Illinois Authors

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Ivy G. Wilson

Connection to Illinois: Wilson is associate professor at Northwestern University in Evanston.

Biography: Ivy G. Wilson is associate professor of English at Northwestern University. He teaches courses on the comparative literatures of the black diaspora and U.S. literary studies with a particular emphasis on African American culture. Along with the book listed below, he is also the editor of At the Dusk of Dawn: Selected Poetry and Prose of Albery Allson Whitman and the coeditor, with Robert S. Levine, of The Works of James M. Whitfield: America and Other Writings by a Nineteenth-Century African American Poet.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Specters of Democracy: Blackness and the Aesthetics of Politics in the Antebellum U.S.
ISBN: 0195337379 OCLC: 624552255

Oxford University Press New York : 2011

Specters of Democracy examines how figurations of blackness were used to illuminate the fraught relationship between citizenship, equality, and democracy in the antebellum U.S. Through close readings of Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Walt Whitman (on aurality), and Herman Melville, William J. Wilson, and a host of genre painters (on visuality), the book reveals how the difficult tasks of representing African Americans-both enslaved and free-in imaginative expression was part of a larger dilemma concerning representative democracy itself.