Nineteenth-Century Visions of Race
British Travel Writing about America
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Nineteenth-Century Visions of Race: British Travel Writing about America concerns the depiction of racial Others in travel writing produced by British travelers coming to America between 1815 and 1861.The travelers’ discussion of slavery and of the situation of Native Americans constituted an inherent part of their interest in the country’s democratic system, but it also reflected numerous additional problems: 19th-century conceptions of race, the writers’ own political agendas as well as their like or dislike of America in general, which impacted how they assessed the treatment of the subaltern groups by the young republic. While all British travelers were critical of American slavery and most of them expressed sympathy for Native Americans, their attitude towards non-whites was shaped by prejudices characteristic of the age. The book brings together descriptions of blacks and Native Americans, showing their similarities stemming from 19th-century views on race as well as their differences; it also focuses on the depiction of race in travel writing as part of Anglo-American relations of the period.
Table of Contents
Transatlantic relations in the early 19th century
The discourse of travel writing
Chapter One: Nineteenth-Century Conceptions of Race
The beginnings of racial science
Attitudes towards blacks and Native Americans
Chapter Two: Touring the Land of the Unfree
The South, the North, and abolitionism
Essentialist views of race
Nineteenth-century racial hierarchies
Chapter Three: Children of the Forest, Noble and Ignoble Savages: Encounters with Native Americans
Sympathy for the oppressed
Savages noble and ignoble: the double image
Doomed to extinction
Extremes of contempt
Chapter Four: Gazing at Racialized Bodies
Seeking esthetic pleasure
The ugly, the grotesque, the animal
Speaking for itself?
Justyna Fruzińska holds an MA in American Literature and a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Lodz, Poland, where she holds the position of Assistant Professor and teaches American literature, culture and history. Her publications include Emerson Goes to the Movies: Individualism in Walt Disney Company's Post-1989 Animated Films (2014), as well as numerous academic articles on American popular culture, travel writing, Transcendentalism, and Polish poetry.