This project offers a new definition of American protest literature, exploring texts that imagine alternative pasts and futures in order to achieve, inspire, or theorize collective action in print. These other worlds, whether revisions of the past, interventions in the present, or visions of the future, posit new realities based in egalitarianism, accountability, and sustainability, offering a model for social and environmental justice. The project brings together print culture theories of the socialization of texts, new social movement theories, and cultural theories of race and gender. As such, this project may be of interest to scholars of reform and protest literature of the nineteenth to twenty-first century, print culture and book history, and cultural theory.
Texts: John Winthrop, “A Model of Christian Charity”; William Apess, Eulogy on King Philip; Henry David Thoreau, Walden and “Resistance to Civil Government”; Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward; Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland; Ernest Callenbach, Ecotopia; Octavia E. Butler, the Parable series
Select abstracts of chapters available upon request.