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Quiet TestimonyA Theory of Witnessing from Nineteenth-Century American Literature$
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Shari Goldberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254774

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254774.001.0001

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Arriving at Quiet

(p.1) Introduction
Quiet Testimony

Shari Goldberg

Fordham University Press

This introduction establishes how a quieter conception of testimony emerges from nineteenth-century American literature, how it reorients the terms through which scholars assess the significance of canonical American writing, and how it differs from post-Holocaust theories of testimony (especially those of Shoshana Felman, Cathy Caruth, and Giorgio Agamben). Testimony is defined as text that changes how its addressee perceives the world. A literary, as opposed to a historical or informational, approach to testimony is outlined with particular reference to anti-slavery testimony and testimonial accounts of volunteers in the Civil War.

Keywords:   Testimony, Voice, Quiet, Human rights, U.S. Sanitary Commission

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