by larger ideological and political needs that extend far beyond the geographic borders of the Italian nation."—Judge, Scaglione Publication Award , Italian Literary Series
Description : All is not well on Zanatu: the idyllic Polynesian island is in rebellion, and the British Navy sends Lieutenant St Vincent Halfhyde to find out why. Halfhyde steams to investigate, braving typhoons and coral reefs along the way. But things go from bad to worse once he steps foot on the island, as angry natives armed with guns assault the British sailors. The natives swear allegiance to a mysterious god named John Frumm, who has appeared among them, promising wealth and prosperity. As the island slides toward anarchy, Halfhyde struggles to rescue the beleaguered members of Her Majesty's Colonial Service and find the elusive Frumm before it is too late.
Description : Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) and Herman Melville (1819-1891) addressed in their writings a range of issues that continue to resonate in American culture: the reach and limits of democracy; the nature of freedom; the roles of race, gender, and sexuality; and the place of the United States in the world. Yet they are rarely discussed together, perhaps because of their differences in race and social position. Douglass escaped from slavery and tied his well-received nonfiction writing to political activism, becoming a figure of international prominence. Melville was the grandson of Revolutionary War heroes and addressed urgent issues through fiction and poetry, laboring in increasing obscurity. In eighteen original essays, the contributors to this collection explore the convergences and divergences of these two extraordinary literary lives. Developing new perspectives on literature, biography, race, gender, and politics, this volume ultimately raises questions that help rewrite the color line in nineteenth-century studies. Contributors: Elizabeth Barnes, College of William and Mary Hester Blum, The Pennsylvania State University Russ Castronovo, University of Wisconsin-Madison John Ernest, West Virginia University William Gleason, Princeton University Gregory Jay, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Carolyn L. Karcher, Washington, D.C. Rodrigo Lazo, University of California, Irvine Maurice S. Lee, Boston University Robert S. Levine, University of Maryland, College Park Steven Mailloux, University of California, Irvine Dana D. Nelson, Vanderbilt University Samuel Otter, University of California, Berkeley John Stauffer, Harvard University Sterling Stuckey, University of California, Riverside Eric J. Sundquist, University of California, Los Angeles Elisa Tamarkin, University of California, Irvine Susan M. Ryan, University of Louisville David Van Leer, University of California, Davis Maurice Wallace, Duke University Robert K. Wallace, Northern Kentucky University Kenneth W. Warren, University of Chicago
Description : As the main artery of international commerce, merchant shipping was the world's first globalized industry, often serving as a vanguard for issues touching on labor recruiting, the employment relationship, and regulatory enforcement that crossed national borders. In Sweatshops at Sea, historian Leon Fink examines the evolution of laws and labor relations governing ordinary seamen over the past two centuries. The merchant marine offers an ideal setting for examining the changing regulatory regimes applied to workers by the United States, Great Britain, and, ultimately, an organized world community. Fink explores both how political and economic ends are reflected in maritime labor regulations and how agents of reform--including governments, trade unions, and global standard-setting authorities--grappled with the problems of applying land-based, national principles and regulations of labor discipline and management to the sea-going labor force. With the rise of powerful nation-states in a global marketplace in the nineteenth century, recruitment and regulation of a mercantile labor force emerged as a high priority and as a vexing problem for Western powers. The history of exploitation, reform, and the evolving international governance of sea labor offers a compelling precedent in an age of more universal globalization of production and services.
Description : In the nineteenth century, nearly all Native American men living along the southern New England coast made their living traveling the world's oceans on whaleships. Many were career whalemen, spending twenty years or more at sea. Their labor invigorated economically depressed reservations with vital income and led to complex and surprising connections with other Indigenous peoples, from the islands of the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean. At home, aboard ship, or around the world, Native American seafarers found themselves in a variety of situations, each with distinct racial expectations about who was "Indian" and how "Indians" behaved. Treated by their white neighbors as degraded dependents incapable of taking care of themselves, Native New Englanders nevertheless rose to positions of command at sea. They thereby complicated myths of exploration and expansion that depicted cultural encounters as the meeting of two peoples, whites and Indians. Highlighting the shifting racial ideologies that shaped the lives of these whalemen, Nancy Shoemaker shows how the category of "Indian" was as fluid as the whalemen were mobile.
Description : A sweeping study that spans two continents and over three hundred years of literary history, Antipodean America identifies the surprising affinites between Australian and American literature.
Description : Captives and Corsairs uncovers a forgotten story in the history of relations between the West and Islam: three centuries of Muslim corsair raids on French ships and shores and the resulting captivity of tens of thousands of French subjects and citizens in North Africa. Through an analysis of archival materials, writings, and images produced by contemporaries, the book fundamentally revises our picture of France's emergence as a nation and a colonial power, presenting the Mediterranean as an essential vantage point for studying the rise of France. It reveals how efforts to liberate slaves from North Africa shaped France's perceptions of the Muslim world and of their own "Frenchness". From around 1550 to 1830, freeing these captives evolved from an expression of Christian charity to a method of state building and, eventually, to a rationale for imperial expansion. Captives and Corsairs thus advances new arguments about the fluid nature of slavery and firmly links captive redemption to state formation—and in turn to the still vital ideology of liberatory conquest.