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AMS Press, Inc.
25 Van Zant Street, Unit 1B3
Norwalk, CT 06855-1702

Reading Cooper,
Teaching Cooper

Edited by
Jeffrey Walker

LC 2006045850

ISBN-10: 0-404-64468-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64468-0
Cloth $97.50

AMS Studies in the Nineteenth Century, No. 38

Reading Cooper, Teaching Cooper offers the expertise and experience of many scholar-teachers committed to promoting a shared understanding of the author and his contributions to our literary culture and to our national identity. These essays furnish the teacher and student of American culture with the reasons—and the methods—to read, to understand, and to teach Cooper. From reading and talking about Cooper, we can discover the valuable lessons he teaches us about our collective self. This volume equips readers with a systematic description of materials needed to understand and appreciate Fenimore Cooper. Contributors identify and endorse textually reliable and readily available editions of Cooper’s fiction and non-fiction; survey the vast terrain of usable primary and secondary materials that address basic biographical, critical, and bibliographical scholarship; and point out background and cultural studies and aids to teaching (including films) readily accessible to new and experienced teachers, students, and general readers. Their essays also delineate approaches to Cooper’s life and writing; they cover the broad diversity of traditional and contemporary critical theories applicable to Cooper, including the importance of his prose for contemporary students trying to understand, for example, the development of American attitudes towards democracy, racial boundary making, and the environment. The essays endeavor to explain the diversity of Cooper’s achievement (especially in his romances of forest and sea, his tales of revolutionary and colonial history, and his novels of politics and society). Finally they reveal the untold story of Cooper’s reputation and influence on later writers, here and abroad, and establish a context for talking about Cooper in a variety of disciplines, from language and literature to American studies and history.

— from the introduction by Jeffrey Walker


Jeffrey Walker, “Reading Cooper, Talking Cooper, Teaching Cooper; Or, An Introduction”
Kay Seymour House, “Is Fenimore Cooper Obsolete?”
John McWilliams, “The Pioneers: Stumps in Clearing the Classroom Forest”
Allan M. Axelrad, “The Shock of Recognition: Twain and Lawrence Read Cooper”
Robert Daly, “From World to Word and Back Again: Coopers Now and Next”
William P. Kelly, “Republican Fictions: Cooper and the Revolution”
James A. Sappenfield, “Cooper as Experimental Novelist”
Wayne Franklin, “James Fenimore Cooper: The Biographical Matrix”
Lance Schachterle, “Cooper’s Works in Print”
Matthew Wynn Sivils, “‘Yours, Truly, THE AUTHOR’: Cooper’s Leather-Stocking Prefaces”
William Merrill Decker, “‘Surely Cora Was Not Forgotten’: Remembering Africa in the Leather-Stocking Tales”
Barbara Alice Mann, “Fancy Girls: The Creole and the Quadroon in Cooper’s Leather-Stocking Tales”
David Callahan, “Cooper’s Androgynous Heroes”
Leland S. Person, “Cooper’s Otsego: Land to Rove for a Man’s Life”
Signe O. Wegener, “Reversing the Courtship Novel: James Fenimore Cooper’s The Deerslayer
David Cody, “James Fenimore Cooper and the Imperial Fantasy”
Gladys S. Lewis, “Fenimore Cooper’s Cinematic Legacy: Indiana Jones, the Cartwrights, and Spock’s Ears”
Judith Richardson, “The ‘Littlepages’ of History: James Fenimore Cooper and Local History in the Lower Hudson Valley”
Nalle Valtiala, “Cooper’s European Landscapes”
Stephen Carl Arch, “Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offense: The ‘Homely’ Truth of Cooper’s Satire in Home as Found

Notes on Contributors

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Reading Cooper, teaching Cooper / edited by Jeffrey Walker.
     p. cm. — (AMS studies in the nineteenth century ; no. 38)
     Includes bibliographical references and index.
     ISBN-13: 978-0-404-64468-0 (alk. paper)
     1. Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789–1851—Sources.
     I. Walker, Jeffrey, 1946–.
     II. Series.

PS1437.3R43 2008
813'.2—dc22                                                       2006045850