Emerson Society

Annual Bibliography, 2020

An Emerson Bibliography, 2020

James S. Finley, Texas A&M University – San Antonio

Assif, Adeena. “‘The Dialogue of the Mind with Itself’: Freud, Cavell, and Company.” Common Knowledge 26.1: 12-38. [As part of a special issue on Cavell and his influences, addresses the extent to which Emersonian perfectionism is foundational to Cavell’s ideas about skepticism.]

Berger, Jason. Xenocitizens: Illiberal Ontologies in Nineteenth-Century America. Fordham. [Presents Emerson as a distinctly radical thinker who broke from Romantic and Enlightenment modes of personhood and whose embrace of violence in writings from the late 1850s is consistent with, and not a departure from, his earlier thought.]

Clark, Prentis. “Society and Solitude for an ‘everlasting Now.’” Emerson Society Papers 31.1: 1, 5-6. [Considers the methods of inquiry articulated in Society and Solitude as necessary for today’s political and social climates.]

Cole, Phyllis. “Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Transcendentalism.” A Companion to American Literature: Volume II: 1820-1914. Ed. Theresa Strouth Gaul, et. al.Wiley. 66-85. [Defines Transcendentalism broadly while also demonstrating the extent to which Emerson’s and Fuller’s writings emerged out of the movement’s community.]

Culkin, Kate. “The Education of Ellen Tucker Emerson.” New England Quarterly 93: 74-100. [A study of how Emerson shaped his daughter’s education in ways that fulfilled his desire for an intellectual helpmate.]

Faflik, David. Transcendental Heresies: Harvard and the Modern American Practice of Unbelief. Massachusetts. [A rich study of “analogous” and “critical” religious trends that shaped Transcendentalism, with a chapter devoted to Emerson and negativity as a religious orientation.]

Flaherty, Seamus. “Morris, Mill, and Baudelaire: Sources of Wildean Socialism.” History of European Ideas 26: 827-43. [A study of Wilde’s sources in his “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” with specific focus on “Self-Reliance.”]

Fruzińska, Justyna. “‘I Got 99 Problems but Amontillado Ain’t One’: Nineteenth-Century American Writers in Internet Memes.” Journal of American Culture 43.3: 208-214. [Looks at memes involving Poe, Melville, Emerson, and Thoreau, arguing that Emerson often appears in memes involving “words of wisdom.”]

Gallagher, Mark. “Willard’s Hotel: Birthplace of the Transcendental Club.” Emerson Society Papers 31.2: 14-15. [Examines the history of Willard’s Hotel in Cambridge, where Emerson and others launched the Transcendental Club.]

Gordon, Adam. Prophets, Publicists, and Parasites: Antebellum Print Culture and the Rise of the Critic. Massachusetts. [Argues in one chapter that Emerson relied heavily on quarterly reviews as he transitioned from being a minister to a public intellectual, and, in turn, helped to launch “criticism as a popular form.”]

Hämäläinen, Nora. “Inconsistency in Ethics.” Philosophy 95: 447-70. [Situates Emerson among other “renowned defenders of inconsistency” due to his treatment of inconsistency as a necessary condition for creativity and originality.]

Hosseini, Reza. Emerson’s Literary Philosophy. Palgrave. [Addresses Emerson’s conception of philosophy as a way of life, suggesting that literature can guide the soul toward virtue or excellence.]

Johnson, Linck. “The Literature of Antebellum Reform.” A Companion to American Literature: Volume II: 1820-1914. Ed. Theresa Strouth Gaul, et. al. Wiley. 183-201. [Includes discussion of Emerson’s view of reform via “self-culture” amidst an expansive survey of reformist movements in the antebellum US.]

Jung, Nathan A. “Know Thyself: Emerson’s Pedagogy of Recollection,” Philosophy and Literature 44: 350-65. [Argues that “The American Scholar” introduces a pedagogy of anamnesis, a rhetoric and epistemology of recollection.]

Kagle, Steven E. “The American Diary Canon.” The Diary: The Epic of Everyday Life. Ed. Batsheva Ben-Amos and Dan Ben-Amos. Indiana. 105-24. [Considers Emerson’s journal writing practices as instrumental in establishing the diary as a literary form.]

Kang, Yanbin. “‘I gave him Leave to Life’: Emily Dickinson’s Non-Service and Ralph Waldo Emerson.” English Studies in Africa 63.2: 82-95. [Connects descriptions of withdrawing from others in Dickinson’s poetry to the influence of Emersonian self-reliance.]

Kennedy, Curry. “‘Not Instruction but Provocation’: Clarity, the Divinity School Controversy, and Emerson’s Rhetorical Imaginary of Provocative Obscurity.” College English 82: 381-409. [Suggests that Emerson’s challenging rhetoric reflects a rejection of the tradition that upholds clarity as a primary virtue of communication.]

Langone, Laura. “The Gnoseological Meaning of Nietzsche’s Eternal Return and the Similarities with Emerson’s Thought.” Journal of European Studies 50: 267-80. [Argues that Nietzsche’s will to power is influenced by Emerson’s sense that “reality is a continuous becoming.”]

McGhee, Fergus. “Clough, Emerson, and Knowingness.” The Review of English Studies 71: 413-32. [Details English poet Arthur Hugh Clough’s introduction to Emerson in Oxford in 1848 and suggests that Emerson’s own commitment to thinking as a dynamic and responsive practice registers in Clough’s work.]

McGowan, Philip. “Elizabeth Bishop’s Work of Fire.” Mosaic: An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal 53: 1-17. [Locates Emersonian traces in Elizabeth Bishop’s 1947 poem “At the Fishhouses,” demonstrating that the poem’s specific images and its approach to imagery align with “The Poet.”]

McGurk, Kevin. “‘The apple an apple’: Ammons, Bloom, and ‘the ten thousand things’—with Emerson and Lao Tzu.” Journal of Modern Literature 44: 77-95. [Examines Emersonian influence in A. R. Ammon’s poem “The Arc Inside Out” via the poet’s correspondence with Harold Bloom and the famous critic’s attempts to “situate Ammons in a Bloom-Emersonian imaginary.”]

Mendenhall, Allen. The Three Ps of Liberty. Palgrave. [Argues that Oliver Wendell Holmes articulated a distinctly Emersonian take on natural law, wherein universalism is both organic and made legible through the processes of human experience.]

O’Neill, Bonnie C. “The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society: An ‘Ever-Evolving Circle.’” The Concord Saunterer: A Journal of Thoreau Studies ns. 28: 186-90. [Offers a history of the RWE Society and its ongoing efforts as part of a roundtable about the past, present, and future of author societies.]

Ogura, Izumi. “The Concord Community: Ralph Waldo Emerson and the Antislavery Movement.” Japanese Journal of American Studies 31: 3-20. [Considers Emerson’s growing commitment to antislavery and civil rights for Black people in light of his relationships and the events of the Civil War.]

Otten, Willemien. Thinking Nature and the Nature of Thinking: From Eriugena to Emerson. Stanford. [Presents Emerson as a major figure within the tradition of thinking that presumes that nature shapes thinking.]

Powell, Russell C. “Transforming Genius into Practical Power: Muir, Emerson, and the Politics of Character.” Environmental Ethics 42: 21-37. [Considers the influence of Emerson’s antislavery writings and “Experience” on John Muir’s early conservationist essays.]

Raposa, Michael L. Theosemiotic: Religion, Reading, and the Gift of Meaning. Fordham. [Addresses Emerson as a formative thinker for Charles Peirce as he developed his conception of the theosemeotic, or the belief that the world is “perfused with signs.”]

Schaefer, Heike. American Literature and Immediacy: Literary Innovation and the Emergence of Photography, Film, and Television. Cambridge. [In a chapter on Emerson’s responses to developing photography technologies, argues that Emerson’s conflicted position vis-à-vis photography can help to illuminate his poetics.]

Seavey, Ormond, Henry Adams in Washington: Linking the Personal and Public Lives of America’s Man of Letters. Virginia. [Considers Emersonian influences in Henry Adams’s History of the United States largely by way of Clover Adams, whom Seavey describes as a “latter-day Emersonian.”]

Small, Helen. “The Freedom of Criticism: Arnold’s Cynicism.” The Function of Cynicism at the Present Time. Oxford, pp. 104-143. [Addresses the “critical spirit” articulated within Matthew Arnold’s essay “Emerson.”]

Sorensen, Thomas. “Between Emerson and His Several Voices,” Arizona Quarterly 76.4: 113-37. [Presents a new formalist reading of Emerson’s shifts in style and points of view, focusing on Emerson’s use of overstatement, caricature, and pseudepigraphia.]

Taylor, Andrew. “Reading Resistances in Ralph Waldo Emerson and José Martí.” Journal of American Studies, First View: 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021875820001097 [Addresses Emerson’s portraits of revolution as disruptive transformations and suggests that José Martí’s treatment of Emerson is sensitive to his position.]

Tharaud, Barry Charles. Paul Bowles: In the American Grain. Camden House. [Devotes a chapter to Emerson, drawing out similarities shared by Nature and the 1945 short story “A Distant Episode.”]

Watts, Edward, Colonizing the Past: Mythmaking and Pre-Columbian Whites in Nineteenth-Century American Writing. Virginia. [Situates Emerson amidst a wide range of writers and thinkers who shaped the Norse revival in the nineteenth-century United States.]