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The Silenced Witness

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021890/00001

Material Information

Title: The Silenced Witness Contemporary Queer Theory and Ormond's Queer Testimonies
Physical Description: 1 online resource (52 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: american, archive, brockden, brown, class, cvetkovich, derrida, halberstam, luck, ormond, parainstitution, queer, race, secret, sexuality, trauma
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: English thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Scholars in the field of early American studies are engaged in a heated debate over the possibility of queer subjectivity prior to the late Victorian era, the point at which Michel Foucault theorizes that the impulse to discourse creates the contemporary concept of sexual identity. In my project, I engage this debate through Charles Brockden Brown's Ormond or the Secret Witness (1799). First, I examine the history of Ormond scholarship in the twentieth century, arguing that many of these scholars have ignored both the novel's queer elements and the possibility of meaning in the text?s structural unevenness. I then argue that this refusal belies a coded structural pattern that reveals the novel as a queer positive text. Building upon the work of theorist Ann Cvetkovitch and her radical reworking of Derrida's Archive Fever, I contend that Ormond posits queer subjectivities not as sexual identities but as parainstitutional communities. These communities achieve self-awareness through a multi-layered textual archive of queer trauma. Like Cvetkovich's queer trauma archive, this archive achieves meaning only through a reader who has already experienced the queer traumas that the novel both avows and denies. Then, using Judith Halberstam's relation of sexual queerness to other ways of becoming 'queer' within a heteronormative society, I investigate how the text's concept of queer subjectivity as alternative social structure creates opportunities to form resistant communities around race, class, and gender. Halberstam's theories become a lens through which other perceived 'threats' within the novel actually exist as coded subversions to a heteronormative societal structure that not only codifies gendered and sexual behavior but also racial and class embodiments. Thus, not only does Ormond challenge 1790s notions of gender and sexuality, but it also questions the entire constricting framework of the new patriarchal society that the American Revolution has created. In fact, as a subversive queer novel, Ormond is even more radical than many contemporary novels in its challenge to the structure of heteronormative American culture.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Schorb, Jodi.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021890:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021890/00001

Material Information

Title: The Silenced Witness Contemporary Queer Theory and Ormond's Queer Testimonies
Physical Description: 1 online resource (52 p.)
Language: english
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: american, archive, brockden, brown, class, cvetkovich, derrida, halberstam, luck, ormond, parainstitution, queer, race, secret, sexuality, trauma
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: English thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Scholars in the field of early American studies are engaged in a heated debate over the possibility of queer subjectivity prior to the late Victorian era, the point at which Michel Foucault theorizes that the impulse to discourse creates the contemporary concept of sexual identity. In my project, I engage this debate through Charles Brockden Brown's Ormond or the Secret Witness (1799). First, I examine the history of Ormond scholarship in the twentieth century, arguing that many of these scholars have ignored both the novel's queer elements and the possibility of meaning in the text?s structural unevenness. I then argue that this refusal belies a coded structural pattern that reveals the novel as a queer positive text. Building upon the work of theorist Ann Cvetkovitch and her radical reworking of Derrida's Archive Fever, I contend that Ormond posits queer subjectivities not as sexual identities but as parainstitutional communities. These communities achieve self-awareness through a multi-layered textual archive of queer trauma. Like Cvetkovich's queer trauma archive, this archive achieves meaning only through a reader who has already experienced the queer traumas that the novel both avows and denies. Then, using Judith Halberstam's relation of sexual queerness to other ways of becoming 'queer' within a heteronormative society, I investigate how the text's concept of queer subjectivity as alternative social structure creates opportunities to form resistant communities around race, class, and gender. Halberstam's theories become a lens through which other perceived 'threats' within the novel actually exist as coded subversions to a heteronormative societal structure that not only codifies gendered and sexual behavior but also racial and class embodiments. Thus, not only does Ormond challenge 1790s notions of gender and sexuality, but it also questions the entire constricting framework of the new patriarchal society that the American Revolution has created. In fact, as a subversive queer novel, Ormond is even more radical than many contemporary novels in its challenge to the structure of heteronormative American culture.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Schorb, Jodi.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-05-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0021890:00001


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1 THE SILENCED WITNESS: CONTEMPORARY QUEER THEORY AND ORMONDS QUEER TESTIMONIES By BRITTANY S. LUCK A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Brittany S. Luck

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3 For my mother, in whose silence I offer to bear witness

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am deeply indebted to my director, Dr. Jodi Schorb. Without her constant support, encouragement, and gentle prodding, I would never have finished this project. Also, I wish to thank Dr. Ed White whose spirited critique provid ed me with inspiration for my future work and whose research directives proved immensely useful. Additionally, I am grateful to Dr. Pamela Gilbert who offered guidance duri ng the beginning stages of my thesis and in many other areas of my academic career. I especially want to ack nowledge all of my fr iends and colleagues who read first drafts, discussed ideas, and contributed in countless other ways Finally, I wish to thank my father for both his prayers and his unfla gging confidence in my ab ilities, my mother for her love, and both of my parents for stimulating my love of reading by unintentionally filling our home with risqu literary classics during my formative years.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................6 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................................8 2 PREVIOUS BROWN CRITICISM AND THE FEAR OF A QUEE R STRUCTURE......... 12 3 FROM FEMALE FRIENDSHIP TO QUEER TRAUMA ARCHIVE: UNPACKING ORMOND S QUEER POSSIBILITIES................................................................................. 20 4 AT A QUEER CROSS-ROADS: INTERC ONNECTED SITES OF QUEER TIME AND SPACE ...................................................................................................................... ....35 5 BEYOND ORMOND : BROWNS ALTERNATI VE COM MUNITIES AND CONTEMPORARY REVOLUTION....................................................................................47 WORKS CITED.................................................................................................................... ........49 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................52

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6 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THE SILENCED WITNESS: CONTEMPORARY QUEER THEORY AND ORMONDS QUEER TESTIMONIES By Brittany S. Luck May 2008 Chair: Jodi Schorb Major: English Scholars in the field of early American studi es are engaged in a h eated debate over the possibility of queer subjectivity prior to the la te Victorian era, the point at which Michel Foucault theorizes that the impulse to discour se creates the contempor ary concept of sexual identity. In my project, I engage th is debate through Charles Brockden Browns Ormond or the Secret Witness (1799). First, I examine the history of Ormond scholarship in the twentieth century, arguing that many scholars have ignor ed both the novels queer elements and the possibility of meaning in the text s structural unevenness. I then argue that this refusal belies a coded structural pattern that reveals the novel as a queer positive text. Building upon the work of theorist Ann Cvetkovitch and her radical reworking of Derridas Archive Fever I contend that Ormond posits queer subjectivities not as sexual iden tities but as parainstitutional communities. These communities achieve self-awareness thro ugh a multi-layered textual archive of queer trauma. Like Cvetkovichs queer trauma archive, this archive achieves meaning only through a reader who has already experienced the queer traumas that the novel both avows and denies. Then, using Judith Halberstams relation of sexual queerness to other ways of becoming queer within a heteronormative society, I investigate how the texts concept of queer

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7 subjectivity as alternative soci al structure creates opportunities to form resistant communities around race, class, and gender. Halberstams theories become a lens through which other perceived threats within the novel actually exis t as coded subversions to a heteronormative societal structure that not only codifies gendered and sexual behavi or but also racial and class embodiments. Thus, not only does Ormond challenge 1790s notions of gender and sexuality, but it also questions the entire constricting framew ork of the new patriarchal society that the American Revolution has created. In fact, as a subversive queer novel, Ormond is even more radical than many contemporary novels in its challenge to th e structure of heteronormative American culture.

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8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Queering th e eighteenth century means wrenching it from established contexts in order to read it against the grain of traditional read ings and dissolving the accreted interpretations that stifle or avoid those te xtual passages that do not lend th emselves to orthodox readings Robert Tobin, Warm Brothers: Queer Theory in the Age of Goethe The one duty we owe to hi story is to re-write it Oscar Wilde, Intentions Charles Brockden Browns Ormond or the Secret Witness (1799) has often been analyzed as the quintessential American gothic novel.1 With its convoluted storyl ine and endless series of plot twists, Ormond has traditionally been shelved as an adventurous tale in which threats to the stability of the early national period ar e exposed and rectified. After all, Ormonds main character, Constantia, seems fore ver beset by the same obstacles th at would worry any citizen of the new republic. In the wake of a backla sh against the French re volution, the novel depicts problems arising from Americas own successful revolution, including th e economic threats of an unstable class system, the health threats of urban spaces, and the moral threats of a changed social order. Because Ormonds plot is extremely complicated, even to the familiar reader, I would first like to refresh old readers and enlighten new read ers to the common plot summary that explains these obstacles. Unfortunately, because Ormond is a Gothic novel, a short summary is all but impossible. As the novel opens, Constantias fa ther Stephen Dudley is swindled by Thomas Craig, an apprentice who becomes partner through forged references and subsequently absconds with Dudleys fortune. Because this economic hardship results in th e immediate failure of 1 See Peter Kafers Charles Brockden Browns Revolution and the Birth of the American Gothic: the gothic novel requires heroes/villains, places of ha unting, historical pasts we ighing upon the present, and an authors willingness to write to excess (xv).

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9 Dudleys health and the death of Constantias mother, the young woman spends the bulk of the novel attempting to support herself and her invalid father and to once ag ain secure a portion of her familys wealth, contending with such dangers as yellow fever and rape while seeking aid in the teeming urban space of the natio ns new capital, Philadelphia. Worse yet, each time Constantia seems on the ve rge of regaining what was lost, her saviors are revealed as villains in disguise. The rea ppearance of Craig leads he r to the wealthy social misfit Ormond. Although Ormond restores her lost home and supports her, he pursues Constantia as a mistress. Meanwhile, Consta ntia becomes friends with a wealthy foreign patroness named Martinette who helps restore her family property. Yet Martinettes seemingly benevolent return of Constantias pawned property (her fathers lute) reveals Martinette to be a daring cross-dresser who tempts Co nstantia to break the boundaries of gender to which she thus far has faithfully adhered. In an attempt to save her from the known danger of Ormonds attentions, Dudley decides to send Constantia to Eu rope, but he is mysterio usly killed. At this moment, Constantias childhood roman tic friend Sophia Westwyn enters Ormond though she has been waiting in the shadows as the novels pu rported author. Sophia eventually succeeds in spiriting Constantia to England, a more stable country not tainted by re volution, but not before Constantia is nearly raped and killed by Ormond, who confesses in the novels intense climax to spying on Constantia for voyeuristic pleasure, payi ng Craig to kill Dudley, and finally to killing Craig in an attempt to secure Constantias unwilling affection. In fact, Constantias safety is not even assured at the novels end: very romantic scenes described within the novel elicit the fear that Sophia, who might possibly be the most dangerous threat to Constantia because of lesbian desires, has actually made Constantia a captive once again.

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10 Although Ormond can be read as a series of threats, this reading holds little appeal or importance for anyone not specifically interested in studying the social turmoil of the early national period. In fact, many cr itics have struggled to keep Ormond in the canon, citing its convoluted plot as a st ructural flaw and its boundary crossing characters as ill-chosen shock value. Yet, it is this very tortuous complexity that makes Ormond interesting to the contemporary queer scholar. Ormond, or the Secret Witness puts forth a coded queer testimony as it both obscures and reveal s queer subversion of 1790s gende r and sexual codes through its proliferation of characters, stra nge encounters, preoccupation with disguise, and ambiguous plot. Queering the text of Ormond is a bold move, not only because queerness in the novel has been ignored for so long, but also because earl y American scholars tend to fear that queering early texts with contemporary theory blatantly disregards historicity. Yet, not only can Ormond be read through queer lenses, but queering the text is an effective wa y to unify Browns so-called uneven style with his narrative purpose. Furt hermore, texts can be queered without doing violence to history through careful attention to historical possibi lities for queer and revolutionary subjectivities and a careful ex amination and unraveling of our preconceived notions of the theoretical possibilities for contemporary theory. In the first section of this project, I examine the many probl ems with early Brown criticism and the limitations of more progressive contem porary scholarship. I first provide a polemic, chronological history of early Brown scholarship in order to expose Br own scholars willful avoidance of readings that would incorporate Br owns narrative structure as meaningful because of the of the obvious queer possibilities that such readings would produce. I then highlight the foundational feminist and queer critics who have made more radical queer readings of the novel possible while simultaneously acknowledging the ways in which preconceived notions of the

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11 novel have limited these important interventions. In the next section, I build a case for reading Ormond as a coded textual record of queer community that can only be interpreted by an audience of queer readers. I do this by juxtaposing the most progressive contemporary readings of the novel with Ann Cvetkovichs radical use of Derrida to prove the validity of queer archives of trauma. By placing these more radical but well-contextualized pieces in conversation with Derridas concept of the archive, it is possible to show that th e gathering of c onflicting narrative histories, objects revalued within a queer economy, and ambiguous relationships within Ormond are actually steps toward creating a coded archive. This archiv e, like the queer trauma archive, achieves meaning only through a reader who has al ready experienced the queer traumas that the novel both avows and denies. Finally, I discuss ways that the novel uses queer community in order to form other alternative and resistant commun ities around race, class, and gender. I do this by examining Judith Halberstams relation of sexual queerness to other ways of becoming queer within a heteronormative society. Halberstams theories allow a queer reading to become a lens through which other threats within the novel actually ex ist as coded subversions to a heteronormative societal structure that not only codifies gendered and sexual behavi or but also racial and class embodiments. Thus, not only does Ormond challenge 1790s notions of gender and sexuality, but it also challenges the entire constricting framew ork of the new patriarchal society which the American Revolution has created. In fact, if Ormond is read as this type of challenge, it becomes even more radical than many contemporary novels in its threat to the structure of American culture.

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12 CHAPTER 2 PREVIOUS BROWN CRITICISM AND THE FEAR OF A QUEER STRUCTURE There is no evidence to sustain the contention of a recen t critic that Constantia was a victim of homosexuality David Clark, Charles Brockden Brown: Pioneer Voice of America Historically, Brown scholarship has spent reams of paper debating the au thors place in the traditional literary canon. Rather than searchi ng for meaning within Browns chaotic plots and seemingly incongruent scenes, New Critical scholars generally choose to explain central structural ambiguities and layered plots as exampl es of the failures of a hasty writer. Either because of a deliberate avoidance of queer themes or a general inability to engage queer and socially radical ideas that might occur when heterosexual white males look at a text that openly discusses cross-dressing, female-female desire, rape and racial passing, almost all early Brown scholarship expends considerable energy de bating whether or not the text is worthy. Prior to the twentieth century, Brown scholarship, primarily written by Browns contemporaries and friends, consisted of sometimes highly inaccurate biog raphies of his life. These scholars were primarily concerned with the perceived low quality of Browns work and whether or not Brown could be cl assified as an American novelist.1 Twentieth century criticism continues in this biogr aphical vein until the mid-century. This criticism of Brown expands upon the importance of Browns flagship status as an American novelist of the Gothic genre. Yet, it ignores critics that attempt to point very weakly to queer themes within the novel. In his 1949 work Charles Brockden Brown: America Gothic Novelist, Harry R.Warfel admittedly seeks to illuminate the lit tle known accomplishments of a man who provided inspiring 1 For nineteenth century criticism of Browns work, see Alan Axelrods excellent overview of this scholarship from works like Paul Allens The Life of Charles Brockden Brown, William Dunlaps Diary, and Elihu Hubbard Smiths Diary. The most important work of this period, although th e most factually inaccurate, appears to be John Neals article in Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine (1824).

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13 intellectual leadership in this countrys early national pe riod through extensive and detailed biography (x). While even at this early date in the history of literary criticism, Warfel admits that there seems to be a homosexual tendency in [Constantias] conduct (130) and later adds that no other early American writer of fiction has so consistently examined his characters in terms of their sexual responses, the books Ormond chapter is primarily concerned with how the novel provides historical evidence Browns conservatism (139). Thus, while Warfel alludes to queer elements in Browns novel, he ultimately characterizes the novel as a text evidencing conservative moral responses to sexual and other threats. Interestingly, David Lee Clar k in his theoretical work, Charles Brockden Brown: Pioneer Voice of America contradicts Warfel (without deigning to name him in text) in his own Ormond chapter, claiming that there is no evidence to sustain the co ntention of a recent critic that Constantia was the victim of homosexuality (173). Clarks proj ect, like that of so many others, is ostensibly to create a biography that interprets Browns place in American life and literature (xvii). While these mid-twenti eth century texts are oc casionally mentioned by contemporary critics because of their s eemingly outdated modes of interpretation, they provide important counterevidence against current fears of reading sexuality into Ormond.2 Clearly, Ormond was already sparking debate among literary critics who were quite lit erally conservative in their efforts merely to prove Browns canonical merit. New Critics, ignoring all sexuality within the novel, agonize over reconciling the stylistic deficiencies of Browns novels w ith his literary merit to the poi nt that they almost ignore any 2 See Chapmans cursory nods in her introduction to the 1999 edition of Ormond as well as Alan Axelrods brief description in Charles Brockden Brown: An American Tale

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14 interpretation of the novel.3 Warfel may have contributed to this refusal to analyze the novel because critics, like Clark, may have reali zed that acknowledging the meanings within Ormonds seeming stylistic failings might harm more conservative readings of the novel. This worry was so pervasive, in fact, that Donald Ringes overview written for the Twaynes United States Authors Series is considered significant Brown schol arship of the 1960s. Although Ringe is considered a formidable Brown scholar, it is significant that he chose only to publish in the Twayne format rather than publishing his work through other means. While Ringe asserts that Ormond is a strongly feminist book, the work undermines his modestly feminist reading by concluding that Ormond fails to provide a satisfactory moral conclusion because of the culminating rape scene, which later scholars ha ve argued is arguably th e most important action of the work. Ringes last section entitled a rtistic failure spends ove r four pages explaining why the physically violent ending of Ormond renders it less artistically important than Wieland. While most scholars of the period at least incorporate the rape as another threat to conservative values or Constantias virtue, Ringe interprets the rape quite differe ntly. Because he his committed to his reading of Constantia as a positive moral figure in his assertion that Constantia is the golden mean who has learned to live independently in the practical world without destroying her moral sense in the process (55) Ringe ignores the subversive implications of Constantias rape and her fathers murder. Ringe seems to perceive the rape as oppositional to Constantias moral growth. Thus without being able to incor porate the novels rape scene, Ringe is forced to conclude th at it is only further evidence of Browns inability to create sustained thematic tropes within the novel. 3 Notably, in Love and Death in the American Novel Leslie A. Fiedler correctly identifies fears of the sexual, religious (Catholic) and foreign (Mediterranean) in his Jung ian reading of Brown as a mythopoetic author (Fiedler 156; 85). Yet, even he collapses into concerns about the problematic nature of the Gothic genre and Browns antirealist style (156).

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15 Later works continue in this refusa l, ultimately becoming obsessed with Ormonds stylistic faults. David Butlers Dissecting A Human Heart is almost entirely concerned with technique as his chapter on Ormond strains to explain why Brown might have felt it n ecessary to write with such a strained syntax and stilted styl e (i-4; 61). Sydney J. Krauses Ormond: How rapidly and how well composed, arranged, and delivered explains all in its ti tle. Published in 1978, it exists as a latecomer to the confusion over form but is significant because it attempts to settle the debate by proving that Ormonds strengths outnumber its st ylistic weaknesses. While many critics of the fifties, sixtie s, and early seventies sought conservative interpretations that would explain Browns novels in terms of traditional views about eighteenth century morality and beliefs, their extended grappling with Browns unevenness and textual ambiguity has ironically laid the groundwork for contemporary queer explorations of the ways in which Ormonds Gothic genre and of multilayered form deliberately creates spaces for subversive readings. This type of resistant reading becomes emerge nt as advances in literary theory coincide with a genera l resurgence of Brown scholarship in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mary Chapman, in her introduc tion to the latest publication of Ormond, explains that new approaches attentive to representations, of gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation [. ] have made available a critical vocabulary with which readers can make sense of Browns haunting fiction (13). However, early Ameri can scholars tend to fear that more radical theoretical readings might overlook the histor ical distance of the text and undermine the credibility of the field. Thus, although works by William Scheik and Maurice Bennett identify subversive elements within the novel, they tend to identify them as the examination of social and philosophical problems which cr itics believe sevent eenth century authors would have sought.4 4 For example, in his highly theoretical and philosophi cal essay entitled The Problem of Origination in Browns Ormond, Scheick frames Ormond with the theoretical ideas of Derrida and Foucault (127). However, he is careful

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16 Peter Kafer examines the revolutionary nature of the moral ambiguity inherent within the gothic form through a reading of Charles Brockden Brown as the inventor of the American gothic novel (xi-xvi). Though the work does not specifically examine Ormond it creates the possibility of queer readings through its discussion of the necessary link between the gothic form and subversion. Yet, it too discusses the novel as a re counting of the horrors of the revolutionary period that is ultimately answered through the light of Quakerism (xxi). Thus, while these more progressive readings inform ed by cultural literary theory a llow entrance into queer readings of Ormond, they are constrained by their refusal to examine contemporary preconceived notions about seventeenth century beliefs and possibilities. Even more ambitious readings of sexuality within Browns novel ex amine queerness as yet another allegory of threats faced by the new rep ublic (Pettengill 185). Kristin Comment also points out that the erotic re lationship between Sophia and Co nstantia has primarily been critiqued as yet another threat within the novel, a perverse ab erration that, like other deviant attitudes in Ormond threatens to destroy Constantias bodi ly and social integrity (57). For example, Norman S. Grabos critical work The Coincidental Art of Charles Brockden Brown examines the meaning of coincidence within Ormond in order to conclude that the novel [poses] as a series of tests or temptations, all in terms of Constantias sexual identity or perhaps more properly a progressive elimination of sexual possibilities (51). He interprets the implied sexual unification of Sophia and Constantia at the novels end as an allego ry for the reconciliation of the to hedge the possibility that his theoretical construct may overstep the historical context of the novel with a caveat: Admittedly such thoughts are abstruse, and we need to be careful when applying them to Ormond lest we create an unintended fiction (127). By meticulously creating a historical link through the pre-enlightenment philosophy of Hobbes and the enlightenment philosophy of Locke, Scheick establishes Ormond as a philosophical reflection on the question of human origin (126). Scheick finally concludes that the novels style allows it to explore various complex positions on the subject without resorting to resta ting a pedestrian answer (138 -139). Conversely, Maurice J. Bennett reads Ormond as a rumination on the truth of enlightenment ideals reflected through the juxtaposition of European and American values (78-79).

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17 seductress Venus figure and the virginal Diana fi gure within Constantias own sexual identity (55). Additionally, Heather Smyth has read cross-dressing in the novel as site of anxiety about the instability of hierarchies and social boundaries in the new republic that is later resolved and contained by the novels plot (241, 248). While a ll three of these texts posit interesting queerpositive readings of the novel, they stop short of interpreting the novel as deliberately subversive by choosing to see the novel as an at tempt to contain social threats. The reluctance of Early American Studies to radically engage qu eer studies of prenineteenth century texts is partially caused by a very strict reading of Foucaults History of Sexuality, which traces queer identity through the impulse to discourse that takes place in the mid-to-late Victorian period. However, this strict reading is unique within cultural studies.5 Steven Shapiro points out the ir ony that Marxist and economic sc holars happily admit a middle class prior to the industrial revol ution but early American queer th eorists are skittish or outright hostile to admitting queerness prior to the period of so-called modern sexualities as defined by Foucault (358). Also, some scholars feel that it is necessary to respect Walter Benjamins admonishment against reading history as emerge nt image rather than through true dialectic (462). In other words, Benjamin concludes that scholars must not make the mistake of imagining that historical subj ectivities are easily recognizable within a contemporary body of knowledge and ideas. Queer theorist s such as David Halperin have raised this question through a comparison of ancient Greek beliefs about sexual behaviors in contrast with the contemporary American cultures typical interpretation of such behaviors (418-419). Yet, theorist Robert Tobin asserts that a queer anal ysis can produce interpretations that both resonate with the 5 Robert Tobin has also questioned the use of Foucault by delegitimating his dating system, claiming that if Foucault was incorrect about one date (the date that Westphals ar ticle, which Foucault claims as the birth of homosexuality, was published), that he could be incorrect about the entire premise that homosexual identity has a birth.

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18 modern-day reader, while at the same time allo wing for the eighteenth-century text to speak more fully (1). Similarly, contemporary critic al caution in interpreting Ormonds sexuality is often caused by a general fear that queering pre-twentiet h texts might decontextualize them or force nonexistent queer identities upon histor ical subjects. These problems have been further elucidated by progressive early American scholars in a recent forum in Early American Studies. Bruce Burgett contends that our definitions of sens uality and sexuality have become much more distinct than they would have been, for example, in 1828. Anecdotally musing about what Webster (whose dictionary he uses to map the bl urred lines between the two terms) would have been confused by the contemporary distinction be tween sensuality and sexuality, Burgett argues that contemporary scholars agoni ze over whether or not to categor ize certain interactions as romantic friendship or homoerotic because of Foucauldian questions that Webster would not have considered (185-187). Similarly, Stephen Sh apiro argues, in the forum, that Foucault has broken history into roughl y three large periods in Discipline and Punish : the ancient regimes spectacles of torture and regal terror, the revolutionary eras semiotic punishment of sentimental mimesis, and nineteenth-century modernitys di sciplinary surveillance of the soul (189). However, he argues that in Foucaults History of Sexuality, these periods have been collapsed into two, the first and the last, effectively elim inating the studied period of early Americanists from Foucauldian sexual theories (1 89). Early Americanists are le ft to theorize what might be categorized as liminal acts fitting neither ca tegory as either those falling outside of the purveyance of the state or those which char acterize radical indivi dual identity (189).6 Therefore, 6 In contrast, Michael Wilson historicizes the study of the history of sexuality, indicating that the entire field of study is characterized by confusion, not because this is its natural state, bu t because we are ourselves informed by our sexual history (193). He also argues that, because we cling to a history of sexual science, we tend to misread Foucault by isolating his theories of sexuality from his theories of power and knowledge (197). Finally, Susan

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19 although care is warranted, new queer readings of early American documents are allowing new avenues both for understanding early American sexuali ty and for using historical modes of queer embodiment to further the goals of contemporary queer activism. Juster, echoing the views of the major ity of early Americanists, argues that we must avoid the temptation to be historical voyeurs attempting to glimpse the dirty secret s within, for what we read as titillating, transgressive or queer may be a function of our own myopic tendencies to confuse the erotic with the exotic (205-206). Thus, not only because of a fear of incorrectly us ing theory but more importantly because of a fear of disservicing early texts with contemporary views that might exoticize them, early American schola rs are understandably reluctant.

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20 CHAPTER 3 FROM FEMALE FRIENDSHIP TO QUEER TRAUMA ARCHIVE: UNPACKING ORMOND S QUEER POSSIBILITIES Browns novel Ormond, or the Secret Witness (1 798), represents a complete full-length treatment of the love between women Lillian Faderman Surpassing the Love of Men Part of the reason that early American schol ars reluctance is so frustrating is that Ormond has so many interesting queer elements. First, the novel contains seve ral obvious instances of erotic female friendship. Sophia, who frames th e novel in her letter to I.E. Rosenberg, not only loves Constantia, but she is also obsessed with her. She is not content to write a 276 page letter about her love but she must also enter her own narrative in orde r to rescue Constantia from Ormond and Martinette, whom she fears will steal Constantia from her. In fact, many of the novels female characters are enamored with Cons tantia. Her servant stay s with her despite her loss of fortune and reputation and even works gr atis for a time. Helena, Ormonds mistress, effectively wills Ormond to Constantia in he r own suicide note when she writes to him that most joyfully I resign you to her, my dear fr iend (176). Martinette, after purchasing property from Constantia, visits her at her home without ev en first knowing her name Constantia, in turn, is fascinated with Martinettes visage and becomes even more infatuated when she hears of Martinettes exploits as a crossdresser. But even more interes ting than these queer incidents is the novels ambiguous multilayered narrative. For example, through cross-dressing, Ormond and Martinette become coded as similar figur es. Although Ormond does not gender cross, he often cross-dresses for voyeuristic pleasure. For example, he raci ally and socially cross-dresses as a black chimney sweep in order to spy on his se rvants and hear what th ey think of him. In fact, his voyeurism extends to spying on Constantia, from a closet in the house that he provides for her! Furthermore, the text hints that Orm ond, in blackface or not, might actually be the dark

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21 (coded biracial) Martinette crossdressing to secure her love. These tenuous similarities allow the reader who understands queer coding to more clearly connect these erotic friendships to sexual desire, even if the novel does not explicitly make these connections. In this section, I will illuminate the ways in which recent queer scholarship has finally begun to highlight Ormonds structural elements as more radi cally and directly queer. Then, I will provide my own interpretations of the novels queer elements. Finally, I will use the Ann Cvetkovichs notion of queer trauma archives in order to show that the novel becomes pro-queer through its usages of queer trauma as a point from which to become revolutionary. By developing a reading of the romantic queer archive via the theme of trauma, I will link queerness within the novel to social revolution. Recent feminist criticism has highlighted the more radical sexual possibilities of Ormond Notably, Lillian Faderman celeb rates the novels repeated emphasis on female homosocial bonding, while Julia Stern considers female desire as a foil for male homosocial bonding (Faderman 111; Stern 159). Paul Lewis has even compared Martinettes transgendered behavior and Constantias desire to hear of Martinettes mascul ine exploits to Joss Whedons Buffy the Vampire Slayer as he discusses the text as an ar gument for female empowerment through modeling and re-enacting physical and mental transgression of male power (Lewis 49). Although recent feminist scholarship is moving toward readings of sexuality through radical interpretations of Ormonds gendered social structures, curren t queer scholarship has conceived even more disruptive interpretations of the multip le sexualities that the novel portrays. For my work, the most valuable of these radical theori sts are Kristin Comment in her article Charles Brockden Browns Ormond and Lesbian Possibility in the Early Republic and Stephen

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22 Shapiros article in the new text Long Before Stonewall: Historie s of Same-Sex Sexuality in Early America. Both Comments and Shapiros arguments are valuable not only because they provide sound historical evidence for queer positive readi ngs of Brown, but also because Shapiro is the first theorist to celebrate Ormond as a productively queer novel. Kristin Comment does the important work of proving that Brown could have been aware of lesbianism within his time period. She researches texts from the early eighteenth century to prove the widespread availability of information on lesbian acts and the underlying cultural an xiety belied by such a proliferation of writings.1 Yet, siding with other contempor ary critics who see Brown as more conservative than actively pro-queer and radical, Comment interprets the lesbian community as a predicament in the novel rather than a solution.2 She contends that su ch social bonds exist as anxieties that the text seeks to allay and subdue through the heteronormative bonds of marriage. She explains that lesbianism is simply the lo gical endpoint of the in ability to contain an increasingly sexually autonomous female body in the new republic (61). As mentioned earlier, 1 Comment includes legal, medical, and fictional texts in her very thorough literary review, arguing against skeptics who believe homosexuality was not a recognized concept in America prior to the nineteenth century. Her examples include Robert Jamess Medicinal Dictionary (1745), Samuel Tissots Onania: A Treatise Upon the Disorders Produced by Masturbation (translated 1766), William Kings The Toast (1736), John Clelands Fanny Hill (1747), Henry Fieldings The Female Husband and several others. She also cites the numerous sexual cartoons depicting Marie Antoinette in same-sex acts. Additionally, widespread homosexual relationships during the eighteenth century are thoroughly documented in Randolph Trumbachs Sex and Gender Revolution Volume One. I recommend chapter one, Extramarital Relations and Gender History for those seeking further historical proof of eighteenth century queer community and documentation of queer desire. 2 In their introduction to the gender and sexualities section of Revising Charles Brockden Brown: Culture, Politics, and Sexuality in the Early Republic, Stephen Shapiro, Philip Barnard, and Mark Kamrath acknowledge the traditional and ongoing debate about whether Brown is a (humanist, liberal, radical), feminist (118). However, they reframe this debate in terms of What kinds of cultu ral work does Browns writing make possible? (118). In turn, they see the question of Browns early radicalism and later conservatism as limiting (118). Yet, I am much more interested in the question of what work Browns writing makes possible. Indeed, this is the main purpose of my project. Kristin Comments article represents a more careful approach to viewing Ormonds queer elements. Nevertheless, she provides a stepping-stone for more radical queer readings by providing such ample historical evidence for Browns awareness of female-female desire. Shapiro is one of the few scholars willing to use these types of historical evidence in order to make the more radical theoretical leaps that support arguments such as mine.

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23 Shapiro provides a particularly important defe nse against the strict reading of Foucaults History of Sexuality which has lead to an undertheorization of queer desire in Early American Studies. Furthermore, he correctly asserts that queer co mmunities and behaviors often existed before they reached the attention of bourgeois subjects (who created official di scourse) and often appeared as communal bonds rather than individual identi ties (358-59). Therefore, both Comment and Shapiro theorize queer in terms of affiliations rather than through i ndividual subjectivity. Shapiros assertion of queer comm unity as a countercultural social movement is relevant not only because it allows an avenue for theorizing qu eer that does not include individual identity but also because it situates queer subject positions with in a larger context of cultural and political concerns during the eighteenth century By looking at Shapiros conception of Ormond as romantic history through Ann Cvetkovichs archive of feeling, a specifically queer form of meaning making that subverts official histories, we can open up a space for r eading both the structural form of the novel and the queer communities formed by such characters as Sophia and Constantia, Martinette and Constantia, and Ormond and his mistress Helena. For example, Ormond remakes trauma in the novel by creating multiple narratives through wh ich characters form community both among themselves and outside of the novel through sentim ental affect with the reader. A reading of Ormond as a kind of trauma archive will provide ev en more positive evidence that the text functions as a space of queer possibility and is unique among American novels for its support of queer social formation. The queer romance of Ormond creates a type of histor y which closely resembles contemporary queer community building as desc ribed by Ann Cvetkovitch in her theoretical work An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sex uality, and Lesbian Public Cultures. One of Shapiros

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24 most important assertions is that Brown uses Ormond to create what Brown called romantic history. This historical form a llows history to be made legible and pertinent to [. .] middle class readers, who were themselves hidden from the histories produced before the eighteenth century (367). In other words, rather than tr acing mere laws, wars, or events as history, a romantic history follows the emotional effects th at historical events have had upon individuals; a romantic history is a history of trauma and the communities that form around traumas. This similarity between Browns romantic history and Cvetkovichs trauma archives allows for possibilities of tracing queer embodiment not through Foucauldian sexual identity but through often transient and ephemeral queer community structures. Thus, it is possible to assert that the novel incorporates spec ific elements of the trauma archive, such as trauma itself, the narrative value of ephemeral objects, multiple narratives, and conflicting narratives, in order to create a lasting place-holder for the fragmentary memories of queer embodiments existing during the late eighteenth century. The most obvious queer reading of Ormond celebrates its foregrounding of female-female community as the crux of the individual females identity within the novel. Even before most of the novels main characters enter the narrative, Constantia surv ives poverty, gains employment, and evades isolation through the female commun ity to which she belongs. For example, as Constantia descends into poverty, she is comforted by the presence of Lucy, a servant who, despite this change of fortune would not consent to be separated (55). Constantia, in turn, reflecting that on the whole it was most to he r advantage to share with her at once her kindness and her poverty, retained her as her companion (55). Like the biblical Naomi and Ruth, Constantia and her servant refuse to leave each other, realizing that their friendship and companionship protects them from poverty and pr ovides them with solace. More importantly,

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25 Constantia first comes into contact with Martin ette, the cross-dressing figure whom she sexually desires, through her attentions to and from her laundress during a plague of yellow fever (86). Constantia later expresses that Ursula Monrose (who is later me ntioned in the text as one of Martinettes disguises), would pr ove worthy of her love (93). Cl aire Pettengill has stated that female friendships during this period were an intense, culturally signi ficant sisterhood in which intense bonds become the reward for the tr auma of being placed in a separate domestic sphere and often produce a community by which marriage becomes a punishment (187; 196; 200). Thus, this homoerotic bonding, while often not specifically interp reted as queer, often functions to further feminist understandings of female responses to patriarchal oppression. Additionally, this type of female community, which initiates women into romantic friendships only through prior membership within an established female community, is in itself a highly resistant queer community. It is like t hose Shapiro describes as the rudiments of a homoerotic society as enacted in a variety of institutions and para institutions (359). Instead of contemporary queer theorys current direction, which inte rprets texts in term s of identity, causing divisions among members of the LGBT community and other marg inalized groups, or fearing historical research into queerness because it is no t possible to theorize identity in the past, it is more productive to theorize queer as a parainstitution. Parainstitutio ns exist as communities that evolve both parallel to a nd intertwined with other marginalized groups, emphasizing commonalities and publics rather than highlighting differences. The more open to other groups that queer becomes, the more power it then wields. Parainstitutions, in opposition to institu tions, are groups which are organized around common interests and practical guidelines working toward social good rather than the hierarchical power structures and tradition-based rule systems of institutions (Shapiro 359).

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26 Therefore, parainstitutions work outside of or ev en against the taboos of traditional hierarchies. Furthermore, they are much less susceptible to rapid change and therefore more resilient to revolutions or social upheaval than traditiona l institutions. In other words, not only does homoerotic society exist within this time peri od, but same-sex friendships actually allow women to form communities that provide more freedom and protection for women than could be afforded through traditional social institutions. As a parainstitution, this homosocial commun ity protects women from institutions which would afford them no agency as females. This is most prominently exemplified by Constantias relationship with Helena. Although Helena has fa llen victim to seduction (a condition which is depicted by most sentimental novel s as so horrible that even to associate with such a person puts another womans reputation at ri sk) and has become the mistress of Ormond, Constantia remains her friend and even attempts to persuade Or mond to marry Helena (Brown 159-162). Even though Ormonds attachment to Constantia causes Helena to commit suicide, Helena wills her property to Constantia, who rema ins her only friend, stating, She and you will be happy in each other. It is this that sweetens the cup I am goi ng to drink (176). With this statement, Helena takes part in a reversal of Ev e Kosofsky Sedgwicks erotic triangl es between males in which the bond that links the two rivals is as intense and potent as the bond that links either of the rivals to the beloved (20). Helenas love for Constantia and Constantias love for Helena are equal to each womans love for Ormond. Ormond even betray s some awareness of this, stating, The girl is our mutual property. You are her friend; I am her lover (1 61). Most importantly, however, Helena displays a final act of agency in death by willing her property to Constantia (177). By giving Constantia property which had earlier been given to her by Ormond, Helena is able to subvert the patriarchal ownershi p of property, which has caused the circumstances that make

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27 seduction so dangerous to women, through the bonds of female friendship. She is able to use her position as Ormonds mistress to protect Constantia from the seduction that she endured. However, the queer parainstitutions within Ormond need not be relegated to subplots. Because Shapiro links Ormond directly to Mar tinette through desire, cross-dressing, and queer coding, the main character of the novel and th e subcharacter Martinette become equally important. Thus, Ormond truly becomes a novel about female-female desire. More importantly, this allows the novel to become its own form of parainstitution through which queer society can be protected within the hostile climate of the la te eighteenth century. Fi rst, Shapiro builds the argument that Ormonds desire is truly a foil for Martinettes desire. He provides ample evidence for this ideological connection, citing th e fact that Martinette and Ormond are never seen together and that both have a penchant fo r disguise (19). Furthermore, he connects them through Martynne, a foppish male who briefly app ears in the novel bearing a name which sounds suspiciously like Martinettes but whom Constantia does not recognize as someone she knows (Brown 234-235). Then, he theorizes that I.E. Rosenberg is also Martinette, noting that Rosenberg is an anagram of Monrose if translated into German (22). If this were true, it would effectively cut off Sophias attempt to express he r erotic attraction to Constantia through the socially accepted means of a heterosexual marriage to a mutual friend. Thus, rather than exposing and containing anxietie s about lesbianism, the novel actua lly privileges a more radical form of erotic female attraction over another. This anagram, which would be quite difficult to decipher, is just another example of the codes which are a precursor to the camp codes of the twentieth century, created to allow a safe process by which those with homoerotic desire could enter into a larger queer community. According to Shapiro, Brown is resolving the te nsion of what might be called butch/femme

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28 roles between Martinette and Sophia, or what might more accurately be called a more visible and less visible form of queer identity or subject position. However, Shapiros point is that Brown uses the tension between these two positions not to espouse a particular political embodiment, but to form his own political position. Thus through the code, the novel becomes a way of recognizing the queer desire exis tent within Browns time peri od without alerting subjugating forces in society, such as censors. Here, Brown is performing a much more important role than simply alerting others in his imme diate society to queer desire. Instead, Shap iro asserts that the novel is rehearsing a strategy a bout preserving homoerotic collectives through a tactical manipulation of mediums and repr esentation (362). Shapiro goes on to explain that Brown did not believe in the power of social parainstitu tions to preserve alternative community and homoerotic bonds from the overwhelming forces of heteronormative institutions. Therefore, he used the novel as a space to create an altern ative history, a romantic history that ignored official histories and instead narrated a fictive st ory of desire that filled the gaps in official discourse in which homosexual desi re was officially expunged (367). Browns alternative history is created primar ily according to affect. Thus, rather than creating a fact-based history which can now be easily deconstructe d, Brown relies on an emotional history that acknowledge s its lack of official power while still retaining affective power among readers. This alternative or affective history can be highlighted through Ormonds plague episode. Robert A. Ferguson has already shown th at while official archives might be concerned with recording deaths from yellow fever or how contamination occurred, the novel describes the ways in which the plague affected social structures (299). Thus, I contend that Brown uses the plague as a mechanism to describe the urban decay of the city and the ways in which urban space makes certain forms of queerness possible. For example, the plague is one of

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29 the instruments through which Constantia meets both Ormond and Martinette. Because of the plague, Constantia hears the story of the mysterio us Ursula Monrose who is later revealed to be Martinette, and the plague cause s the monetary distress by whic h Ormond becomes Constantias benefactor (Brown 93; 117). Al so, while an official archive mi ght record wars in terms of statistics of human lives lost military tactics and political gains, Ormond narrates the war through the lens of Martinette, who cross-dresses in order to take part in the battle (201). Thus, Martinettes history of the wa r becomes a manner of describi ng ways in which to subvert dominant cultures gendered codes or to expe rience a new type of desired queer embodiment. Furthermore, Lewis also highlights how the pl ague becomes a way through which women, both Constantia within the text and those women reading the text, might be able to achieve more gendered equality and protection from bodily ha rm through gender crossing (51-52). I believe that highlighting the plague as a way for women to achieve protection through cross-dressing also allows the plague to become the mean s through which female-female desire becomes protected through cross-dressing. Furthermore, female sexual rela tionships ironically become more possible, albeit fraught with ambivalence, b ecause of the greater free dom of movement that the plague has provided for women. Because she mu st move further into the space of the city in order to obtain money to support her family, Cons tantia is able to m eet Martinette at the pawnshop, a place where her presence would formerly have been suspect. While these sites of queer affective history ma y be seemingly radical only within their time period, evidence of what might cr udely be called a were here were queer notation in the annals of late eighteenth century literary canon, Shapiros notation of Ormonds rhetorical move represents a loophole through which we can link older conceptions of queerness to contemporary queer embodiments Ormonds alternate history, created not onl y in spite of but through the use

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30 of the trauma of queer erasure by dominant instit utions, is a version of what Ann Cvetkovich has identified as queer trauma archives (268). In order to understand trauma archives, it is necessary to first understand the underpinnings of Cvetkovichs theoretical approac h. Cvetkovich first glosses Jacques Derridas Archive Fever, explaining that he presses psychoanal ytic approaches to memory to the conclusion that an archive is fundamentally impossible (268). Derrida argues that the traditional archive fails because all memory, like trauma, is fragmentary and incapable of being archived, connected only by arbi trary narrative. Yet, while De rrida seemingly forecloses the idea of archive as a repository for memory (read history), Cvetkovich argu es that queer archive is, in fact, an opportunity for the creation of stor ies that mimic memory rather than the collection of memory itself. Cvetkovich asserts that queer arch ive is really the ma king of a counterpublic because an archive is the collec tion of cultural remnants that be long to a subculture (9). Queer archives are extremely important to queer worl d-making because the making of an archive is essentially the taking of power through the creation of meaning.3 Many of the most important narrative arcs of Ormond take place around traumatic ephemera whose meanings change depending on the individual. 4 Because of this, Ormond 3 Because Derrida has defined archive as the space in whic h memory and its meaning ar e violently created rather than collected, he has not shut down the possibility of a queer archive; instead, he has leant it political weight. He uses etymology to argue that the archive both speaks and creates the law by means of an arbitrary collection, classification, and hierarchy of documents. He then effect ively states that the archive is the basic tenet of political power because it controls access to memory. Of course, De rrida deconstructs this func tion of the archive through astute Freudian analysis, declaring th at the archive is always false because memory itself is false and ultimately suppressed (Derrida 4-19). Therefore, any supposed memory is created, rather than co llected by the archive. Because the queer archive creates meaning out of an avowed fantas y of connection between seemingly miscellaneous and unconnected events it is, in fact, ephemeral. 4 The Encyclopedia of Ephemera defines ephemera as minor transient documents of ever yday life, but Im especially interested in how incons equential objects become these documents because they in some way add meaning to our lives. Timothy Young, in his article Evidence: Toward a Library Definition of Ephemera, clarifies that ephemera does not just include the printed document but has been expanded to include anything man made by architectural and fine arts libraries and journals (11). His fascinating article does much to explain Cvetkovichs brief list.

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31 challenges official historical wr itings by indicating th at objects can contain more meaning than the printed word, and that these meanings can be changed to suit individual needs. For example, the picture of Sophia, a representation of the trauma of losing Constantias romantic friend, becomes of infinite worth to Constantia after th e death of her father ex acerbates her loneliness for a companion (215). Yet, after she pawns the por trait, it falls in to the hands of another queer character, Martynne, who uses it to imagine a l over for himself (234). Even if we do not find reasons for which this man might not have an actual female lover, the fetishistic desire that he bestows upon the object allows it to become an obj ect of queer desire. The goldsmith admits that he asked the man to pay a price which he shoul d not have demanded, indicating that the man has ascribed worth to the object beyond its monetary value (216). Thus, what was once an article with a worth saturated by a narrative of loss becomes an object upon which to project queer desire. Similarly, the lute, an emblem of Mr. Dudleys loss, becomes a marker of romance between Constantia and Martinet te. Although the narration indi cates no sacrifice was more painful to Constantia than the lute, she only at tempts to gain access to it again because she has become enamored with its new owner, Martine tte (96). As the tw o partake in two more transactions involving the lute, affect, sparked by the lutes pa ssage between them, deepens as Constantia hopes for a companion fitted to partak e in all of her sympathies (188). In this way, the lute, which originally signifies the ultimate lo ss of bourgeois pleasures after the Dudleys fall to poverty, becomes the symbol through which Cons tantia gains access to th e object of her desire Martinette. Furthermore, Ormond contains more cultural force than official histories because its text not only recognizes its own fictive and arbitrary nature but also challenges the imagined truth of the traditional historical ar chive, a canonical history whic h rejects queer embodiments and

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32 social institutions in early America. Cvetkovich has theorized that because the queer archive is created through ephemera, it is the embodiment of what Derrida, in his deconstruction of the archive, names as archive fever. Ephemera, as Cvetkovich explains, ar e objects that cannot be catalogued by libraries and often fit into the misce llaneous category (243). The idea of ephemera then implies those objects which must be categor ized according to created or newly invented meanings. Queer archives create meaning and connections between cultural artifacts such as pictures, journals, articles of cl othing, posters, and artw ork because these arti cles are constantly denied meaning or placement in traditional arch ives (243). Thus, queer archives do not attempt to dislocate power from archives of disciplining discourses of heteronormativity, such as official histories or medical discourse, but instead choos e the route of assuming an opposing position of power through the creation of an oppositional arch ive (284). In fact, Cvetkovich asserts that grassroots archives and the archives preserved by cultural forms move past the impossibility of the archive articulated by De rrida toward collections of texts and objects that embody the sentiments and obsessions of archive fever (2 71). Thus, because obsession and sentimental value are the necessary purpose of queer archives, such archives thrive by the same processes which Derrida claims destroy the viability of traditional archives. Ormond, like other queer archives is created out of forms of trauma. Queer is often associated with trauma specifically because he teronormative culture and history damages queer identities and bodies, not only through active violen ce upon queer desire through execution and torture but also through the power ful force of historical erasur e. Thus, queer narrative is uniquely positioned to speak through trauma. Ormond speaks through several traumas. First, Ormond is a sentimental novel, and, as Cathy Davidson explains, the sentimental novel occurs through a trauma whereby the reader is incited to sympathy with the novels protagonist (123).

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33 Additionally, traumas with in the novel are contin ually reinscribed as experiences through which community is built. For example, in the wake of the plague, the narrative states that Those who had been sick and recovered found, in this circ umstance, a source of exultation. Others made haste, by new marriages, to suppl y the place of wives, husbands, a nd children whom the scarcely extinguished pestilence had swept away (94). Thus, rather than constructing a narrative through which trauma haunts and harms the community, trauma experienced communally is used as a foundation for creating joy and hum an connection. Moreover, rather than constructing a singular hegemonic narrative for traumas occurr ing within the novel by narration through a first person or a third person omniscient viewpoint, Ormond allows several voices of narration for each event because the narrator must simply repeat the narrations other characters have created for their experiences. Thus, when explaining her actions to Constantia, Ma rtinette claims that, although she is the same woman as Ursula Monrose, she was never weak with grief over her lost lover, while earlier Baxter ha d painted a vivid picture of a woman who threw herself upon the earth every feature set to the genuine expression of sorro w (207, 89). In fact, the novel allows many of its narrations to conflict with one another so that the read er must choose the most appealing truth. For example, when Constantia chases Thomas Craig into Ormonds house, the narration captures his thoughts, even narrating his words as he states How the littl e witch talks! [. .] Justice! Compassion! St upid fool! (114). When the narrator later reveals herself as Sophia Westwyn, however, retelling the adventures that Constantia has related to her, this narration of dialogue becomes suspect because S ophia has learned all of her information through Constantia. It becomes possible to assume that Craig might be a very different character from the one painted by the narration.

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34 Thus, Charles Brockden Browns intuitive history not only provides historical agency for both queer and non-queer subjects of its time period, it also challenges contemporary concepts of the archive, both in the eighteenth century and now. Cvetkovich argues that not only is trauma archive important to queer communities but that the qu eer impulse to work through the medium of traumatic memory and sentiment perfor ms a larger service to other disenfranchised groups (269). This is because queer archive chal lenges institutional archiv es with the affect of those to whom it has denied subjectivity. While traditional archive claims an arbitrary truth based on facts which have been collected and arranged, Ormond, like any other queer archive, relies on sentiment and the power of emotional c onnection with the purveyor of the archive, the archival audience. Forging an intersection of Ormonds queer romantic history with marginalized groups who would not traditionally be considered queer is important because Brown is not concerned with queerne ss as an isolated concept. In stead, he is concerned with the way in which queer institutions and behavi ors might empower subjugated groups such as women, the poor, and those of non-white races. Th e final portion of my project attempts to extend the notion of Browns queer communities in order to locate places where queer resistances to dominant social norms allow othe r alternative communities to thrive within the early national period.

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35 CHAPTER 4 AT A QUEER CROSS-ROADS: INTERCONN ECTED SITES OF QUEER TIME AND SPACE I take it as almost axiomatic that qu eer theory embraces, even celebrates transgression. It seeks the sublime not in resistance but in blithe and gleeful disregard for social convention Richard Thompson Ford, Whats Queer About Race In this section, I will highlight racial and class subversions as extensions of Browns original queer parainstitutions by discussing and extending the readings of queer community as a structure that is in some way resistant to dominant in stitutions. Browns novel is important not only because it posits a way of being for queer communities but because these communities create a revolutionary subjectivity which also allows the novel to speak to race and other important issues of the early national period. I will use contemporary queer theorists discussion of non-heteronormative embodiments in order to e xplore how the intersect ion of Martinettes gender crossing (as Ormond) and her racial pass ing as (Ursula Monrose) and Thomas Craigs class subversion indicate that queer is more than just a non-heterosexual de sire but is also a way of being in the world that has much in common with other marginalized groups.1 Because of these intersections of culture, queer theorist s can recognize a historic al commonality with how various marginalized groups and cultures were fo rmed, and it can also formulate new strategies for activism Throughout Ormond queer social embodiments exist al ongside other alternative social subjectivities. Thomas Craig, iden tified as one of the novels central villains, can also be seen as 1 Comment denotes the connection betwee n female autonomy and female intim acy by discussing gender crossing as much more dangerous than lesbian desire in the charact er of Martinette because of both the cultural power which it lends women and because it disrupts heterosexual desire, union, and reproduction (6566). Similarly, Shapiro draws attention to economic non-heteronormativity through class subversion in charact ers such as Thomas Craig (12). Finally, Shapiro also explains how racial crossing and miscegenation can be ai ded through the use of queer codes of behavior and the creation of queer institutions (6).

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36 a working class hero. Shapiro co nceives Craigs villai ny as a response to the dominant cultures unfair demands upon the working class. Craigs social position cannot be improved without social references, and his mothers poverty would force him to remain in poverty himself in order to care for her. Craig responds to this difficulty by performing textual drag, creating respectable letters from an imaginary mother and sister who would support his claim to middle class social status. Craigs multiple forgeries and con games can be seen as the ultimate form of class warfare, a complete refusal to submit to social norms for the working class. Similarly, Ursula Monrose (Martinette) respon ds to the constraints of race w ithin the early national period by disguising herself as Ormond. Both Ormond and Martinette are described in racially ambiguous terms throughout the text. Martinette is described in the pawn shop seen as being very dark but also very beautiful, and Ormond is able to easily pass as a black chimney sweep. If we assume, with Shapiro, th at Ormond and Martinette can be linked as the same person, Martinette improves her racial status through the practice of cross-dressing and as protects her cross-dressed status through a dr ag performance as a black, work ing class individual. Crossdressing also transcends sexuality through its alternate gender constr uction. Martinette is more content as a man, cross-dressing not only to preser ve her ability to attract females but also to achieve her most comfortable gender embodiment. Finally, within the novel, the urban space of the city creates opportuniti es for all types of alternative soci al embodiments to intersect with one another through behavior which is queer in the sense of existing out side of dominant heterosocial norms. We can use Ormond to connect contemporary queer theory with other academic theories through Judith Halberstams explanation of queer time and queer sp ace. Halberstam makes the argument that queer exists according to counterc ultural logics that flout so-called correct uses

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37 of time and space. Using Foucaults ideas in F riendship as a Way of Li fe, Halberstam argues that homosexuality does not threat en because of changes in sexual desire but because of changes it causes in ways of being that ex ist outside of dominant culture (1 ). She first explains the more obvious threats against heterosexual marriage and reproduction. Then, in order to explain her more difficult theories, Halberstam cites examples such as the AI DS epidemic, situations through which queerness must exist in a liminal time of now rather than the time of the future (2-3). She explains the concept of queer space, among other things, as a contrast between the urban and the rural, focusing not only on how urban spaces make various forms of queer possible but also on how they allow cross-racial a nd cross-class contact (13). Halb erstam theorizes these concepts only in the ways in which they relate to postmodernism and postmodern subjectivity; yet, Ormond s use of these concepts lend s additional historical perspect ive to Halberstams claims.2 Both Brown and Halberstam use cross-dres sing as a nexus point through which queer desire interacts with radically non-normative uses of time and space.3 In Ormond, Browns iconic figure of transgendered persona is embodied in two ch aracters, and possibly a third 2 While seemingly quite radical, these theories have a st rong background in the current direction of postmodern queer theory. A recent edition of South Atlantic Quarterly is dedicated to a discussion of the ways in which queer theory exists on other axes than merely the sexual. Richard Thompson Ford, in his article Whats Queer About Race, argues that, like Susan Sontags notion of camp, queer theory is critique as a style (484). He states that queer denotes not an identity but instead a political and existential stance, an ideological commitment, a decision to live outside some social norm or other (484). Theorists Ann Cvetkovich and Lee Edelman, among others, back this theory, essentially stating that queer is really about d econstructing social norms through both social critique and radical behavior. The idea is that queer exists as a community of individuals who shake up the system by refusing to accept the status quo. In this way, Brown and Halberst am exist in a historical co ntinuum as social agitators against dominant institutions. 3 Halberstams iconic figure of transgender embodiment is Brandon Teena, a young transgendered man who was killed while living in rural Nebraska because his biological gender was discovered. Halberstam argues that Teena is considered an anachronistic figure because some c ontemporary queer theorists and anthropologists relate transgenderism and cross-dressing to an embodiment that occurs in more primitive cultures where queer desire is less accepted and a queer community is less developed (37). She then presents a global, cross-cultural analysis to show how time and space become blurred since many theorist s conflate Teenas gender id entification of members of the third world with the variety of options supposedly available to individuals with queer desire in non-metropolitan areas (39). In other words, in films such as Boys Dont Cry Brandon is read as a failed lesbian forced to inhabit an anachronistic gender identity in order to protect herself rather than a transgendered individual who chooses to live in small towns and who inhabits a transgendered identity becau se he specifically desires to be read as male (90).

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38 Martinette, Ormond, and perhaps Martynne. Trad itionally, Martinettes cross-dressing is interpreted, as many other types of queerness ha ve been read, as merely another non-normative behavior which the novel contains.4 In contrast, however, if Ormond and Martin ette are ideologically connected through mutual desire for Constantia, this can be exte nded into a literal conne ction which proves that cross-dressing transcends the liminal space of carnival to become a recognized gender embodiment. Even though she appears to Constantia as a woman, Martinette is not described in feminine terms. She exhibit[s] no tendencies to confidence or traces of sympathy and is chiefly denoted by her masculine attainments (191). Thus, even in womens clothing, she seems more comfortable with a masculine embodime nt. Furthermore, Martinette describes her cross-dressing during the war with exuberance, stating I delighted to assume the male dress, to acquire skill at the sword, and de xterity in every boister ous exercise I felt as if imbued by a soul that was a stranger to the sexual distinction (202) Clearly, Martinette not only expresses joy in attainment of so-calle d masculine traits, but she also expresses sentiments closely resembling the modern concept of a third gender. She feels neither male nor female but instead feels possessed by a third-gendered spirit that feels no sexua l distinction. Ormond, on the other hand, uses disguise as a fo rm of protection, and the narrator justifies his use of disguise by saying, It was defensib le on no other principle than necessity. The 4 Heather Smyth has stated that both Martinette and Orm ond function as allegories for the new possibilities that post-Revolutionary America opened among subjectivities. She explains that because social class in the Revolutionary period could change abruptly through social chaos and death, women often resorted to performing mens roles or duties (245). Furthermore, while Smyth does acknowledge that Constantia might have some desire for Martinette, she asserts that Constantia loses her bond of sympathy when Martinette seems to take too much pleasure in masculine violence (250). Ulti mately, Smyth relegates cross-dressing in Ormond to the space of the Bakhtinian carnival, a liminal space of subversion which ultimately reinforces gender and class hierarchies as Constantia becomes recast as the sentim ental heroine who swoons and must be rescued at novels end (252). She concludes that while Ormond makes visible the constructedness of gender and class through both Ormonds and Martinettes cross-dressing, the novel remains comm itted to containing the cross-dressing narratives.

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39 treachery of mankind compelled him to resort to it (130). Thus as foils and aspects of one another, Ormond and Martinette express two impulses common to such contemporary transgender figures as Brandon Teena. Martinette desires to be within a differently gendered or non-gendered space, while Ormond uses disguise to protect him from the dangers of society. This dual impulse, occurring before scientific distinctions of embodied gender inversions or misplaced homosexual desire, ultimately reinfo rces Halberstams theory that cross-dressing exists on a completely separate axes of queer desire than homosexual queer desire, although both exist according to a logic of queer embodiment. In order to understand Ormond as the favorab le transgendered embodi ment of Martinette, we must first dispense with th e notion of Ormond as a villain. While the elision of Ormond and Martinette seems to shed unfavorable light on Martinettes character because Ormond later attempts to rape Constantia, Sophia, the narrator of the story, avows that she has received much of her information about Ormond through the filter of Constantia. Therefore, Sophia might have a version of events that Constantia needed her to believe. At th e novels beginning, Sophia admits, It was not prudent to unfold all the means by which I gained knowledge of his actions; but these means, though singularly fortunate and accurate, could not be unerring and complete (37). In one of Browns signature moments of am biguity, the narrator both assures the reader of the accuracy of her sources while explaining that her knowledge could be neither unerring nor complete (37). Thus, while Sophia inte rprets events based on what she sees, Ormond remains a novel about disguise and misdir ection. In fact, Ormond even states in an argument with Constantia: Well, words are made to carry m eanings, and you shall have them in abundance (162). This statement functions as yet another of the codes which Shapiro alludes to, including

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40 the I.E. Rosenberg inversion which indicates that Rosenberg might be another of Martinettes disguises (377). In fact, the Rosenberg invers ion posits the possibility that transgendered embodiment actually creates a space for Constantia and Martinette to maintain sexual and romantic life partnership. After the rape scen e, Constantia displa ys all of the signs of the woman who has fallen to seduction. As in other seduction novels such as Charlotte Temple, The Coquette, and The Power of Sympathy, she lies stretched upon the floor, pa le and motionless, supine (272). These are the markers of pregnancy which are used to symbolize that a woman has succumbed to sexual temptation in seduction novels. Finally, Ormonds secret wound that bleeds but a little and the smile of disdain remaining upon his features sugge st that the entire scene and story of the rape may be just another of Ormond/Mart inettes elaborate disguise s. If this is true, Ormond then invalidates claims that transgendere d and cross-dressing be havior and embodiment in the novel is transient or c ontained. Martinettes appearance as a man in her last two embodiments, as Ormond and I.E. Rosenber g, reaffirms her cross-dressing/ambiguously gendered identity. The narrativ e then does not contain crossdressing within a socially acceptable narrative that returns the ambiguously gendered cross-dresser to a feminine embodiment. Yet, neither does the novel i nvalidate possible queer sexual desire in transgendered individuals. Thus, since Martinette obtains the abili ty to remain with Constantia by posing as I.E. Rosenberg, cross-dressing is thus not contained by the narrative but actively espoused as the sole possibility for Martinette and Constantia to enjoy their queer desire within their society. Yet, gender crossing is not the only kind of cr ossing that occurs in the novel. Class and race crossing in Ormond occur as well and exist as part of wh at Halberstam calls queer space, as

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41 urban spaces that allow non-normative ways of livi ng. Halberstam argues that the city becomes a space of pleasurable interclass and cross-racial contact that the hierarchies of the city constantly seek to destroy (14).5 She further argues that the types of embodiments that these groups enjoy outside of traditional hierarchies al ign such groups with queer groups which often operate according to the same logics within urban spaces (13-15). Again, Shapiros idea of parainstitutions becomes a useful concept to ex plain these alliances. Shapiro explains queer possibilities in the 1790s as occurring through several axes of hierar chical attack. The Haitian and French revolutions opened ports to more s ugar and coffee, in turn allowing more seamen with non-American sexual mores into the port s (365). Trade also fostered immigration, including those fleeing the French and Haitian re volution. Not only did these individuals have different ideas about sexuality, but Haitian refuge es were also of several differing ethnicities (365). However, Shapiros two most crucial points are about urban space and race. As urbanization made it possible for apprentices to live in their own spaces rather than in the homes of their masters, Shapiro notes that the time and space for non-regulated hetero-and homo-erotic contact in an increasingly anonymous c ity was made possible (365). Thus, Ormond contains the same forces of urbanization that Halberstam asserts allow queer pos sibilities to non-queer marginalized subjects. Furthermore, Shapiro states that miscegenation and female homoeroticism were often mixed, si nce the beautiful mulattas perc eived transgress ion of racial lines was often taken to indicate analogous sexual excess (366). Th is historical survey of the urban space of the city explai ns why characters such as Ormond become aligned with lowerclass characters such as Thomas Craig, and why cl ass crossing is often yoked with race crossing within the novel. 5 Halberstam uses the ideas of Samuel R. Delaney in his book Times Square Red, Times Square Blue in order to explain this idea.

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42 Yet, this does not explain the affect of th ese intersections on nove ls meaning. First, because Thomas Craig in the novel is interpreted differently by the lower classes than by the upper classes, he exposes how class as a constructed form targets certain subjects as villainous based on the particular interests of normative reader s. Similarly, the behavior of queer subjects is often considered villainous or wrong simply because it defies normative structures. At the novels beginning, Thomas Craig, exploited as an apprentice who receives nothing but food, clothing, and lodging in return fo r his work, for a period of thr ee years, absconds with most of Stephen Dudleys money after Dudley suggests an unequal partnership (Brown 42). Shapiro notes that while middle class readers might decr y Craig as evil for embezzling the Dudleyss money, his behavior can also be read as a wo rking class youths cove rt resistance to the superficial civility disguising Dudleys explo itation of Craigs labor and examination of his behavior (369). Thus, faced with an alternative of working for slave wages as an apprentice or living according to what Halberstam calls eccen tric economic practices, Craig chooses to remain outside of the normative capital structures of the eighteenth century (1). However, in order to remain outside of society, Craig perf orms many queer functions. For example, as a cover story, he writes letters of desire from Sophia to an imaginary brother, thereby assuming a sort of textual drag whereby he expresses desi re for a male body in the form of a woman (116). By combining gender construction with cl ass construction, Brow n illuminates how both constructions function accord ing to similar logics. Craig also points to other characters in the novel who might be consid ered villains through his interaction with Ormond. Just as Craigs behavi or toward the Dudleys can be seen as a form of self-protection from harm that might be cau sed to the working class by bourgeois society, so Ormond can be read as protecting himself from normative bourgeois cult ure. Interestingly,

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43 Shapiro notes that Craig appears with Ormond in the rape scene to signal a break in the text (378). Ormond is considered a villain for hiri ng Craig to kill Dudley, but it is possible that Ormond was simply protecting Constantia. As Dudley descends into poverty, the narrator alludes not only to a fall into alcoholism but al so to heartbreaking scenes of uproar, violence, and foul disgrace and an affect on Constantia which she cannot describe (56). These allusions resemble the traumatic memory whic h Freud states cannot be spoken because the memory of trauma is blocked (Cvetkovich 268). 6 If Constantia is an incest survivor, then Or monds destruction of Mr. Dudley could be another non-normative form of protection, one th at defends Constantia against the benevolent patriarch who has crossed already blurry fam ilial boundaries. Thus, Ormonds assertion that my deed conferred the benefit because of Dudleys labour to seduce Constantia from his grasp indicates not merely fear that Constantia would be taken away but also anger over the sexual impropriety denoted by the word seduce (Brown 265). Further, if Ormond is really Martinette who experienced the unwanted atten tions a priest in chil dhood after becoming an orphan, then s/he becomes the rake who saves Cons tantia from circumstances that echo her own. Moreover, Sophia, like Mr. Dudley can be considered a problematic bourgeois figure who attempts to control Constantia. Unlike Ormond and Martinette, class is not Sophias masquerade but her embodiment. While Ormond plays with cla ss, treating its requirements with systematic negligence, Sophia seeks to in corporate Constantia into a normative narrative of gendered bourgeois behavior (128). T hus, Martinette, as Ormond, seeks to protect Constantia from Sophias overdetermined class pos ition. These possibilities, coupl ed with the appearance of 6 Additionally, Elizabeth Barnes clai ms that because filial attachment formed the basis of sociopolitical attachments such importance is placed on family bonding that personal an d interpersonal spaces become blurred and give rise to the anxiety of familial incest (142). Given the textual evidence for incest along with the strong likelihood that incest would be articulated in a novel that has so frequently been interpreted as a voice for cultural anxieties, an incest plot is quite likely.

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44 Craig and other elements of the plot which seem to allow the possibility that Constantia is producing a false narrative for Sophias benefit, align Craigs supposed villainy with Ormonds. Thus, the narrative indicates that when read from the perspect ive of the marginalized groups, both class and gender variance are often necessitate d by self-protection rath er than a desire to willfully overthrow normative culture.7 Similarly, if Ormond is Martinette, as the na rrative suggests, race in the novel becomes another point through which Brown can subm it radically different communities as countercultural possibilities. Martin ette describes herself as Greek and Slavic to explain her dark skin, but this may be just another disguise. In fact, Constantia displays a considerable amount of incredulity about Martinettes origins, and Martinette beco mes quite defensive, stating Wonderful! Thy ignorance, thy miscalculation of pr obabilities is far more so (194). This defensiveness belies the underlying li kelihood that Martinettes story is not entirely true. In fact, Shapiro asserts that Because Brown frequently uses images of ethno-raci al passing in his other fiction and had written a short st ory that describes a French migr living openly with his mixedrace wife, Ursula Monrose to whom Constantia is first attracted might actually be Monroses mulatta Haitian mistress rather than his daughter (370). Shapiro then implies that Ursula Monrose has assassinated her lover in order to pass for white and to protect the mans darkerskinned slaves (371). Since the text later makes clear that Mart inette and Ursula Monrose are the same individual, and since Martinette is confla ted with Ormond, not only is Martinette 7 Similarly, Halberstam discusses how class and queer de sire are separated in the bourgeois reading of Brandon Teenas life. The racially slain victim is completely ignored in most narrativ es of the story, and the killers are portrayed as evil mostly because of their class position. In fact, even Bran don is sometimes portrayed as evil by texts that seek to malign his treatment of women in a misplaced feminist sent iment. Such texts emphasize his credit card fraud and how he often misused the credit cards of hi s girlfriends. Brandons inability to have a sex change operation because of his class status is often similarly ignored as a reason that he might have continued passing without hormones or surgery. In general, there is a lack of class scrutiny in the Br andon Teena story because of unwillingness on the part of many queer subjects to embrace class as one of the mitigating factors of Brandons circumstances.

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45 crossing up in race in order to protect others of her race from slavery but, as Ormond, she may also be crossing down in race, attempting to expo se others prejudices so that her passing might not be exposed (Brown 190). Furthermore, if Ormond is actually a biracial figure crossing down to seem black and Martinette is the same biracial figure crossing up to seem white, the constructed nature of race becomes exposed. Ju st like the constructed nature of gender, surface changes and the beliefs of others rather than any intrinsic racial nature define what is called race. Combining constructed race and construc ted gender in the same two characters also importantly exposes how these c onstructions work together in a time period in which racial prejudice often gives rise to prejudices about sexuality.8 Understanding Ormond through Halberstams concepts of queer time and space not only further explains how intersections happen in the novel, but it also provid es historical insight about the reasons why both queer and other marginal ized groups behave according to the logic of queer time and queer space. By realizing the hi storically constructed a nd intertwined nature of societal prejudices against several different t ypes of marginalized gr oups, queer theorists and activists can work with rather than against these groups. It is important to understand, as Foucault states, in the novel as now, that queer threatens society as a way of life (qtd. in Halberstam 1). In fact, unde rstanding the way that char acters become subversive in Ormond may help contemporary theorists find new forms of resistance. While it may never be advisable to commit murder or to appear in a multitude of disguises, attacking dominant culture by 8 This is very similar to the type of racial prejudice that occurs during the AIDS cris is, according to Halberstam. While upper white middle class gays have access to medical care and allow us to feel co mpassion for those with the disease, black victims of the AIDS virus are thought to be expendable bodies and are still maligned for the supposed sexual excess that causes the disease. Therefore, those who are marginalized on both the levels of queer embodiments and race become the more important test cases for freedom, just as Martinette and Ormond become the limit cases for what the late eighteenth century w ill tolerate in deviation from the societal norm.

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46 exposing its constructed prejudices on multiple fronts may be the most advantageous method of protest.

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47 CHAPTER 5 BEYOND ORMOND : BROWNS ALTERNATI VE COM MUNITIES AND CONTEMPORARY REVOLUTION While it is important to be vigilant as theorists in order that we do not remove historical novels and other texts from their contexts simply to further a contemporary agenda, tracing queer embodiments through other historical periods remain s important to the queer project. Shapiro and others have given ample evidence that subj ective identity is not the only possibility for historicizing queer desire. By tr acing the history of queer parainst itutions to current concepts of queer community, we can find clues from the past that may aid current strategies for resisting anti-queer forces in dominant culture. By understanding queer resistance strategies of the past, we can not only adapt them to current strategies bu t we can also avoid past pitfalls. In the same way that it would be wrong to i gnore historical evidence that doe s not support the idea of an existence of queer individual identity, it would be equally detrimental to ignore similarities which clearly exist between our methods of re sisting dominant social pressures and earlier methods of queer resistance. What is importa nt about the current scholarship in American sexualities is that it legitimates itself through pain staking historical resear ch in order to locate irrefutable evidence for its conclusions. Even more importantly, however, by refusing simplistic representations of historical sexuality, it participates in an even larger political project whic h deconstructs neo-conservative notions that queerness or any ot her ideology, for that matter, ha s always been understood in the same terms while at the same time locating hist orical forms of resistan ce that might forward current forms of protest ag ainst the attempted erasure of queer embodiments. While I have not yet historically examined other ways of forming queer community such as changes in so-called camp sensibilities from the eighteenth century to the present or bar/pub

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48 cultures as they relate to mo lly houses, the early American period remains a rich space for creatively theorizing queer embodiments of the pa st by carefully and contextually applying the lenses of current queer theory. A comparative reading of all of the nove ls of Charles Brockden Brown or a comparative of several types of gothic or seduction novels using similar queer theories would assuredly be productive. Ultimate ly, contemporary queer th eory teaches us that, rather than simply reinforcing the domina nt culture with a containment narrative, Ormond crosses and confuses boundaries, laws and official narratives not to ultimately create a narrative for being but to question all ways of being in order to allow a space for radical individual ontology. This, in fact, may be the novels most important queer rebellion.

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49 WORKS CITED Axelrod, Alan. Charles Brockden Brown: An American Tale. Austin: U of Texas P, 1983. Barnard, Philip, Mark Kam rath and Stephen Shapiro, eds. Introduction. Revising Charles Brockden Brown: Culture Politics, and Sexuality in the Early Republic. Knoxville: U of Tenn. P, 2004. Benjamin, Walter. The Arcades Project. Trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin. Cambridge: Belknap-Harvard UP, 1999. Bennett, Maurice J. An American traditionThree Studies : Charles Brockden Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry James. New York: Garland, 1987. Brown, Charles Brockden. Ormond; or, the Secret Witness. Ed. Mary Chapman. Toronto: Broadview Press, 1999. Burgett, Bruce. In the Name of Sex. Foru m: Reconsidering Early American Sexuality. William and Mary Quarterly. 60.1(2003): 185-188. Butler, David. Dissecting a Human Heart: A Study of St yle in the Novels of Charles Brockden Brown. Washington: University Press of America, 1978. Clark, David Lee. Charles Brockden Brown: Pioneer Voice of America. Durham: Duke UP, 1952. Chapman, Mary. Introduction. Ormond, or the Secret Witness. By Charles Brockden Brown. Ed. Mary Chapman. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1999. 9-31. Comment, Kristin. Charl es Brockden Browns Ormond and Lesbian Possibility in the Early Republic. Early American Literature. 40.1(2005): 57-78. Cvetkovich, Anne. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, S exuality, and Lesbian Public Culture. Durham: Duke UP, 2003. Davidson, Cathy. Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America. New York: Oxford UP, 1986. Derrida, Jacques. Archive Fever. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1995. Faderman, Lillian. Surpassing the Love of Men. New York: William and Morrow, 1981. Fiedler, Leslie. Love and Death in the American Novel. Cleveland: World Publishing, 1962. Ferguson, Robert A. Yellow Fever and Charles Brockden Brown: The Context of the Emerging Novelist. Early American Literature. 14.3 (1979): 293-305.

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50 Fisher, Kirsten and Jennifer Morgan. Sex, Race, and the Colonial Project. Forum: Reconsidering Early American Sexuality. William and Mary Quarterly. 60.1(2003): 197198. Ford, Richard Thompson. Whats Queer About Race? South Atlantic Quarterly. 106.3(2007): 477-484 Grabo, Norman S. The Coincidental Art of Charles Brockden Brown. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1981. Halberstam, Judith. In a Queer Time and Place: Trans gender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York: NYUP, 2005. Halperin, David. Is There a History of Sexuality. Ed. Henry Abelove, et. al. The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 1993. 416-431. Juster, Susan. Eros and Desire in Earl y Modern Spirituality. Forum: Reconsidering Early American Sexuality. William and Mary Quarterly. 60.1(2003): 203-206. Kafer, Peter. Charles Brockden Browns Revoluti on and the Birth of American Gothic. Philadelphia : U Penn. P, 2004. Krause, Sydney J. Ormond: How Rapidl y and How Well Composed, Arranged and Delivered. Early American Literature. 13 (1978/9): 238-249. Lewis, Paul. Attaining Masculinity: Charles Brockden Brown and Woman Warriors of the 1790s. Early American Literature 40 (2005): 37-55. Myles, Anne G. Queering the Study of Early Am erican Sexuality. Foru m: Reconsidering Early American Sexuality. William and Mary Quarterly. 60.1(2003): 199-202. Pettengill, Claire C. Sisterhood in a Separate Sphere: Female Friendship in Hannah Webster Fosters The Coquette and The Boarding School Early American Literature 27 (1992): 185-203. Ringe, Donald A. Charles Brockden Brown. New York: Twayne, 1966. Scheick, William J. The Problem of Origination in Browns Ormond. Critical Essays on Charles Brockden Brown Ed. Bernard Rosenthal. Boston, G.K. Hall, 1981. 126-141. Shapiro, Stephen. In a French Position: Radi cal Pornography and Homoerotic Society in Charles Brockden Browns Ormond or the Secret Witness. Long Before Stonewall: Histories of Same-Sex Sex uality in Early America. Ed. Thomas Foster. New York: NYUP, 2007. 357-383. Shapiro, Stephen. Sexuality: An Early Ameri can Mystery. Forum: Reconsidering Early American Sexuality. William and Mary Quarterly. 60.1(2003): 189-192.

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51 Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia UP, 1985. Smith, Heather. Cross-Dressing and C ontainment in Charles Brockden Browns Ormond. Sex and Sexuality in Early America. Ed. Merril D. Smith. New York: NYUP, 1998. 240-261. Stern, Julia A. The Plight of Feeling: Sympathy and Dissent in the Early American Novel Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1997. Tobin, Robert. Warm Brothers: Queer Theory in the Age of Goethe. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2000. Trumbach, Randolph. Sex and the Gender Revolution: Heterosexuality and the Third Gender in Enlightenment London. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998. Warfel, Harry. Charles Brockden Brown: American Gothic Novelist. Gainesville: U of Florida P, 1949. Wilde, Oscar. Intentions. 1891. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004. Wilson, Michael. Thoughts on the History of Sexuali ty. Forum: Reconsidering Early American Sexuality. William and Mary Quarterly. 60.1(2003): 193-196. Young, Timothy G. Evidence: Toward a Library Definition of Ephemera. RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage. 4.1 (2003): 11-26.

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52 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Brittany S. Luck earned her bachelors degr ee in English from Sa mford University in Birmingham, Alabama in 2004. After completing her masters degree in English with a focus on genders, feminisms, and sexualities at the University of Florida in Gainesville, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in early American litera ture while maintaining particular focus on the study of gender and sexualities within early American work.