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Products for grant FEL-262726-19

The Unknowing of American History: Past, Present, and the Historical Novel in the U.S.
Thomas Graham, Columbia University

Grant details:

"The Unacknowledged War: Dunbar's History of White Revisionism" (Article)
Title: "The Unacknowledged War: Dunbar's History of White Revisionism"
Author: T. Austin Graham
Abstract: “The Unacknowledged War” is an inquiry into the phenomenon of Civil War revisionism, focusing on the tendency of white Americans to deny, against all available evidence, that the “war between the states” was waged over slavery. In doing so, the essay turns to Paul Laurence Dunbar’s grievously understudied 1901 novel The Fanatics, a historical fiction of the war years that focuses on the white North and argues that the Unionists who battled the Confederacy did so only because they wrongly believed that the war’s purpose had nothing to do with enslaved Black Americans. The essay also shows how Dunbar’s novel contributes to several fields of contemporary intellectual interest, among them Civil War studies, Afropessimist thought, and a cross-disciplinary investigation of negative epistemologies known as “ignorance studies.” Ultimately, the essay concludes that Civil War revisionism has yet to show signs of ebbing in American historical consciousness and that ignorance-oriented novels like Dunbar’s are indispensable partners for approaching this persistent problem.
Year: 2021
Primary URL: http://
Primary URL Description: Article PDF
Access Model: Subscription only
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: American Literature
Publisher: American Literature