Books to read

The remarkable thing is that I could quite easily spend the entire summer making a list of the books I should read to become familiar with this topic and its historical context… without actually reading any of them. I’m trying to decide how to feel about that — frustrated and overwhelmed, currently.

What’s exciting, though, is to see how many familiar names there are in these books. I’m getting the sense that my interests can actually be located in a particular scholarly literature and conversation, which is great! I guess I’m “finding the edges” of what I want to work on, and how my contribution might be unique. The literatures I’m approaching here are 1) patriotism/nationalism 2) women’s rights and 3) the African American freedom struggle, all in the late 19th century. The book I’m reading now is really the most precisely relevant text I’ve come across so far, although it starts a bit later than what I’m looking for; it’s¬†Francesca Morgan,¬†Women and Patriotism in Jim Crow America (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2005); I’ll write up a summary for my next post.

Later this week I’ll put together an agenda for my first research trip to Philly in June.