Early American Women Critics: Performance, Religion, Race
Early American Women Critics demonstrates that performances of various kinds - religious, political and cultural - enabled women to enter the human rights debates that roiled the American colonies and young republic. Black and white women staked their claims on American citizenship through disparate performances of spirit possession, patriotism, poetic and theatrical production. They protected themselves within various shields which allowed them to speak openly while keeping the individual basis of their identities invisible. Cima shows that between the First and Second Great Religious Awakenings (1730s–1830s), women from West Africa, Europe, and various corners of the American colonies self-consciously adopted performance strategies that enabled them to critique American culture and establish their own diverse and contradictory claims on the body politic. This book restores the primacy of religious performances - Christian, Yoruban, Bantu and Muslim - to the study of early American cultural and political histories, revealing that religion and race are inseparable.
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Abigail Adams African American African American women African and African American culture American women critics Anglican anonymous anti-slavery audience authorship Awakening ballad black women Boston British camp meetings Catharine Macaulay Charles Town Christian Christian activist church claim colonial colonists Constantia conversion critique cultured American Deerﬁeld England English European American women evangelical exhorters female ﬁgures ﬁnal ﬁrst free blacks freedom Gazette gender genius Gleaner History host body husband identity invisible John Adams JSMP Judith Murray Judith Sargent Murray Lee and Elaw Lee’s letters linked literary Lucy Terry male Mercy Otis Warren Mercy Warren MOW Papers Murray’s Muslim nation Native Americans natural rights Negro patriot performing critics Philadelphia Phillis Wheatley play playwright poems political preachers preaching pseudonyms published Raboteau race racial rational Christian religion religious Rowson sexual slavery slaves South Carolina speciﬁcally spirit possession spiritual Susanna Susanna Rowson Terry Terry’s theatre Timothy Universalist University Press visible Wheatley’s Whiteﬁeld woman York