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Unsettled StatesNineteenth-Century American Literary Studies$
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Dana Luciano and Ivy Wilson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479857722

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479857722.001.0001

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Feeling Like a State

Feeling Like a State

Writing the 1863 New York City Draft Riots

Chapter:
(p.189) 7 Feeling Like a State
Source:
Unsettled States
Author(s):

Glenn Hendler

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479857722.003.0008

This chapter examines the reemergence of forms of social ordering from within the exceptional moment. Gathering an archive of materials around the 1863 draft riots in New York City—including novels by Edward Ruffin and Anna Elizabeth Dickinson, and Herman Melville's poem “The House-Top: A Night Piece”—the chapter outlines these works' attempts to find an adequate form for depicting the riots. For Dickinson and Melville, this involves an identification with the state itself as the force that must be hailed to contain the violence. Furthermore, the chapter demands an expansion of the types of objects generally considered by affect theorists in attending to the part of the impersonal in the process of sympathetic identification.

Keywords:   New York City draft riots, social ordering, Edward Ruffin, Elizabeth Dickinson, Herman Melville, affect theory, sympathetic identification

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