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Grant number like: FA-56388-12

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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FA-56388-12Research Programs: Fellowships for University TeachersRobert S. LevineThe Lives of Frederick Douglass7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013$50,400.00RobertS.Levine   University of Maryland, College ParkCollege ParkMD20742-5141USA2011American StudiesFellowships for University TeachersResearch Programs504000504000

Ranging from the 1840s to the present day, my book will provide a literary and cultural history of the lives and afterlives of Frederick Douglass. Unlike the typical biography, the book will be a "meta-biography" of sorts--a study of how U.S. culture has conceived, or invented, what I am terming the "lives" of Douglass. Douglass wrote three very different versions of his life (1845; 1855; 1881, rev. 1892). In this respect, Douglass himself offers us a warrant for thinking about his various "lives." From beginning to end, the book will thus also pay close attention to Douglass's canny acts of self-representation, whether in autobiographies, lectures and essays, or photographs. Douglass was a contradictory, complex, and performative figure who ultimately baffles efforts to reduce his life to a single story. In short, the book examines Douglass both in his own time and beyond, with the hope of offering new perspectives on Douglass and racial representativeness in the United States.