The Temple and the Forum: American Museum and Cultural Authority in Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, and Whitman

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9780817315634: The Temple and the Forum: American Museum and Cultural Authority in Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe, and Whitman

The rise of the museum as a cultural institution in 19th-century America brought with it many contested notions. This book explores the shared concerns and practices of 19th-century American museums and the literary productions of Hawthorne, Melville, Stowe and Whitman.

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“Les Harrison’s densely argued and amply illustrated treatment of nineteenth-century U.S. literature and museum culture begins with Duncan Cameron’s formulation of the museum’s two roles in a democracy: it may serve as a temple, codifying for visitors the values of the powerful, or it may function as a forum, offering the public a ‘place for confrontation, experimentation, and debate.’ . . . With its attention to institutional sites as expressions and arbiters of contested cultural models, The Temple and the Forum joins an American Studies tradition represented by such scholars as Karen Haltunnen, John Kasson, and Lawrence Levine (all of whom Harrison cites). Anyone interested in U.S. literature, performance studies, or theorizations of the public sphere will find much of interest.”—American Studies Journal

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Book Description The University of Alabama Press, United States, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Revised. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The rise of the museum as a cultural institution in 19th-century America brought with it many contested notions - of what artifacts merited preservation or display and the role of museums in public life and the cultural marketplace. In The Temple and the Forum , Les Harrison excavates the shared concerns and practices of 19th-century American museums and the literary productions of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Walt Whitman. The various representational strategies of museums suggested to these authors solutions to problems of literary and political representation. In probing the practices of three of the 19th-century s most significant museums - Charles Wilson Peale s Philadelphia Museum (1785-1843), P. T. Barnum s American Museum (1841-1865), and the United States National Museum at the Smithsonian (1879-present) - Harrison identifies two dominant models in the struggle over what museums should be: the temple, an institution for the projection and protection of official culture, and the forum, its populist, marketplace counterpart. Merging historical research with textual analysis, Harrison examines manifestations of the temple and the forum in the works of these authors and reconnects their works to the larger literary and cultural marketplace in which they circulated. What emerges is a veiled chapter in the history of American culture: the widening of literary and cultural distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate cultural forms, republicanism and democracy, and the literary and the popular - the temple and the forum. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780817315634

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Book Description U Alabama Press, 2007. Book Condition: New. Brand New The rise of the museum as a cultural institution in 19th-century America brought with it many contested notions. This work explores the shared concerns and practices of 19th-century American museums and the literary productions of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Walt Whitman. Bookseller Inventory # 80101

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