Early American Society and Literature

Views on early American writing, colonial history and culture, and the American Revolution are presented by two scholars.

Richard Beale Davis, who specializes in early American literature and intellectual history, talks about the intersection of American writing and politics. He focuses on literary trends from the 1730s through the adoption of the Constitution.

In the next segment [14.45], Emory Elliott describes the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century as a turning point in American culture, society, and politics. He notes that political upheaval clearly affected both religious and literary values in ways that continue to reverberate. He also comments on the changing social and literary roles of women in early America.

At the time of this interview, Davis, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1979-80), was professor of English at the University of Tennessee. Elliott, also a Fellow at the Center (1979-80), was professor of English at Princeton University.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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