The Life of Paper
Highlighting the role of the epistolary in the making of Western civilization, the Introduction argues that deep within such movements and the conditions of violent duress they produce, the mundane activities of communities to reconstitute themselves—as manifest in letter correspondence—emerge discernibly as essential to social life rather than seemingly adjunct to it: facilitating a means for people to reproduce themselves at every scale of existence, from bodily integrity to subjectivity to collective and spiritual essence. Methodologically, the Introduction argues that regional approaches to spatial analysis modeled by Black geographies, alongside historical materialist approaches to literary studies modeled by Asian American, Queer, and Black cultural theory, yield unique insights into articulations of difference, power, and globality that have been under-studied while simultaneously opening new epistemological horizons for their investigation.
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