Annual Bibliography 2014

Argersinger, Jana L. and Phyllis Cole, eds. Toward a Female Genealogy of Transcendentalism.Athens: U of Georgia P.

[Ralph Waldo Emerson appears throughout this remarkable collection of 17 essays that document women’s perspectives on and experience of transcendentalism.]


Baker, Noelle A. “‘Let me do nothing smale’: Mary Moody Emerson and Women’s ‘Talking’ Manuscripts.” Toward a Female Genealogy of Transcendentalism. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Phyllis Cole. Athens: U of Georgia P. 35-56.

[Situates Ralph Waldo Emerson’s accomplished aunt as heir to eighteenth-century women’s salon culture and precursor to feminist “professional talkers” such as Fuller.]


Bell, Lucy. “The Banion of the Forest: Emerson Thrives in Colorado Springs.” ESP 25.2: 14-15.

[The discovery of Emerson at a time of mourning leads to the community group Friends of Emerson.]


Clark, Prentiss. “‘Pulse for Pulse in Harmony with the Universal Whole’: Hearing ‘Self-Reliance.’” Nineteenth-Century Literature 69.3: 319-341.

[Self-reliance is not a process of seceding from the world but of being “fundamentally in conversance” with it.]


Constantinesco, Thomas, and Cécile Roudeau. “Limning New Regions of Thought: Emerson’s Abstract Regionalism.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 60.2: 285-326.

[Emerson uses New England in his essays as both a geographical designation and a mindset.]


Cramer, Jeffrey S., ed. The Portable Emerson. New York: Penguin.

[A generous but unannotated selection of essays, addresses, poems, journal entries, and letters.]


Cushman, Stephen. “When Lincoln Met Emerson, and the Two Addresses.” The Belligerent Muse: Five Northern Writers and How They Shaped our Understanding of the Civil War. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P. 9-45.

[The effect of self-reliance on Lincoln’s Gettysburg and Second Inaugural addresses].


Dowling, David. Emerson’s Protégés: Mentoring and Marketing Transcendentalism’s Future. New Haven: Yale UP.

[Emerson’s mentorship of Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, Christopher Pearse Cranch, Samuel Gray Ward, Ellery Channing, Jones Very, and Charles King Newcomb.]


Egan, Hugh. “‘On Freedom’: Emerson, Douglass, and the Self-reliant Slave.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 60.2: 183-208.

[Using Emerson’s 1853 poem “On Freedom,” examines the attempts of both Emerson and Frederick Douglass to “wed the material to the metaphorical over the issue of slavery.”]


Foreman, Amanda. “The Verse Heard Round the World.” Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition. 19 April 2014, 263, xci: C12.

[Connects Emerson’s 1837 “Concord Hymn” to the crisis in Ukraine.]


Forster, Sophia. “Peculiar Faculty and Peculiar Institution: Ralph Waldo Emerson on Labor and Slavery.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 60.1: 35-73.

[On Emerson’s support for the doctrine of “free labor,” which was embraced by abolitionists who believed that it provided opportunities for self-improvement.]


Gray, Nicole H. “The Sounds and Stages of Emerson’s Social Reform.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 69.2: 208-232. [Emerson’s reform efforts in the 1850s are congruent with a “theory of transformation and mediation” expressed in the essays.]


Grimstad, Paul. “On Ecstasy: Sharon Cameron’s Reading of Emerson.” American Impersonal: Essays with Sharon Cameron. Ed. Branka Arsić. New York: Bloomsbury. 57-72.

[Cameron’s concept of impersonality includes ecstasy, the condition in which the radically personal becomes “linguistically sharable.” Focuses on “Experience,” “Over-Soul,” and Nature.]


Hickman, Larry A. “Strands of Faith in Classical American Philosophy.” Phi Kappa Phi Forum 94.1: 10-11.

[On the “will to believe, secular as well as religious,” that runs through the work of Emerson, Charles S. Pierce, William James, and John Dewey.]


Kaag, John, and Sujata K. Bhatia. “Fools for Tools.” Chronicle of Higher Education, 28 November 2014, 61, xiii: B13-B15.

[The Code of Ethics of the National Society of Professional Engineers reflects Emerson’s concern that “we give up some of our humanity in the pursuit of technological progress.”]


Kalfopoulou, Adrianne. “Sylvia Plath’s Emersonian I/Eye.” Women’s Studies 40.7 (2011): 890–909.

[Charts the influence of Emerson on Plath’s “investigation of identity” by using Plath’s marginalia in her personal copy of Emerson’s essays.]


Kohler, Michelle. Miles of Stare: Transcendentalism and the Problem of Literary Vision in Nineteenth-Century America. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P.

[Traces attention to the “visible American world” in the work of writers who exist “in the wake of” Emersonian Transcendentalism: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, William Dean Howells, and Sarah Orne Jewett.]


LeCarner, Thomas. “A Portion of Thyself: Thoreau, Emerson, and Derrida on Giving.” Revue Française d’Études Américaines 3.140: 65-77.

[Uses their concept of giving to defend the transcendentalists from the charge of selfishness.]


Lee, Maurice S. “Deserted Islands and Overwhelmed Readers.” American Literary History 26.2: 207-233.

[Emerson’s reading practice “models a way for steering between utopian and dystopian reactions to the digital humanities.”]


Lopez, Alan. “Emerson’s Bayonet.” American Quarterly 70.3: 1-30.

[Places Emerson’s 1844 essay “Politics” in the social contract tradition of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.]


Malachuk, Daniel S. “Transcendentalist and Gothic Intentions.” Revue Française d’Études Américaines 3.140: 52-64. [Similarities in the literary stratagems of writers from traditions usually thought to be opposed to each other.]


Mastroianni, Dominic. “Astonishing Politics: Emerson, Levinas, and Thinking beyond Virility.” Comparative Literature 66.3: 301-321.

[Compares the two philosophers on the political implications of astonishment, which each posits against “virile virtues” of fixture, resistance, and comprehension.]


Meider, Wolfgang. “‘The Poetry of the People’: Proverbs in the Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson.” Behold the Proverbs of a People: Proverbial Wisdom in Culture, Literature, and Politics. Jackson: UP of Mississippi. 261-283.

[Traces some of Emerson’s uses of proverbs and his interest in paremiology, the study of proverbs.]


Milder, Robert. “Emerson and the Fortunes of Godless Religion.” New England Quarterly 87.4: 573-624.

[Emerson struggled to reconcile “a pitiless evolutionary universe” with “omnipresent moral law.”]


Mott, Wesley T., ed. Ralph Waldo Emerson in Context. New York: Cambridge UP, 2013.

[Thirty-two original essays, organized in four headings: Emerson and a Sense of Place(s), Emerson and Ideas, Emerson and Society, and Emerson and his Legacies. Designed “to capture Emerson’s active engagement with significant contexts of his life and times.”]


Myerson, Joel. “Re-editing Emerson’s ‘American Scholar’ Address.” Manuscripts 65 (2013): 297-303.

[Argues that the second (1838) edition of the address is punctuated rhetorically rather than grammatically and represents Emerson’s true intentions.]


Neville, Robert Cummings. “Self-Reliance and the Portability of Pragmatism.” American Journal of Theology & Philosophy 35.2: 93-107.

[Places Emerson in conversations about American pragmatism from Edwards through Dewey and Peirce; challenges Kant’s influence on Emerson, who “thoroughly misunderstood” Kant’s transcendental philosophy.]


Nori, Giuseppe. “Garment of the Unseen: the Philosophy of Clothes in Carlyle and Emerson.” Fashioning the Nineteenth Century. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P. 52-81.

[Sartor Resartus is foundational for an understanding of Nature.]


Park, Benjamin E. “Transcendental Democracy: Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Political Thought, the Legacy of Federalism, and the Ironies of America’s Democratic Tradition.” Journal of American Studies 48.2: 481-500.

[Situates Emerson in post-Revolutionary politics as an ambivalent Federalist.]


Prud’homme, Sheri. “Emerson’s Hermeneutic of the Text of Moral Nature.” American Journal of Theology & Philosophy 35.3: 229-241.

[Nature’s role as “symbolic revealer of divine truth.”]


Risinger, Jacob. “Transatlantic Fate: Emerson, Cavell, and Beautiful Necessity.” European Romantic Review 25.3: 357-364. [“Fate” is Emerson’s meditation on the paradoxical existence of Romantic aesthetic creativity in a deterministic world.]


Robinson, David M. “The Movement’s Medium: Fuller, Emerson, and the Dial.” Revue Française d’Études Américaines 3.140: 24-36.

[The Dial provided Emerson and Fuller the opportunity to craft their assertions of individualism into a fully mature social and political vision.]


Rothman, William. Must We Kill the Thing We Love? Emersonian Perfectionism and the Films of Alfred Hitchcock. New York: Columbia UP.

[Hitchcock’s career was driven by “the conflict or tension between embracing and resisting Emersonian perfectionism.”]


Schoolman, Martha. “Emerson’s Hemisphere.” Abolitionist Geographies.Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P. 21-67.

[The confluence of geography, embodiment, and antislavery views in Emerson’s writing.]


Shultis, Christopher. “Robert Morris and the Missing Middle.” Perspectives of New Music 52.2: 316-324.

[Emerson’s influence on the experimental composer Morris.]


Sims, Michael. The Adventures of Henry Thoreau: A Young Man’s Unlikely Path to Walden Pond. New York: Bloomsbury.

[The Emerson family appears throughout.]


Steele, Jeffrey. “Sentimental Transcendentalism and Political Affect: Child and Fuller in New York.” Toward a Female  Genealogy of Transcendentalism. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Phyllis Cole. Athens: U of Georgia P. 207-225.

[Posits “sentimental transcendentalism”— which sought to enlist public feeling in the service of social reform—as Fuller’s and Child’s critique of Emerson’s “discourse of personal transformation.”]


Stout, Jeffrey. “The Transformation of Genius into Practical Power: A Reading of Emerson’s ‘Experience.’” American Journal of Theology & Philosophy 35.1: 3-24.

[The essay “offers a structure of encouragement in Kenneth Burke’s sense.”]


Takanashi, Yoshio. Emerson and Neo-Confucianism: Crossing Paths over the Pacific. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [Affinities between Emerson and the twelfth-century synthesizer of Neo-Confucian philosophy Zhu Xi.]


von Frank, Albert J. “Reading in Place: the Situation of a Couplet by Emerson.” ESP 25.1: 1, 5.

[The changing political meaning of a couplet in Emerson’s 1846 “Journal O,” written around the same time as “Ode, Inscribed to W. H. Channing.”]


Voelz, Johannes. “The Recognition of Emerson’s Impersonal: Reading Alternatives in Sharon Cameron.” American Impersonal: Essays with Sharon Cameron. Ed. Branka Arsić. New York: Bloomsbury. 73-97.

[Emerson’s intent is not to disclose the experience of impersonality but to enact it.]


Zogas, Peter. “Emerson and the Dissatisfactions of Progress.” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 60.2: 209-49.

[On Emerson’s “anxiety about the loss of individual autonomy in the face of a universal march of progress.”]