Early American Literature

Edited by Marion Rust, University of Kentucky


Frequency: Spring, Fall, and Winter

Latest Issue: Volume 57, Number 1

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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Book Prize

2019 Winner
2021 Call for Entries

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

Editorial Assistants for Review

Emma Butler-Probst
Lucas Nossaman

Digital Media Editor

Natalie Harrington

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 1

Editor’s Note
Marion Rust


The Captain Sits to Write
Jeremy Paden


Preserving the History of Cemanahuac: Domingo Chimalpahin’s Rewriting of Spanish Narratives in the Annals of His Time (ca. 1608–1615)
Carlos Macías Prieto

Early American Commercial Property Marks: Reading According to Code, And Beyond
Hannah Farber

“The Voice of the Innocent Blood Cries Aloud from the Ground to Heaven”: Speaking and Discovering Infanticide in the Early American Northeast
Rebecca M. Rosen

Property’s Narratives: “Unreasonable and Unnatural Distributions of Human Will” in Charles Brockden Brown’s Arthur Mervyn and Early American Contract Law
Valerie Sirenko

The “Impassable Morass” in Translation: Louisiana’s Wetlands, Chateaubriand’s Atala, and the Aesthetics of Colonial Ambivalence
Matthew E. Suazo

Bachelor Sketches: Invisible Women in Irving’s Domestic Writings
Claudia Stokes


The Brief Career of “Betty Broadface,” Defender of “Old Maids”
Paul Lewis

Review Essays

That Early New England, This Early New England, and Some of the Next
Michael Ditmore

Book Reviews

Alison Tracy Hale, Alice Henton, Tabitha Lowery, Shira Lurie, Warren Eugene Milteer Jr., Nicholas K. Mohlmann, Christopher N. Phillips, Jillian J. Sayre, Evelyn Soto, Abigail L. Swingen, Laura Dassow Walls, Jamin Wells, Thomas Wien

Resources for Early American Studies

José Carlos De La Puente, David W. Kling

Conference Reviews

Ajay Kumar Batra, Shannon E. Duffy, Emily Gowen, Amanda Louise Johnson, Lloyd Alimboyao Sy

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: sam_dalzell@unc.edu

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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