Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tomorrow's PartiesSex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter M. Coviello

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814717400

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814717400.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

What Does the Polygamist Want?

What Does the Polygamist Want?

Frederick Douglass, Joseph Smith, and Marriage at the Edges of the Human

Chapter:
(p.104) 4 What Does the Polygamist Want?
Source:
Tomorrow's Parties
Author(s):

Richard Chamberlain

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814717400.003.0006

This chapter focuses on the consequences of insisting on the necessity, divinity, and world-renovating force of plural marriage by looking at the career of Joseph Smith. He was the founder of the Mormon faith, homegrown prophet, polygamist, heretical theologian, and, martyr. The chapter unfolds the implications of Smith's vision for the history of sexuality in nineteenth-century America. He points to how the histories of secularism underwrite histories of sexuality and function to elucidate some forms of sexual subjectivity while occluding others. The chapter argues that polygamy, the defining fabulation of Smith's, seems the proper way to, as he states, “learn how to make yourself Gods” because it expresses how one might live out the unfallenness of his body. In comparison, the chapter examines Frederick Douglass' different imagining of marriage in relation to slavery.

Keywords:   plural marriage, polygamy, Joseph Smith, history of sexuality, secularism, fabulation, Frederick Douglass

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.