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Literary Criticism General

Captivating Subjects

Writing Confinement, Citizenship, and Nationhood in the Nineteenth Century

edited by Jason Haslam & Julia M. Wright

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
Aug 2005
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2005
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2005
    List Price

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Ever since Michel Foucault's highly regarded work on prisons and confinement in the 1970s, critical examination of the forerunners to the prison - slavery, serfdom, and colonial confinements - has been rare. However, these institutions inform and participate in many of the same ideologies that the prison enforces.

Captivating Subjects is a collection of essays that fills several crucial gaps in the critical examination of the relations between Western state-sanctioned confinement, identity, nation, and literature. Editors Jason Haslam and Julia M. Wright have brought together an esteemed group of international scholars to examine nineteenth-century writings by prisoners, slaves, and other captives, tracing some of the continuities among the varieties of captivity and their crucial relationship to post-Enlightenment subjectivities.

This volume is the first sustained examination of the ways in which the diverse kinds of confinement intersect with Western ideologies of subjectivity, investigating the modern nation-state's reliance on captivity as a means of consolidating notions of individual and national sovereignty. It details the specific historical and cultural practices of confinement and their relations to each other and to punishment through a range of national contexts.

About the authors

Jason Haslam is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English at the University of Notre Dame.

Jason Haslam's profile page

Julia M. Wright is a Canada Research Chair in European Studies at Dalhousie University.

Julia M. Wright's profile page

Other titles by Jason Haslam

Other titles by Julia M. Wright