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Black Atlas: Geography and Flow in Nineteenth-Century African American Literature

By
Judith Madera
Judith Madera

Judith Madera is Associate Professor of English and Environmental Studies at Wake Forest University.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-7595-1
Publication date:
2015

Black Atlas presents definitive new approaches to black geography. It focuses attention on the dynamic relationship between place and African American literature during the long nineteenth century, a volatile epoch of national expansion that gave rise to the Civil War, Reconstruction, pan-Americanism, and the black novel. Judith Madera argues that spatial reconfiguration was a critical concern for the era's black writers, and she also demonstrates how the possibility for new modes of representation could be found in the radical redistricting of space. Madera reveals how crucial geography was to the genre-bending works of writers such as William Wells Brown, Martin Delany, James Beckwourth, Pauline Hopkins, Charles Chesnutt, and Alice Dunbar-Nelson. These authors intervened in major nineteenth-century debates about free soil, regional production, Indian deterritorialization, internal diasporas, pan–American expansionism, and hemispheric circuitry. Black geographies stood in for what was at stake in negotiating a shared world.

 

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