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Fiction at Work: Forging American Class Identities in Nineteenth-Century Dime Novels

Friday, 20 February, 2009 - 14:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculty: Arts and Philosophy
D
2.01
Peter Gardner
phd defence

Fiction at Work argues that racialist constructs provided the common ground for
negotiating industrial capitalism in nineteenth-century American labor fiction.
Dime novel labor fiction adopts these narrative strategies, indicating the shared
racialist code of labor fiction in the United States. In making this argument
particular emphasis is placed on the narrative inclusions, exclusions and
representations of the ethnic groups living in the United States as an index of the
fictionality, rather than the verisimilitude, of labor fiction. Consequently, which
ethnic groups are included or excluded in these narratives, and how these "races"
are represented, is part of the larger discourse regarding the "races" deemed
worthy or unworthy of full-fledged citizenship in the United States of America.