Vicious infants : dangerous childhoods in antebellum U.S. literature / Laura Soderberg
- Soderberg, Laura
- Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 2021.
- Physical Description:
- 1 online resource
- Bound Children: Sidestepping the Social Contract in Apprenticeship Literature -- The Incorrigible Child: Juvenile Delinquency and the Fearful Rise of the Child Self -- Prodigious Births: Black Infancy, Antebellum Medicine, and the Racialization of Heredity -- Too Many Children: U.S. Malthusianism, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Novel-Ending Births -- Conclusion.
- "Childhood as scholars often recognize it-innocent, vulnerable, and above all, precious-is anchored in the cultural imagination of the early nineteenth-century United States, when an attitude of child worship drove sentimental politics and literature. But, not all childhoods were defined by love, education, and nurture. Singled out by nineteenth-century legal and medical establishments, children already marginalized by slavery, ethnicity, and poverty were increasingly branded as "incorrigible," delinquent, and antisocial. Vicious Infants offers a counterhistory of literary childhood as both perceived social threat and site of resistance, revealing that many children were not only cut off from family and society, they were also preemptively excluded from the rewards of citizenship and adulthood. Turning to prison documents, medical journals, overlooked periodical fiction, and literary works from William Apess, Harriet Wilson, Herman Melville, Susan Paul, and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Laura Soderberg recovers alternate narratives of childhood and provides an important window into the cultural links between race, reproduction, and childhood in the antebellum period"--
- American literature—19th century—History and criticism
- Children in literature
- Social problems in literature
- Child labor in literature
- Juvenile delinquency in literature
- African American children in literature
- Littérature américaine—19e siècle—Histoire et critique
- Problèmes sociaux dans la littérature
- Enfants noirs américains dans la littérature
- SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
- American literature
- 9781613768457 (ebook)
- Based on the author's dissertation (doctoral)--Univeristy of Pennsylvania, 2016.
- Bibliography Note:
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Endowment Note:
- Paterno Family Librarian Endowment in Literature
View MARC record | catkey: 37409818