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  • 1. Preface: Unnatural Formations–Michael Moon

    2. Affect-Genealogy: Feeling and Affiliation in Willa Cather–Christopher Nealon

    3. "Single White Female": The Sexual Politics of Spinsterhood in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Oldtown Folks–Kathryn R. Kent

    4. The Boston Marriage as the Future of the Nation: Queerly Regional Sexuality in Diana Victrix–Kate McCullough

    5. Getting into it with James: Substitution and Erotic Reversal in The Awkward Age–Michael Trask

    6. Passing Through the Closet in Pauline E. Hopkins's Contending Forces–Siobhan Somerville

    7.Obscene Modernism: Eros Noir and the Profane Illumination of Djuna Barnes–Dianne Chisholm

    Book Reviews

    8. Bound and Determined: Captivity, Culture-Crossing, and White Womanhood from Mary Rowlandson to Patty Hearst by Christopher Castiglia–Logan

    9. Voicing America: Language, Literary Form, and the Origins of the United States by Christopher Looby–Lawrence Buell

    10. Purloined Letters: Originality and Repetition in American Literature by Joseph N. Riddel, Mark Bauerlein–John Bryant

    11. Behold the Child: American Children and Their Books 1621-1922 by Gillian Avery–Bonnie Gaarden

    12. Disciplines of Virtue: Girls' Culture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries by Lynne Vallone–Barbara Ryan

    13. The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth by Martin Barker; Roger Sabin–Jeffory A. Clymer

    14. Making of the Hawthorne Subject by Alison Easton–Jonathan Elmer

    15. Seeing New Worlds: Henry David Thoreau and Nineteenth-Century Natural Science by Laura Dassow Walls–John Limon

    16. Satirical Apocalypse: An Anatomy of Melville's "The Confidence-Man" By Jonathan A. Cook–Sharon L. Dean

    17. Melville's Muse: Literary Creation and the Forms of Philosophical Fiction by John Paul Wenke–Elizabeth Renker

    18. The Weaver-God, He Weaves: Melville and the Poetics of the Novel by Christopher Sten–Beverly A. Hume

    19. Emily Dickinson, Daughter of Prophecy by Beth Maclay Doriani–Joanna Yin

    20. Resistance and Reformation in Nineteenth-Century African-American Literature: Brown, Wilson, Jacobs, Delany, Douglass, and Harper by John Ernest–Gregg D. Crane

    21. Fathering the Nation: American Genealogies of Slavery and Freedom by Russ Castronovo–Jared Gardner

    22. The Apocalypse in African-American Fiction by Maxine Lavon Montgomery–Kristin Boudreau

    23. Male Authors, Female Subjects: The Woman Within/Beyond the Borders of Henry Adams, Henry James, and Others by Duco van Oostrum–Mylène Dressler

    24. The Descent of Love: Darwin and the Theory of Sexual Selection in American Fiction, 1871-1926 by Bert Bender–Bernice L. Hausman

    25. Dream Revisionaries: Gender and Genre in Women's Utopian Fiction 1870-1920 by Darby Lewes–Carol Farley Kessler

    26. Gender and the Gothic in the Fiction of Edith Wharton by Kathy A. Fedorko–Mary V. Marchand

    27. The End of the Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton and the First World War by Alan Price–Helen Killoran

    28. Willa Cather and the Myth of American Migration by Joseph R. Urgo–Robert Thacker

    29. A Certain Slant of Light: Regionalism and the Form of Southern and Midwestern Fiction by David Marion Holman–Reginald Dyck

    30. Women Editing Modernism: "Little" Magazines and Literary History by Jayne E. Marek–Frances Kerr

    31. The Lively Arts: Gilbert Seldes and the Transformation of Cultural Criticism in the United States by Michael Kammen–Jane Creighton

    32. Hemingwa

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  • Description

    “Nothing typifies the American sense of identity more,” Mark Seltzer writes at the beginning of his 1992 book Bodies and Machines, “than the love of nature (nature’s nation) except perhaps the love of technology (made in America).” The term “nature,” along with a few others—“culture,” “technology,” “nation”—has been of central importance in American literary and cultural studies throughout the past century. The essays in his special issue of American Literature explore in rich detail some of the roles of the “unnatural” in the making of American literature and culture.

    Several of the essays focus on literary works—both celebrated and forgotten ones—from the turn of the century, when social Darwinism, eugenics, and other forms of the new “scientific” social thinking were being used to exclude large segments of the population from the realm of the “natural” or the “healthy.” Beginning with the treatment of the figure of the spinster in the fiction of Harriet Beecher Stowe, these essays move in provocative and refreshing ways through their reconsiderations of the “unnatural formations” to be found in the work of writers ranging from pioneering African American author Pauline Hopkins to Henry James, Florence Converse, Willa Cather, and Djuna Barnes.

    Readers interested in sampling the best current scholarship on the effects on American cultural and social history of different ways of understanding gender, sexuality, and race will find this special issue of American Literature a valuable and stimulating resource.

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