Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain's Asia and Comparative Racialization - America and the Long 19th Century (Hardback)
  • Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain's Asia and Comparative Racialization - America and the Long 19th Century (Hardback)
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Sitting in Darkness: Mark Twain's Asia and Comparative Racialization - America and the Long 19th Century (Hardback)

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£74.00
Hardback 248 Pages / Published: 20/02/2015
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Perhaps the most popular of all canonicalAmerican authors, Mark Twain is famous for creating works that satirizeAmerican formations of race and empire. While many scholars have exploredTwain's work in African Americanist contexts, his writing on Asia and AsianAmericans remains largely in the shadows. In Sitting in Darkness, Hsuan Hsuexamines Twain's career-long archive of writings about United States relationswith China and the Philippines. Comparing Twain's early writings about Chineseimmigrants in California and Nevada with his later fictions of slavery andanti-imperialist essays, he demonstrates that Twain's ideas about race were notlimited to white and black, but profoundly comparative as he carefully craftedassessments of racialization that drew connections between groups, includingAfrican Americans, Chinese immigrants, and a range of colonial populations. Drawing on recent legal scholarship,comparative ethnic studies, and transnational and American studies, Sitting inDarkness engages Twain's best-known novels such as Tom Sawyer, HuckleberryFinn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, as well as hislesser-known Chinese and trans-Pacific inflected writings, such as theallegorical tale "A Fable of the Yellow Terror" and the yellow face play AhSin. Sitting in Darkness reveals how within intersectional contexts of ChineseExclusion and Jim Crow, these writings registered fluctuating connectionsbetween immigration policy, imperialist ventures, and racism.

Publisher: New York University Press
ISBN: 9781479880416
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 517 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Advanced scholars will be most at home with the level of discussion, but the author clearly relates plentiful historical references to Twain's texts and develops a convincing case for the prevalence of race-related issues in Twain's consciousness."-Choice
"A brilliant book that will add immeasurably to Mark Twain studies, American literary studies, and the field of comparative studies of race and ethnicity. Exciting, well-written, and filled with surprising, unexpected connections, Sitting in Darkness contributes to our understanding of the history of comparative racialization in America while deftly placing literature in legal and social contexts that are truly illuminating."-Shelley Fisher Fishkin,Professor of English and Director of American Studies, Stanford University

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