Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
American BloodThe Ends of the Family in American Literature, 1850-1900$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Holly Jackson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199317042

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199317042.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 May 2020

National Reproduction and Clotel’s Queer Mulatta

National Reproduction and Clotel’s Queer Mulatta

(p.46) Chapter 2 National Reproduction and Clotel’s Queer Mulatta
American Blood

Holly Jackson

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers a new reading of the “tragic mulatta” trope, arguing that William Wells Brown’s Clotel; Or, The President’s Daughter (1853) radically embraces the association of this figure with sterility and national death, linking mid-century theories of hybrid infertility to anxieties concerning the nation’s crisis of political continuity on the brink of the Civil War. Through an analysis of the relationship between death, socially deviant sexualities, and citizenship, Clotel stokes the pervasive fear of demographic crisis in antebellum America to call for a national rupture that would end the hereditary oppression of African Americans. This repositions the “mulatta” not as a “tragic” trope but as a figure of queer negativity. This chapter introduces new findings about the sources and print history of Clotel’s climactic leap from the Long Bridge, namely that this narrative was written and published by Congressman Seth M. Gates in 1842.

Keywords:   Tragic mulatto/a, queer mulatta, Long Bridge, Gates, Seth M, hybrid infertility theory, Brown, William Wells, Clotel; or, The President’s Daughter

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .