New Essays on Phillis Wheatley
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Download PDF (66.9 KB)
Download PDF (62.1 KB)
Download PDF (36.3 KB)
It is a considerable pleasure to offer gratitude to those individuals who have encouraged this project. The Illinois State University Libraries, as always, have given us unusual and generous guidance, especially Cheryl A. Elzy, University Librarian, Professor Vanetta Mae Schwartz of Milner Library, and Gary R. Thiel, Library Assistant. ...
Download PDF (121.6 KB)
Recently, scholarly studies of Phillis Wheatley, the first African American to publish a book on any subject, have astonishingly begun to burgeon, as the present collection attests. These critical essays comprising New Essays, fourteen in number, have the remarkable distinction of having never before appeared ...
Part I: Examining New Manifestations of Classicism in the Poetics of Phillis Wheatley
Phillis Wheatley’s Dido: An Analysis of “An Hymn to Humanity. To S.P.G. Esq.”
Download PDF (119.0 KB)
A profound misconception about the construction and use of hymn in Early American literature is that it is exclusively modeled after earlier Christian hymn forms. Previous to the eighteenth-century American writers, the hymn was adopted and celebrated as a Christian ...
I Remember Mama: Honoring the Goddess-Mother While Denouncing the Slaveowner-God in Phillis Wheatley’s Poetry
Download PDF (111.8 KB)
Still contrary to popular belief, Phillis Wheatley consistently honors her African homeland while critiquing the very institution of slavery that inspired her poetic gifts. Potentially in an awkward situation of ambiguity, she fights against the system that has taken her away from her family and now enslaves ...
The Interaction of the Classical Traditions of Literature and Politics in the Work of Phillis Wheatley
Download PDF (141.6 KB)
Phillis Wheatley, the first published African American woman writer, draws upon the Western classical tradition to assert poetic authority, and to argue for slaves’ rights to liberty.1 In the mid-eighteenth century, classical poetics and literary conventions were strictly observed by those who wished to demonstrate ...
The Trojan Horse: Classics, Memory, Transformation, and Afric Ambition in Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral
Download PDF (212.9 KB)
In 1772, at the commencement of a revolutionary season, Phillis Wheatley sought to publish a collection of classically pastoral, epic, religious, and elegiac poetry. Revolutionary in her own right, she disrupted established assumptions about black literary authorship in eighteenth-century America and challenged ...
Empowerment through Classicism in Phillis Wheatley’s “Ode to Neptune”
Download PDF (117.2 KB)
Even the most recently initiated Phillis Wheatley scholar can pinpoint the charge most often leveled against the young African American poet: that she is, at the end of the day, at best a clever rhymester but always a derivative ...
Phillis Wheatley’s Use of the Georgic
Download PDF (266.7 KB)
The first African American to publish a book in the English language, Phillis Wheatley was captured from her African homeland at the age of seven or eight and survived the horrific Middle Passage in the ship bearing the name, Phillis. This African American artist arrived in colonial Boston in 1761 with ...
Part II: Placing Phillis Wheatley in Newly Applied Historical Contexts
Works of Wonder, Wondering Eyes, and the Wondrous Poet: The Use of Wonder in Phillis Wheatley’s Marvelous Poetics
Download PDF (207.4 KB)
Upon receiving an award in Gotthold Lessing’s name, the political thinker Hannah Arendt reflected, “That a person appears in public at all, and that the public receives and confirms him is by no means a matter to be taken for granted. Only the genius is driven by his very gifts into public life ...
Queering Phillis Wheatley
Download PDF (130.3 KB)
I first became interested in attempting a queer discussion of Phillis Wheatley after reading her poem, “To S.M. a Young African Painter, on Seeing His Works.” John Shields notes that “[b]oth Mason . . . and Robinson . . . identify ‘S.M.’ as Scipio Moorhead, black slave of the Reverend John Moorhead. ...
Marketing a Sable Muse: Phillis Wheatley and the Antebellum Press
Download PDF (237.4 KB)
While Phillis Wheatley worked to shape her own identity, the media had its different, sometimes contradictory characterizations of her. During her seventeen-year career, which spanned from 1767 to 1784, Wheatley employed four principal marketing strategies: her concerns for individual salvation, ...
Phillis Wheatley: The Consensual Blackness of Early African American Writing
Download PDF (149.8 KB)
It is no accident that early black writing is an Enlightenment phenomenon. The first African writers of the Anglo-Atlantic world turned their appropriated Europeanized consciousness back upon the West itself. Through them, the West saw itself mirrored in African eyes. Eighteenth-century travel narratives ...
The Pan-African and Puritan Dimensions of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems and Letters
Download PDF (160.5 KB)
Phillis Wheatley was an eighteenth-century African American writer who strongly identified with Africa’s suffering from the Atlantic slave trade and developed sustained criticisms against slavery, racism, and other injustices against blacks in America and Africa. In her poems and her extant letters, ...
An Untangled Web: Mapping Phillis Wheatley’s Network of Support in America and Great Britain
Download PDF (252.4 KB)
The immense public popularity of Phillis Wheatley, which cannot be doubted, was unfortunately as brief as her life: a short thirty-one years. Yet her influence as “the first truly American poet in our literary history” and “the first black, the first slave, and the second woman to publish a book of poems in the United ...
Phillis Wheatley’s Theoretics of the Imagination: An Untold Chapter in the History of Early American Literary Aesthetics
Download PDF (221.2 KB)
Two studies that allegedly do the work of tracing the development of literary aesthetics in Early America are Max I. Baym’s A History of Literary Aesthetics in America and James Engell’s The Creative Imagination: Enlightenment to Romanticism. Baym’s helpful volume opens, interestingly, with Jonathan ...
To “pursue th’ unbodied mind”: Phillis Wheatley and the Raced Bod yin Early America
Download PDF (174.3 KB)
Phillis Wheatley lived and wrote in an interesting and complex moment in the history of the body, one that was informed by a variety of philosophical, theological, scientific, and even social movements. The influence of Enlightenment philosophic thought—the work of Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley, to name a ...
Download PDF (60.5 KB)
Download PDF (287.2 KB)
Page Count: 416
Illustrations: 0 illustrations
Publication Year: 2011