PL EN


2017 | 26/1 | 165-192
Article title

Like Mother, Like Daughter?: Matrilineal Opposition in African American Mulatta Melodrama

Authors
Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
The article juxtaposes representations of mothers and daughters in selected African American novels that feature near-white female protagonists: W. W. Brown’s Clotel, Or the President’s Daughter (1853), Frances E. W. Harper’s Iola Leroy (1892), Charles Chesnutt’s The House behind the Cedars (1900), and Pauline Hopkins’s Hagar’s Daughter (1902). It explores the matrilineal opposition through a formalist close analysis of the melodramatic poetics of the texts and examines the political signifi cance of such aesthetic choices. The novels expose the American history of interracial relations through their foregrounding of the mulatta protagonists and numerous scenes of anagnorisis of their multiracial identities. Simultaneously, their “erotics of politics” rewards the choice of a black spouse and thus celebrates the emergence of the self-determined black community.
Contributors
author
  • University of Warsaw
References
  • Aristotle. 1987. Aristotle: Poetics. Ed. Richard Janko. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.
  • Baym, Nina. 1978. Woman’s Fiction: A Guide to Novels by and about Women in America, 1820‒70. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
  • Baker, Houston A. Jr. 1991. Workings of the Spirit: The Poetics of Afro-American Women’s Writing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Barthes, Roland. 2006 [1971]. “From Work to Text.” Trans. Richard Howard. The Novel: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory 1900‒2000. Ed. Dorothy J. Hale. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. 235–241.
  • Berlant, Lauren. 2008. The Female Complaint: The Unfi nished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Bost, Suzanne. 2010. Mulattas and Mestizas: Representing Mixed Identities in the Americas, 1850‒2000. Athens: University of Georgia Press.
  • Brooks, Peter. 1995 [1976]. The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess: With a New Preface. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Brown, William Wells. 2003 [1853]. Clotel: Or, The President’s Daughter. Ed. Maria Giulia Fabi. New York: Penguin.
  • Bussey, Susan Hays. 2005. “Whose Will Be Done?: Self-determination in Pauline Hopkins’s Hagar’s Daughter.” African American Review 39. 3: 299–313.
  • Carby, Hazel V. 1987. Reconstructing Womanhood: The Emergence of the AfroAmerican Woman Novelist. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • -----. 1990. Introduction. The Magazine Novels of Pauline Hopkins: (Including Hagar’s Daughter, Winona, and Of One Blood). Ed. Hazel V. Carby. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Child, Lydia Maria. 1871. “The Octoroons.” The Children of Mount Ida: And Other Stories. New York: Charles S. Francis. Matrilineal Opposition in African American Mulatta Melodrama 191
  • Dannenberg, Hilary P. 2008. Coincidence and Counterfactuality: Plotting Time and Space in Narrative Fiction. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. du Cille, Ann. 1993. The Coupling Convention: Sex, Text, and Tradition in Black Women’s Fiction. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • DuPlessis, Rachel Blau. 1985.Writing beyond the Ending: Narrative Strategies of Twentieth-Century Women Writers. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Epstein, Barbara Leslie. 1986. The Politics of Domesticity: Women, Evangelism, and Temperance in Nineteenth-Century America. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press.
  • Fabi, Maria Giulia. 2001. Passing and the Rise of the African American Novel. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
  • Fanon, Frantz. 1986 [1952]. Black Skin White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. London: Pluto Press.
  • Fisher, Philip. 1985. Hard Facts. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Foreman, Pier Gabrielle. 2009. Activist Sentiments: Reading Black Women in the Nineteenth Century. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
  • Foucault, Michel. 1986. “Of Other Spaces.” Diacritics 16: 22–27.
  • Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth, and Eugene D. Genovese. 2005. The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Genette, Gérard. 1983. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • Gillman, Susan. 2003. Blood Talk: American Race Melodrama and the Culture of the Occult. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Gledhill, Christine, ed. 1987. Home Is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film. London: British Film Institute.
  • Grimsted, David. 1968. Melodrama Unveiled: American Theater and Culture, 1800‒1850. Oakland: University of California Press.
  • Hadley, Elaine. 1992. “The Old Price Wars: Melodramatizing the Public Sphere in Early-Nineteenth-Century England.” PMLA 107. 3: 524–37.
  • Harper, Frances E. W. 1990 [1892]. Iola Leroy: Or Shadows Uplifted. Ed. Frances Smith Foster. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Harper, Phillip Brian. 1999. Private Aff airs: Critical Ventures in the Culture of Social Relations. New York: New York University Press.
  • Heermance, J. Noel. 1969. William Wells Brown and Clotelle: A Portrait of the Artist in the First Negro Novel. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books.
  • Hopkins, Pauline. 1991 [1900]. Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Hopkins, Pauline. 1990 [1901–1902; 1902; 1902–1903]. The Magazine Novels of Pauline Hopkins: (Including Hagar’s Daughter, Winona, and Of One Blood). Ed. Hazel V. Carby. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Jacobs, Harriet Ann. 1861. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Boston: Published for the author.
  • Lukács, György. 1970. “Narrate or Describe?” In Writer and Critic and Other Essays. London: Merlin Press. 110–148.
  • McCann, Sean. 1997. “‘Bonds of Brotherhood’: Pauline Hopkins and the Work of Melodrama.” ELH 64. 3: 789–822.
  • McDowell, Deborah E. 1995. “The Changing Same”: Black Women’s Literature, Criticism, and Theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Modleski, Tania. 1982. Loving with a Vengeance: Mass-Produced Fantasies for
  • Women. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books.
  • Pochmara, Anna. 2016. “Failed Patriarchs, Familial Villains, and Slaves to Rum:
  • White Masculinity on Trial in African American Mulatta Melodrama.” Nordic Journal of English Studies 15. 4: 208–235.
  • Roberson, Susan L. 2011. Antebellum American Women Writers and the Road: American Mobilities. New York: Routledge.
  • Rohrbach, Augusta. 1999. “To Be Continued: Double Identity, Multiplicity and Antigenealogy as Narrative Strategies in Pauline Hopkins’ Magazine Fiction.” Callaloo 22. 2: 483–498.
  • Tate, Claudia. 1996. Domestic Allegories of Political Desire: The Black Heroine’s Text at the Turn of the Century. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Zackodnik, Teresa C. 2010. The Mulatta and the Politics of Race. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-f038f117-41bc-4301-a4bf-d1479d97dc73
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.