American literature -- 1783-1850, Bartram, William -- 1739-1823 -- Travels through North & South Carolina, Georgia, east & west Florida, the Cherokee country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the country of the Chactaws, Ecofeminism in literature, Human animal relationships -- United States -- 18th century, Human animal relationships in literature, Trimmer, Sarah -- 1741-1810 -- Fabulous histories, designed for the amusement & instruction of young persons, Trist, Elizabeth House -- 1828, Colonial american literature, early american travel writing, eighteenth century euroamerican texts, children's conduct manual
This thesis uses ecofeminist and human-animal studies lenses to explore human animal and nonhuman animal relations in early America. Most ecocritical studies of American literature begin with nineteenth-century writers. This project, however, suggests that drawing on ecofeminist theories with a human-animal studies approach sheds light on eighteenth-century texts as well. Early American naturalist travel writing offers a site replete with human and nonhuman encounters. Specifically, naturalist William Bartram’s travel journal features interactions with animals in the southern colonial American frontier. Amateur naturalist Elizabeth House Trist’s travel diary includes interactions with frontier and domestic animals. Sarah Trimmer’s Fabulous Histories, a conduct manual that taught children acceptable behavior towards animals, provides insight about the social regulation of human and nonhuman relationships during the late eighteenth century, when Bartram and Trist wrote their texts. This thesis identifies and analyzes textual sites that blur the human subject/and animal object distinction and raise questions about the representation of animals as objects. This project focuses on the subtle discursive subversions of early Euroamerican naturalist science present in Bartram’s Travels (1791) and the blurring of human/animal boundaries in Trist’s Travel Diary (1783-84); Trimmer’s Fabulous Histories (1794) further complicates the Euroamerican discourse of animals as curiosities. These texts form part of a larger but overlooked discourse in early British America that anticipated more well-known and nonhuman-centric texts in the burgeoning early nineteenth-century American animal rights movement.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Vives, Leslie Blake, "Harvesting The Seeds Of Early American Human And Nonhuman Animal Relationships In William Bartram's Travels, The Travel Diary Of Elizabeth House Trist, And Sarah Trimmer's Fabulous Histories" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2371.