Landscape and Territory: American Literature, Expansion, and National Crisis, 1784-1866.
Thomas Dikant. Munich: Fink, 2014.
Landscape and Territory: American Literature, Expansion, and National Crisis, 1784-1866 investigates the relation of landscape and territory in American literature, from the first Territorial Ordinance of 1784 to the Civil War and the beginnings of Reconstruction. Whereas previous work on the representation of space in American Studies focused on terms such as the pastoral, landscape, or, more recently, geography, my book introduces territory as a necessary conceptual complement to landscape, and thereby shifts the discussion beyond an ideological critique of landscape without limiting itself to an analysis of non-aesthetic political space.