Beside You in Time

Sense Methods and Queer Sociabilities in the American Nineteenth Century

Beside You in Time

Book Pages: 240 Illustrations: Published: August 2019

Subjects
African American Studies and Black Diaspora, American Studies, Gender and Sexuality > Queer Theory

In Beside You in Time Elizabeth Freeman expands biopolitical and queer theory by outlining a temporal view of the long nineteenth century. Drawing on Foucauldian notions of discipline as a regime that yoked the human body to time, Freeman shows how time became a social and sensory means by which people assembled into groups in ways that resisted disciplinary forces. She tracks temporalized bodies across many entangled regimes—religion, secularity, race, historiography, health, and sexuality—and examines how those bodies act in relation to those regimes. In analyses of the use of rhythmic dance by the Shakers; African American slave narratives; literature by Mark Twain, Pauline Hopkins, Herman Melville, and others; and how Catholic sacraments conjoined people across historical boundaries, Freeman makes the case for the body as an instrument of what she calls queer hypersociality. As a mode of being in which bodies are connected to others and their histories across and throughout time, queer hypersociality, Freeman contends, provides the means for subjugated bodies to escape disciplinary regimes of time and to create new social worlds.

Praise

Beside You in Time is a singularly powerful meditation on the biopoliticized timing of bodies but also upon the carnal body as an instrument of sociability, a tool for fugitive world-making. Elizabeth Freeman takes discourses and scenes we thought we knew and, by locating them in a context so fresh in conception, brings them to a new dynamic life. Americanists, queer theorists, anybody interested in the state of critical theory after New Historicism: all will be eager to get hold of this field-shifting and necessary book.” — Peter Coviello, author of Make Yourselves Gods: Mormons and the Unfinished Business of American Secularism


“Elizabeth Freeman's fierce femme provocation expands contemporary critical thinking about biopower, leading queer Americanist scholarship toward an exploration of the rich potentialities buried within the history of sexuality.” — Dana Luciano, author of Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America


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Open Access

Spring 2019 sale
Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Elizabeth Freeman is Professor of English at the University of California, Davis, and the author of Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories and The Wedding Complex: Forms of Belonging in Modern American Culture, both also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction  1
1. Shake it Off: The Physiopolitics of Shaker Dance, 1744–1856  27
2. The Gift of Constant Escape: Playing Dead in African American Literature, 1948–1900  52
3. Feeling Historicisms: Libidinal History in Twain and Hopkins  87
4. The Sense of Unending: Defective Chronicity in "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and "Melanctha"  124
5. Sacra/Mentality in Djuna Barnes's Nightwood  158
Coda. Rhythm Travel  187
Notes  191
References  199
Index
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0635-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0504-9
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