“Regional Nationalism and the Ends of the Literary World,” J19: the Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 7.2 (Fall 2019): 249-275. Download here.
In this essay I examine the Literary World, the influential literary periodical edited by Evert Duyckinck, to rethink the relationship between region and nation in antebellum cultural geography. I argue that there were multiple literary nationalisms, each a regionally distinctive invocation of nationalist rhetoric on behalf of regional interests that belied rather than represented or advocated a national literature. Subscription records from the Literary World show that literary nationalist rhetoric developed within a feedback loop that reinforced the regional affiliation of both the periodical and its readers. Region emerges as a site of cultural identification, I argue, precisely through this dialectic between textual representations of cultural geography and the way those texts traversed actual geography. In order to understand the consolidation of national circulation and the concept of the nation in the nineteenth-century, we need to re-examine the regional cultural practices that produced them.
“Middling: On Hamlin Garland’s Main-Traveled Roads," Cleveland Review of Books (Oct. 7, 2019).
“The Regional Nationalism of New York’s Literary World," Gotham: A Blog for Scholars of New York City History (July 9, 2020).