A Wild and Savage Hue: Landscapes of Exile and Belonging in American Literature
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When William Bradford, the first governor of Plimouth Plantation, described the Pilgrims’ first glimpse of Cape Cod, he emphasized the bewilderment they felt at its “wild and savage hue.” Nearly three hundred years later, another Massachusetts writer, W.E.B. DuBois, spoke of having “been born by a golden river and in the shadow of two great hills.” Arguably, both men considered the North American landscape to be their home and also a place where they were constrained to live as exiles. In this talk Michael Hoberman will explore the fraught theme of place in American literature, from the colonial period to the present day.