about

 

alimegreemcouchinside_smallbout me
I am a PhD History Candidate at New York University, studying nineteenth century American History, with special attention to the period of the Civil War and Reconstruction. I am most interested in the transformation from slavery to free-labor, and the problem of social emancipation as it presented itself in the age of industrial capitalism.

about the blog
This little piece of virtual space will provide an avenue for making sense of my research, interests in historical material, and aesthetic experiences. It will be a record of sorts, an externalization of living — in whatever minute dimension this format allows.

About the title, “eleutheromania,” I don’t find myself entirely sympathetic to Carlyle, although I do find him a fascinating example of the deep disenchantment with the project of liberalism in the nineteenth century. A good deal of his observations are astute, but it’s not for nothing that the American Southern planters employed Carlyle in order to support their vision of an “aristocratic republic.” There was something deeply anti-bourgeois in Carlyle’s sentiments, and thus, I think, regressive. Nonetheless, his painstaking reflections on the contradictory forces brought forth by the emergence of bourgeois capitalist society stand as a testament to the depth of the confusion arising in the age of industrial capitalism, and especially in regards to the problem of human freedom. Because this legacy remains, it is our task to supersede the problem. Until then, we’ve yet to truly prove Carlyle wrong.