The political poetess : Victorian femininity, race, and the legacy of separate spheres
Introduction: Slaves, Spheres, Poetess Poetics -- Section 1: Racializing the Poetess: Haunting "Separate Spheres" -- Antislavery Afterlives: Changing the Subject: Haunting the Poetess -- "Not Another 'Poetess'": Feminist Criticism, Nineteenth-Century Poetry, and the Racialization of Suicide -- Section 2: Suspending Spheres: The Violent Structures of Patriotic Pacifism -- Suspending Spheres, Suspending Disbelief: Hegel's Antigone, Craik's Crimea, Woolf's Three Guineas -- Turning and Burning: Sentimental Criticism, Casabiancas, and the Click of the Cliché -- Section 3: Transatlantic Occasions: Nineteenth-Century Antislavery Poetics and the Limits -- Teaching Curses, Teaching Nations: Abolition Time and the Recoils of Antislavery Poetics -- Harper's Hearts: "Home Is Never Natural or Safe".; The Political Poetess challenges familiar accounts of the figure of the nineteenth-century Poetess, offering new readings of Poetess performance and criticism. In performing the Poetry of Woman, the mythic Poetess has long staked her claims as a creature of "separate spheres"--one exempt from emerging readings of nineteenth-century women's political poetics. Turning such assumptions on their heads, Tricia Lootens models a nineteenth-century domestic or private sphere whose imaginary, apolitical heart is also the heart of nation and empire, and, as revisionist histories increasingly attest, is traumatized and haunted by histories of slavery. Setting aside late Victorian attempts to forget the unfulfilled, sentimental promises of early antislavery victories, The Political Poetess restores Poetess performances like Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and Emma Lazarus's "The New Colossus" to view--and with them, the vitality of the Black Poetess within African-American public life.