Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

8/1/2005 - 5/31/2006

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Sympathy as a Keyword in American Culture, 1750-1950

FAIN: FB-51914-05

Daniel Bernard Wickberg
University of Texas, Dallas (Richardson, TX 75080-3021)

This book-length project examines the changing meanings of the idea of sympathy in American culture over two hundred years. It is concerned with how contradictions in American ideas about personhood and social order were contained in this idea. The ideology of liberalism situated authority within the individual; sympathy was both a key component of the internalized self of American liberal culture, and an avenue overcoming self isolation though affective and imaginative bonds with other persons. Drawing on the perspectives of intellectual history, the interdisciplinary study of personhood, and the history of emotions, this project will be of interest to a broad array of scholars concerned with modern ideology and American history.