In Print Technology in Scotland and America Louis Kirk McAuley investigates the mediation of popular-political culture in Scotland and America, from the transatlantic religious revivals known as the Great Awakening to the U.S. presidential election of 1800. By focusing on Scotland and America - and, in particular, the tension between unity and fragmentation that characterizes eighteenth-century Scottish and American literature and culture - Print Technology aims to increase our understanding of how tensions within these corresponding political and cultural arenas altered prints meaning and power as an instrument of empire and nation building. McAuley reveals how seemingly disparate events, including journalism and literary forgery, were instrumental and innovative deployments of print not as a liberation technology (as Habermas's analysis of prints structural transformation of the public sphere suggests), but as a mediator of political tensions.
"McAuley positions his work as challenging 'contemporary critical entrenchments of empire and print...' He argues: 'tensions within these contact zones rendered the emergence of a so-called rational public sphere practically impossible at the time' (49). McAuley succeeds in this very mission in his reading of MacPherson's Ossian (1760) and in his adept comparisons of MacPherson's experience with both Jefferson's and Charles Brockden Brown's in the early Republic."
--Molly O'Hagan Hardy, American Antiquarian Society; Early American Literature; Vol. 50, No. 3
About the author:
Louis Kirk McAuley is assistant professor of English at Washington State University.
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