Specters of Democracy: Blackness and the Aesthetics of Politics in the Antebellum U.S.

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, May 27, 2011 - Social Science - 252 pages
0 Reviews
Specters of Democracy examines how figurations of blackness were used to illuminate the fraught relationship between citizenship, equality, and democracy in the antebellum U.S. Through close readings of Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Walt Whitman (on aurality), and Herman Melville, William J. Wilson, and a host of genre painters (on visuality), the book reveals how the difficult tasks of representing African Americans-both enslaved and free-in imaginative expression was part of a larger dilemma concerning representative democracy itself.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


African American
Virtual Democracy in William Wells
African American Poetics and
Walt Whitman African Americans
Geometries of Space and American
Race Decoration and
William Ethiop Wilson and
Shadow and Act Redux
Works Cited

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Ivy G. Wilson is Associate Professor of English at Northwestern University. He is the editor of At the Dusk of Dawn: Selected Poetry and Prose of Albery Allson Whitman and the coeditor, with Robert S. Levine, of The Works of James M. Whitfield: America and Other Writings by a Nineteenth-Century African American Poet.

Bibliographic information