Reconstructs a dialogue between objectifiers (American Puritans, slaveowners) and objectifieds (Native Americans, slaves) by arguing that the literature of race in antebellum America is the continuing story of an encounter with the grotesque. The focus is on literature-from Puritan captivity accounts, fugitive slave narratives, and proslavery fiction to the work of Melville, Stowe, Douglass, and their contemporaries. But Cassuto also ranges from colonial prodigies to nineteenth-century freak shows and Sambo stereotyping, from horror movies to the Holocaust Museum.
About the Author
Leonard Cassuto is associate professor of English and American literature at Fordham University.