By concentrating on Book VIII of The Columbiad, this essay focuses on the section wherein Atlas (the Guardian Genius of Africa) and Hesper (the Genius of America) discuss slavery and emancipation in the United States in the light of American empire-building and exceptionalism. The article thus aims at backdating the idea of “state of fantasy” to the end of the eighteenth century in order to interpret the friction between the imperialistic identity of the new country and attempts at social and political emancipation. Barlow’s text is a case in point since epic literature represents a primary tool for considering the foundation and definition of the United States as an ongoing process strictly interconnected with the country’s cultural, political, and economic expansion. The fact remains, however, that expansion entails violence, suppression, and failed attempts at emancipation.

The Columbiad: Slavery, Imperialism and the Founding Fathers’ ‘State of Fantasy’

Enrico Botta
2015-01-01

Abstract

By concentrating on Book VIII of The Columbiad, this essay focuses on the section wherein Atlas (the Guardian Genius of Africa) and Hesper (the Genius of America) discuss slavery and emancipation in the United States in the light of American empire-building and exceptionalism. The article thus aims at backdating the idea of “state of fantasy” to the end of the eighteenth century in order to interpret the friction between the imperialistic identity of the new country and attempts at social and political emancipation. Barlow’s text is a case in point since epic literature represents a primary tool for considering the foundation and definition of the United States as an ongoing process strictly interconnected with the country’s cultural, political, and economic expansion. The fact remains, however, that expansion entails violence, suppression, and failed attempts at emancipation.
978-88-8303-689-7
Joel Barlow, The Columbiad, slavery and emancipation, American empire-building, American exceptionalism
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1061119
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