TitleForms of exchange
NameDi Loreto, Sonia (author), Jehlen, Myra (chair), McGill, Meredith (internal member), Evans, Brad (internal member), Mariani, Giorgio (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectLiteratures in English,
Epistolary fiction, American--History and criticism,
Letter writing--19th century,
DescriptionMy dissertation examines epistolary exchanges in the 1830-1850 transatlantic world as vehicles for the formation and circulation of ideas about the nation. Some of the innate characteristics of letter writing and letters, such as flexibility and high mobility, a wide temporal trajectory, defiance of national borders, and dialogical openness, made letters the privileged site where a transnational circulation of ideas about the nation could take place. By concentrating on letter writing and epistolary exchanges, I trace how, in spite of its emphasis on the national arena, the process of nation building in the nineteenth century really occurs within a cosmopolitan and transnational landscape, where observations about the nation, and national ideals circulate and are mutually inflected. The interesting status of the letter in the nineteenth century, as a piece of writing in between public and private communication, pointed to that space where individuals, away from certain conventions of public discourse, could most experimentally articulate their opinions about public issues. The decades considered in this study are a crucial moment both for epistolary production, and for the historical events revolving around concepts about the nation, in the United States and in Europe. Within these chronological boundaries, I focus on a specific group of writers, who had similar interests, who operated transnationally, and who were corresponding with one another. Margaret Fuller, Costanza Arconati, Giuseppe Mazzini, Thomas Carlyle, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, in fact, were in different ways invested in ideas and ideals of national belonging, and they considered themselves as public figures whether through their political career (as in the case of Giuseppe Mazzini), or through their concern and interventions in the civil and public world.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Sonia Di Loreto
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.