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Grant number like: FT-51686-03

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Mitch Kachun
Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5200)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2003 – 7/31/2003

The Curse of Caste; or, the Slave Bride, and Other Civil War Era Writings by Mrs. Julia C. Collins, an African American Woman

In 1865 a weekly church newspaper serialized Julia Collins' The Curse of Caste. Apparently the first such work by a black American woman, this novel of ambiguous racial identity and interracial romance was near its conclusion when Collins died. My project makes widely available for the first time this early example of black American women’s fiction, along with six of Collins' nonfiction essays, and offers extensive commentary on the author's literary and historical significance. The author and her work have received virtually no scholarly attention, and this edition contributes to our understanding of nineteenth century black American community life, literature, religion, women’s history, and race relations.