Disrupting Print: Emigration, the Press, and Narrative Subjectivity in the British Preaching and Writing of Zilpha Elaw, 1840-1860s

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This essay examines Zilpha Elaw's Memoirs and her peripatetic theology as acts of resistance against British print culture. In 1827, Elaw began an itinerant Methodist ministry in Burlington County, New Jersey, and traveled extensively from Maine to Virginia. She moved to England in 1840, wrote and published her Memoirs, and continued her ministry into the 1860s. Elaw remarried in 1850, establishing a permanent home in London where she lived until her death in 1873. Both her written and her oral work were rejections of a British press that was overzealous in its depictions of American enslavement and its self-congratulatory representations of England as a bastion of free and enlightened civilization. The essay reads news articles, advertising, and ephemera in local papers of London and northern England as both a means of consumption of and knowledge production about American slavery. Elaw gets scripted by but writes her way out of those boundaries and redefines her own place in the print culture of nineteenth-century religious diaspora.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-109
Number of pages16
JournalMELUS
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

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emigration
subjectivity
narrative
ministry
knowledge production
slavery
theology
diaspora
civilization
nineteenth century
news
death
Subjectivity
Emigration
Print Culture
Memoir
Preaching
1860s
England
Ministry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

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abstract = "This essay examines Zilpha Elaw's Memoirs and her peripatetic theology as acts of resistance against British print culture. In 1827, Elaw began an itinerant Methodist ministry in Burlington County, New Jersey, and traveled extensively from Maine to Virginia. She moved to England in 1840, wrote and published her Memoirs, and continued her ministry into the 1860s. Elaw remarried in 1850, establishing a permanent home in London where she lived until her death in 1873. Both her written and her oral work were rejections of a British press that was overzealous in its depictions of American enslavement and its self-congratulatory representations of England as a bastion of free and enlightened civilization. The essay reads news articles, advertising, and ephemera in local papers of London and northern England as both a means of consumption of and knowledge production about American slavery. Elaw gets scripted by but writes her way out of those boundaries and redefines her own place in the print culture of nineteenth-century religious diaspora.",
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Disrupting Print : Emigration, the Press, and Narrative Subjectivity in the British Preaching and Writing of Zilpha Elaw, 1840-1860s. / Blockett, Kimberly.

In: MELUS, Vol. 40, No. 3, 01.09.2015, p. 94-109.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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