Archives of Labor: Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States (Paperback)
  • Archives of Labor: Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States (Paperback)
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Archives of Labor: Working-Class Women and Literary Culture in the Antebellum United States (Paperback)

(author)
£20.99
Paperback 328 Pages / Published: 12/05/2017
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In Archives of Labor Lori Merish establishes working-class women as significant actors within literary culture, dramatically redrawing the map of nineteenth-century US literary and cultural history. Delving into previously unexplored archives of working-class women's literature-from autobiographies, pamphlet novels, and theatrical melodrama to seduction tales and labor periodicals-Merish recovers working-class women's vital presence as writers and readers in the antebellum era. Her reading of texts by a diverse collection of factory workers, seamstresses, domestic workers, and prostitutes boldly challenges the purportedly masculine character of class dissent during this era. Whether addressing portrayals of white New England "factory girls," fictional accounts of African American domestic workers, or the first-person narratives of Mexican women working in the missions of Mexican California, Merish unsettles the traditional association of whiteness with the working class to document forms of cross-racial class identification and solidarity. In so doing, she restores the tradition of working women's class protest and dissent, shows how race and gender are central to class identity, and traces the ways working women understood themselves and were understood as workers and class subjects.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822363224
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"[Archives of Labor] is a remarkable feat of original research and suggests routes for further study - not least on formal innovation and tone in antebellum literature." -- Stephanie Kelley * Times Literary Supplement *
"In the depth and range of her arguments, as well as in the important questions about methodology that her work implicitly raises, Merish opens up new debates and issues for feminist working-class recovery projects in the antebellum period and beyond it. . . . Future scholars and activists can build on Merish's imaginative and resourceful study." -- Francesca Sawaya * American Literary History *
"Archives of Labor is a marvel of archival recovery. Exploring many previously unknown and understudied texts, Merish focused not just on novels and poetry, but also on radical labor periodicals, pamphlet novels, periodical literature, theatrical melodrama, the testimonios of Mexican mission workers, and other literary ephemera. . . . An important interdisciplinary contribution to feminist history and literary scholarship." -- Ana Stevenson * Australasian Journal of American Studies *

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