Early American Literature

Edited by Katy Chiles - University of Tennessee, and Cassander Smith - University of Alabama


Frequency: Spring, Fall, and Winter

Latest Issue: Volume 59, Number 1

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

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


  • Individuals, 1 year
  • Individuals, 3 years

Founded in 1965, Early American Literature is the official journal of the MLA’s Forum on Early American Literature. It is the only journal that focuses on the scholarship and criticism of American literature through the early national period. It typically includes articles, provocations and inventions, review essays, and many book, resource, and conference 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.

Katy Chiles, associate professor of English at the University of Tennessee, teaches and writes about early American literary studies, African American and Native American literature, critical race theory, and print cultures. Her book, Transformable Race:  Surprising Metamorphoses in the Literatures of Early America, was published by Oxford University Press, and her work has appeared in PMLAEarly American LiteratureAmerican Literature, Race in American Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP, 2022), and African American Literature in Transition, Volume 1, 1750-1800 (Cambridge UP, 2022). She is currently working on another book project that examines race, collaboration, and print history in early American literature, which has been supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Cassander Smith is an associate professor of English and associate dean of academic affairs for the Honors College at the University of Alabama. Her teaching and research focus on early African American, American, and Caribbean literature, with a general focus on the early Black Atlantic. She is the author of Black Africans in the British Imagination: English Narratives of the early Atlantic (LSU Press, 2016) and Race and Respectability in an Early Black Atlantic (LSU Press 2023). Her current works in progress include a monograph, tentatively titled “Wasteful Bodies: Conservation, Preservation and the Transatlantic Slave Trade,” which examines sustainability rhetoric in the shaping of the transatlantic slave trade.

2024 Subscription Rates

Individual price – $52.00 1-year, $136 3-years
Institutional price – $90.00 1-year, $245 3-years

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

Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Kelly Wisecup, Professor of English at Northwestern University, have been selected to receive the 2023 Early American Literature Book Prize, which is awarded in odd calendar years to a second or subsequent monograph published in the last two years, and in even years to a first monograph. Gruesz’s Cotton Mather’s Spanish Lessons: A Story of Language, Race, and Belonging in the Early Americas was published by Harvard University Press in 2022.  Kelly Wisecup’s Assembled for Use: Indigenous Compilation and the Archives of Early Native American Literatures was published by Yale University Press in 2021.

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



Katy Chiles, University of Tennessee

Cassander Smith, University of Alabama

Book Review Editor

Emily Garcia
Northeastern Illinois University

Advisory Editor

Marion Rust, University of Kentucky

Assistant Editors

Lauren Santoru
University of Alabama

Maggie Warren
University of Tennessee

Digital Media Editor

Autumn Hall
University of Tennessee

Editorial Associate

Christi Stanforth

Editorial Assistant for Reviews

Timothy Garrison
Northeastern Illinois University

Editorial Board

Nicole Aljoe, 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
Elizabeth Hewitt, Ohio State University
Zach Hutchins, Colorado State University
Greta LaFleur, Yale University
Rodrigo Lazo, University of California, Irvine
Cedrick May, University of Texas at Arlington
Andrew Newman, Stony Brook University
Joseph Rezek, Boston University
Gordon Sayre, University of Oregon
Derrick Spires, Cornell University
Rhondda Thomas, Clemson University
Karen Weyler, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Caroline Wigginton, University of Mississippi


Table of Contents

Volume 59, Number 1

Editor’s Note
Cassander Smith and Katy Chiles

Richard Beale Davis Prize for 2022
Tara Bynum, Ana Schwartz, and Michelle Sizemore


Feeling Solitary in the Seductive Republic:
Narrative Deviance in Elizabeth “Harriot” Wilson
and William “Amos” Wilson
Ben Bascom

Equiano’s African Methodist Appetite: Feasting and
Purification Rituals as Community and Resistance
Carole Lynn Stewart

Reading with Powhatan Ancestral Remains in Robert
Beverley’s The History and Present State of Virginia
Kimberly Takahata


The 2023 SEA Common Reading Forum:
On Toni Morrison’s A Mercy
Anna Brickhouse, April Langley, and Kaitlin Tonti

Toni Morrison’s A Mercy: A Meditation on Othering
Dana A. Williams

Teaching A Mercy
Riché Richardson

Reading Race and Power in Toni Morrison’s A Mercy
Angelyn Mitchell

Possibility and A Mercy
Michelle S. Hite

Review Essay

The Din of Pasts Colliding: Latin American
Histories Urbane, Archival, and Sacral
Dana Leibsohn

Book Reviews

Michael Boyden, Vincent Carretta,
Jeannine Marie Delombard, Patrick M.
Erben, Ian Finseth, Theresa Strouth Gaul,
Aston Gonzalez, Ray Horton, Scott M. Larson,
Wendy Raphael Roberts, David Roediger,
Ana Schwartz, Bryan Sinche, Amy L.
Sopcak-Joseph, Ezra Tawil

Resources for Early American Studies

Ryan Carr, Rebecca M. Rosen,
Christopher Trigg, Abram Van Engen

Conference Reviews

Jenny Marie Forsythe, Rowan Red Sky

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Email: kate.stack@uncpress.org


Address Advertising Orders to

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

Address editorial correspondence to

Early American Literature
Attention: Editor
Email: kchiles1@utk.edu and clsmith17@ua.edu

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