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Grant number: FT-58739-11

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Tess Eufamia Chakkalakal
Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME 04011-8447)

A Critical Edition of Imperium in Imperio by American Novelist Sutton E. Griggs [1872-1933]

Trained as a Baptist minister in Texas and Virginia, Sutton E. Griggs (1872-1933) began his literary career as a writer of political fiction in 1899 with his most famous novel, Imperium in Imperio. This novel provides a singular southern black perspective on politics during and immediately after Reconstruction that helps to illuminate a particularly dark moment in US history. Though considered to be the first political novel written by a black American, this novel remains virtually unknown to most readers. Imperium in Imperio was the first of five novels Griggs produced, in his terms, to solve “the race problem.” The Critical Edition of Imperium in Imperio provides readers with an historical introduction and explanatory notes to make this novel accessible to readers in the twenty-first century. By doing so, it helps to ground the current debate over the value of literature to institutions of higher learning within history.

Project fields:
American Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 8/31/2011