Early American Literature

Edited by Marion Rust, University of Kentucky


Frequency: Spring, Fall, and Winter

Latest Issue: Volume 57, Number 3

Size: 6" x 9", approx. 328 pages

Bibliographic Information: ISSN: Print 0012-8163; Digital 1534-147X


Founded in 1965, Early American Literature is the journal of the Division on American Literature to 1830 of the Modern Language Association. It is the only journal that focuses on the scholarship and criticism of American literature through the early national period. It typically includes six essays, an essay review or forum, and several book reviews. For more information, visit Early American Literature‘s website.

SEA_logoEarly American Literature has been adopted as the official publication of the Society of Early Americanists. Members receive a subscription to the journal as a benefit of membership. For more information, visit our membership page.

Marion Rust is Professor of English at the University of Kentucky.  She received her undergraduate degree in comparative literature from Harvard and her PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford. She has published two books about Susanna Rowson and numerous articles and essays on topics ranging from gender and the personal voice in early Americanist scholarship (American Literature and Legacy), to concepts of intellectual property in the early republic (Studies in American Fiction), to empire studies (Women of the Early Americas and the Formation of Empire) and mass psychogenic illness (Common-Place).

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We have a partnership with Duke University Press (DUP) for print subscriptions and society memberships. Agencies are eligible for a discount on the institutional rate. If you have questions about an existing subscription or membership please contact DUP Journals Services:

Book Prize

Lindsay DiCuirci, Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), has been selected to receive the 2020 Early American Literature Book Prize, which is awarded in even calendar years to a first monograph published in the prior two years, and in odd years to a second or subsequent book. DiCuirci’s Colonial Revivals: The Nineteenth-Century Lives of Early American Books was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2019.

Open Access Article

Scholars specializing in early American literature have a duty to the public to raise awareness of how past events and beliefs impact our current lives–especially in the midst of a global pandemic and nationwide protests against systemic racism. This is why EAL has decided to provide Christopher Trigg’s essay, “The Racial Politics of Resurrection in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World”, open-access on their website. You can read the full article at the following link:

“The Racial Politics of Resurrection in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World,” by Christopher Trigg



Marion Rust, University of Kentucky

Co-Editor for Reviews

Katy Chiles, University of Tennessee

Advisory Editor

Sandra M. Gustafson, University of Notre Dame

Editorial Associate

Christi Stanforth

Assistant Editor

Alex Gergely

Digital Media Editor

Natalie Harrington

Editorial Assistants for Review

Emma Butler-Probst
Lucas Nossaman

Editorial Board

Sari Altschuler, Northeastern University
Wendy Bellion, University of Delaware
Yael Ben-zvi, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Lisa Brooks, Amherst College
Sarah Chinn, Hunter College, CUNY
Patrick Erben, University of West Georgia
Kirsten Silva Gruesz, University of California Santa Cruz
Greta LaFleur, Yale University
Cedrick May, University of Texas at Arlington
Andrew Newman, Stony Brook University
Sarah Rivett, Princeton University
Gordon Sayre, University of Oregon
Cassander L. Smith, University of Alabama
Derrick Spires, Cornell University
Scott Manning Stevens, Syracuse University
Rhondda Thomas, Clemson University
Karen Weyler, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Table of Contents

Volume 57, Number 3

Special Issue Introduction: “Dear Sister: Phillis Wheatley’s Futures”
Tara A. Bynum, Brigitte Fielder, and Cassander L. Smith


Winners of the Inaugural Phillis Wheatley Peters SEA Prize in
Creative Writing, Sponsored by the Society of Early Americanists

Upon Reading “A Hymn to the Evening” by Phillis Wheatley
Michael Beard

Lost Poem #1: Phillis Wheatley, Boston, to Obour Tanner, Boston
Annastasia Bimler

The Grapevine
Jakiyla Gamble

Phillis, heavy and I, naive
Alaina Johansson


Diplomatic Negotiations in Phillis Wheatley’s Ambassadorial
“On Being Brought From Africa To America”
Don Holmes


Phillis Wheatley, White Victimhood, and Black Belonging
in the Age of The 1776 Report 
Emily Donaldson Field

“I, Young in Life”: Phillis Wheatley and the Invention
of American Childhood
Camille S. Owens

“On Imagination” and Material Culture
Christy L. Pottroff

“The World Is a Severe Schoolmaster”: Phillis Wheatley’s
Poetry of Domination and Submission
Britt Rusert


Preface to “Wheatley Pedagogies: A Forum on Teaching”
Tara A. Bynum, Brigitte Fielder, and Cassander L. Smith

Reading and Teaching Phillis Wheatley Peters in Boston
Nicole N. Aljoe, Toni Bee, and Erica B. Lindamood

The First SEA Common Reading Initiative, or, How to
Break Down Old and New Barriers to Teaching Phillis Wheatley Peters
Patrick M. Erben

Reflections on “Phillis in Prison”
Elizabeth Ferszt

Loving Blackness across Arts and Sciences
Michelle S. Hite and Deanna P. Koretsky

Teaching Phillis Wheatley Peters through Black Liberation Theology
Sam Plasencia

On Being Brought from Africa to America to London:
Teaching Phillis Wheatley in the Former Heart of Empire
Xine Yao

Love as Method: Teaching Phillis Wheatley Peters and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Eugenia Zuroski


“Sister, Wasn’t It Good”: Archival Gestures, Mutual Witness,
and the 1973 Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival
Kirsten Lee

Anonymous Wheatley and the Archive in Plain Sight:
A Tentative Attribution of Nine Published Poems, 1773–1775
David Waldstreicher

Review Essays

Reading Politics through Song, Past and Present
Candace Bailey

Early American and Atlantic Jewish History: Currents and Crosscurrents
John M. Dixon

Accounting for Black Women’s Freedom in Early America
Molly Farrell

Histories of Contested Nation-Building in Early Transatlantic Print Culture
Timothy Helwig

Book Reviews

Karen Auman, Lisa A. Francavilla, Christopher Hanlon, Kristin Moriah,
Dana Murphy, Robert Murray, Dana D. Nelson, Erik R. Seeman, Karen Woods Weierman

Resources for Early American Studies

Jennifer A. Desiderio, Kahikina De Silva, Ann A. Huse, Celucien L. Joseph, Dominique E. Polanco

Conference Reviews

Chip Badley, Ajay Kumar Batra

Notes on Contributors

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Address Advertising Orders to

Journals Production Coordinator
UNC Press
116 South Boundary Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Email: kate.stack@uncpress.org

Address subscriber list rental orders to

Journals Circulation Manager
UNC Press
116 South Boundary Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Email: uncpress_journals@unc.edu

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Early American Literature
Attention: Editor
Department of English
University of Kentucky
Patterson Office Tower
Lexington, KY 40506
Email: marion.rust@uky.edu

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