Sanchez–Eppler, Karen 1959(?)-
Sanchez–Eppler, Karen 1959(?)-
Born c. 1959. Education: Williams College, B.A., 1981; Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, B.A., 1983; Johns Hopkins University, M.A., 1986, Ph.D., 1990.
Amherst College, Amherst, MA, department of English, professor of English and American studies; Journal for the History of Childhood and Youth, founding editor. Visiting professor, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 1996.
Northeast Nineteenth-Century Women Writers Study Group (founding member, 1990—), American Antiquarian Society, Emily Dickinson Museum (member of board of governors; chair of educational policy and programming committee).
Honorary A.M., Amherst College, 2001; Fulbright senior lectureship at Universidad de Málaga, Spain, 2002; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 2002.
Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.
Dependent States: The Child's Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2005.
Contributor of chapters to various books. Contributor to various periodicals, including American Literary History.
Writer, editor, and educator Karen Sanchez-Eppler earned her undergraduate degree from Williams College in 1981, then continued on to take a second bachelor's degree from Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge in England. Sanchez-Eppler later completed her education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, earning first her master's degree and then her doctorate in English. She is a professor of English and American studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts; her academic and research interests are focused primarily on the relationships between literature, social structures, and changes within society. She has taught such classes as "Religion, Democracy, and American Culture" and "Making Places: Research Methods in American Cultures." Beyond her academic efforts, Sanchez-Eppler is the founding editor of the Journal for the History of Childhood and Youth, and has contributed to a number of books and periodicals, including American Literary History. She is also the author of Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body and Dependent States: The Child's Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture.
Touching Liberty takes an in-depth look at the literature of the mid-nineteenth century that related to personal identity, rights, and the ways in which a person was presented in public, including writings that promoted or opposed abolition and feminism. Much of the materials she looks at are antislavery, and led up to the creation of the Fifteenth Amendment. She also discusses how attitudes and perceptions in writings altered with the point of view of the author, some addressing physical representations of individuals while others looked more at the mind and soul. The works included for her analysis range from writings of feminist abolitionists to the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, to Harriet Jacobs's slave narrative. Kim Jenice Dillon, in a review for MELUS, commented that "the discussions of the writings by white feminist-abolitionists and the slave narrative by Harriet Jacobs are the strongest and most convincingly argued chapters in this study."
In Dependent States, Sanchez-Eppler addresses the role of the child in the development of popular culture, focusing on the antebellum period in American history to illustrate her points. She looks at the cultural production of children during the nineteenth century, including stories they wrote themselves, art work, and the songs and poems essential to the childhood education of the era. In addition, she addresses the writings of major literary figures of the period that either reflected on childhood or offered life lessons for younger readers, including Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Children's diaries and other incidental writings are also included. Jane F. Thrailkill, writing for Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, concluded that "while adroitly tracing the ideological and material formations of children in the antebellum United States, Sanchez-Eppler draws conclusions that extend well beyond the particular texts that she so effectively considers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Literature, June 1, 1994, Eric Lott, review of Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body, p. 379.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, February 1, 1994, R. McCaughey-Silvia, review of Touching Liberty, p. 936; June 1, 2006, J. Sochen, review of Dependent States: The Child's Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture, p. 1.
Journal of American Culture, March 1, 2007, Kathy Merlock Jackson, review of Dependent States, p. 122.
Journal of American History, September 1, 1994, Nell Irvin Painter, review of Touching Liberty, p. 692; June 1, 2006, Mark I. West, review of Dependent States, p. 210.
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, June 1, 2006, Jane F. Thrailkill, review of Dependent States, p. 201.
MELUS, fall, 1995, Kim Jenice Dillon, review of Touching Liberty, p. 163.
Nineteenth-Century Literature, December 1, 1994, review of Touching Liberty, p. 427.
Amherst College Web site,http://www.amherst.edu/ (May 14, 2008), faculty profile.