Faculty Publishing News

Congratulations to Professor Patrick McDonald on the recent publication of his work!

Professor Patrick McDonald’s new monograph, Liberalism, Theology, and the Performative in Antebellum American Literature is now available from Routledge press. This work examines the “wide range of narrative fiction from sentimental novels to sensational drama and identifies a foundational link between liberal institutions and performative utterances. Auctions, trials, marriages, and contracts, this fiction contends, all depend on the self-constituting authority of words and performances which anybody and everybody can appropriate and are always subject to misfiring. … Anticipating thinkers like Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben, these works suggest that legitimate political authority depends upon its ability to represent Christian transcendence and account for revealed truth, something firmly outside of speech acts’ and performance’s purview. In so doing, this diverse body of fiction registers a desire to reconstitute political authority on transcendent and representable ground, augmenting institutional reliance on mere words and assuaging the contemporary crises of confidence and authority.”

To see the Table of Contents and read a preview, visit the announcement of the book on the Routledge website.

Congratulations, Dr. McDonald!


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