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Derrick R. Spires
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL 61801-3620)
Black Theories of Citizenship in the Early United States, 1787-1861

A book-length study of conceptions of American citizenship expressed in black print culture between 1787 and 1861.

"Black Theories of Citizenship in the Early United States" examines how conceptions of citizenship developed through and with black print culture in the United States between 1787 and 1861. It foregrounds a rich archive of early black writing that includes convention proceedings, literary sketches, pamphlets, scientific and political treatises, novels, and periodicals to examine citizenship as both object of theoretical analysis and set of cultural and print practices. Through this archive Black Theories develops a social theory of citizenship as an ongoing process of community building based on five principles: neighborliness, the free circulation of civic power, economic equality, critique, and continuing revolution.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
American Literature

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016