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Fever Reading
Affect and Reading Badly in the Early American Public Sphere
Michael Millner



Becoming Modern: New Nineteenth-Century Studies

New Hampshire
2012 • 216 pp. 6 x 9"
Literary Criticism - American / Literary Criticism - 19th Century / Comparative Literature


$85.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-242-7

$34.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-244-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



An intricate account of how the early U.S. public sphere was shaped by debates over “good” and “bad” forms of reading, including pornographic reading, scandal reading, and religious reading

Drawing on a rich archive of scandal chronicles, pornography, medical journals, religious novels, and popular newspapers, as well as more canonical sources, Michael Millner examines the panics and paranoia associated with “bad reading” in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the Civil War. Weaving into his analysis a model of emotion recently developed in cognitive psychology, he provides the back-history to our present-day debates about “bad” reading and shows how these debates—both in the past and in the present—are in part about the shape of the public sphere itself.

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MICHAEL MILLNER is an assistant professor of American studies and English at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.



Tue, 6 Dec 2016 14:04:44 -0500