115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Repurposing 19th Century American Literature: Teaching to Non-traditional Students

Session Chair: 
Geoff Cohen, University of California, Riverside
Session 1: Friday 8:15 – 9:45 am
Henry 225


  1. Geoff Cohen, University of California, Riverside
    This paper argues that antebellum American literature provides post-traditional students with social capital, with the means with which to negotiate American society and, importantly, with personal capital through the recognition of their own cultural practices and the possibilities of new understanding.
  2. Emma Stapely, "University of California, Riverside"
    This paper argues that the overtly masculine poetics of literacy in Frederick Douglass’s 1845 Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass are in fact underwritten by feminist understandings of teaching and learning as embodied practices without a proper time or place.  I suggest that a reading of Douglass on these terms might render him surprisingly relatable for first-time, feminist-identifying readers, and potentially empowering to contemporary student bodies who encounter the university ever more through structures of debt.
  3. Hannah Manshel, University of California, Riverside
    This paper reads Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850) in the context of both its 1640s Puritan setting and its 1840s writing, and argues that antinomianism functions as a critique of white abolitionists’ conflation of law and sentimentality in the mid-nineteenth century. Pearl is the embodied manifestation of an antinomian for who, I argue, is also a force of black female rebelliousness. 
Session Cancelled: