In America, travel has regularly been associated with romantic notions of freedom, exploration, and possibility. Focusing on a broad range of movement in the nineteenth century, this groundbreaking book challenges this conventional view, demonstrating the complexity of the politics of mobility in American culture. The texts that Mark Simpson consults are drawn from a wide range of genres and foreground social and cultural phenomena from slave revolt to fugitive escape, imperial expedition to neocolonial tourism, and market circulation to tramping protest. Utilizing works as diverse as Gray's "The Confessions of Nat Turner and London's "Martin Eden, Poe's "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and Edmonds's "Nurse and Spy in the Union Army, Simpson traces the vexed dynamics of movement and its representation in the nineteenth-century United States, developing a theory of mobility as social contest. Questions of national subjectivity and belonging bear centrally on his analysis of how mobility as a social and cultural resource comes to be distributed, invested, directed, and determined. "Trafficking Subjects helps us to see what it can mean to become subject to America, in all the conflicted senses of that phrase.
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(229mm x 146mm x 18mm)
University of Minnesota Press
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
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