A r t i c l e s
“In War Time: Whittier’s Civil War Address and The Quaker Periodical Press.” Quaker Studies 19.2 (2015): 229-242. Print.
Find and Download the Article in CORE, HERE
Abstract: Fought for a cause in which many Quakers ostensibly believed and had previously risked a great deal for, the American Civil War was a time of great trial for American Quakers. Extending ongoing efforts to understand this complex period, the following essay considers John G. Whittier’s mid-war poem, “In War Time,” and the peculiarity of its simultaneous appearance in the three, divided Quaker periodicals of the nineteenth century. Specifically, this article argues that Whittier’s poem renders more legible the dilemma Friends faced when attempting to position their peace principles in ethical relation to the mass suffering of the war. Reflecting, while also contributing to, a major transformation in American Quakerism, “In War Time” questioned the ethics of dissociative pacifism, exhorting Quakers to assist the Union war effort, if only in non- combatant roles, as nurses in hospitals and as teachers among the freedmen.
C o n f e r e n c e s & T a l k s
- “Whittier’s Storms,” panel paper, C19: Climate 2018, Albuquerque. Panel Title: The Cultural Politics of Disaster Writing.
Summary: Taking up John Greenleaf Whittier’s mid-war volume of poems, In War Time (1863), I trace the ways the collection frames the American Civil War as a a series of preternatural storms, full of thunder and shadow and bloody rain. I also situate Whittier’s work within the history of Quaker pacifism, arguing that Whittier poetically locates heaven’s justice in the storm clouds, rendering the violence intelligible as an atmospheric act of divine intervention into slavery.
- “Joseph Breintnal’s Walk Down Market Street,” panel talk, MLA 2017, Philadelphia. Panel Title: Philadelphia Stories.
- Chair. “The Politics of Invocation,” forum LLC, Early American Group. MLA Philadelphia 2017. Link to Panel Page, MLA Program 2017
- “Quakerism and American Literature, 1650-1865,” curated talk and archival presentation given at Haverford College, Quaker & Special Collections, 2016.
- “The Shades of Melville’s Silence: Religious Hearing in Moby-Dick.” Paper delivered at the 10th International Melville Conference (Melville in a Global Context), Tokyo, June 2015.
Summary: Part of a panel on Nature and Narrative, my presentation explores significant moments of silence in Moby-Dick that are inflected by the novel’s engagement with Quakerism and Quaker traditions of religious silence. I argue that the Quaker stillness invites us to reconsider the relationship between the body, community, religion and the natural environment in Moby-Dick.