Resources

"there is, finally, too much rather than too little to say about Uncle Tom's Cabin."
Jamie Stanesa *

Questions regarding the literary merits of Uncle Tom's Cabin and the social issues that it raises continue to provide rich material for scholarship and debate. This list highlights a few examples of scholarship on Uncle Tom's Cabin, focusing particular attention on resources useful for high schools. Also included are websites that provide teaching materials and further opportunities for research on American slavery and Stowe's historical moment.


Books

  • Ammons, Elizabeth, and Susan Belasco, eds., Approaches to Teaching Uncle Tom's Cabin (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000).
    These essays by high school and college teachers express a variety of perspectives on interpreting the novel and approaching it in the classroom.

  • Gossett, Thomas F., Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1985).
    Gossett's exploration of the context from which Stowe's novel emerged, and the reception it received, makes this book a helpful resource for students and teachers. Included are chapters such as "The Reaction to Uncle Tom's Cabin in the South," "Uncle Tom's Cabin as a Play in the 1850s," and "Critical Reception of Uncle Tom's Cabin: 1941 to the present."

  • Hedrick, Joan D., Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
    Hedrick's biography is the most recent and considered the most definitive work on scholarship on the life of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom's Cabin. 1852. Ed. Elizabeth Ammons. (New York; London, W.W. Norton and Co., 1994).
    The rich appendices of the 1994 Norton edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin include maps, slave sale announcements, excerpts from slave narratives, illustrations, a letter from Stowe, and critical reviews from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • Sundquist, Eric J., ed., New Essays on Uncle Tom's Cabin (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986).
    This collection of essays offers a range of contemporary scholarly perspectives on the novel.


Essays

  • Baldwin, James, "Everybody's Protest Novel," in Partisan Review 16 (1949): 578-585. Reprinted in Notes of a Native Son (Boston: Beacon Press, 1955).
    Baldwin's scathing critique in 1949 is still the most famous piece of critical scholarship on Uncle Tom's Cabin and an argument that continues to influence debates about Stowe's novel.

  • Peterson, Mary Jane, "Raising a Passionate Voice: Teaching Uncle Tom's Cabin to Less Experienced Readers," in Approaches to Teaching Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000): 142-149.
    Peterson, an eleventh grade teacher, believes teaching Uncle Tom's Cabin can enable students to find their own "passionate voice[s]." Her essay offers reading, writing, and discussion activities and describes how her students have responded.

  • Railton, Stephen, "White Readers and Black Slaves," in Approaches to Teaching Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000): 104-110.
    Railton's essay explores how black characters in Uncle Tom's Cabin offered vicarious spiritual salvation to Stowe's white readers. Its emphasis on the troubled union of social and religious issues in the novel makes this essay a helpful resource for Lesson 6 ("Religion in Uncle Tom's Cabin") of this web curriculum.


Related Websites

The links below will bring up the websites in new windows. To return to this site from one of the websites below, close the windows by clicking on the "x" at the top-right of the screen.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture
    http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/utc/
    The most extensive multi-media archive on Uncle Tom's Cabin in all its cultural manifestations. Includes illustrations, film clips, book reviews, and much more.

  • PBS's Culture Shock
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/
    This companion site to the PBS series about art, cultural values, and freedom of expression offers teachers supporting materials for addressing controversial subjects in the classroom.

  • Culture Shock's Huck Finn in Context: A Teaching Guide
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/teachers/huck/index.html
    This online curriculum for teaching Huckleberry Finn begins with a lesson entitled "Exploring the Controversy: The 'N' Word." Included are extensive resources for teachers and students on the question of addressing this word in the classroom.

  • Africans in America
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/
    This PBS site chronicles the history of American slavery through images, documents, stories, biographies, and commentary. Includes teaching materials.

  • American Memory
    http://rs6.loc.gov/amhome.html
    This Library of Congress site offers a rich array of primary documents on American history and culture. Includes teaching materials.

  • Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
    http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/index.html
    This site offers resources and teaching materials for exploring women's roles and the women's rights movement in the middle of the nineteenth century.

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe Center
    http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org
    This is the official website of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Library.


Plot Summaries

While no plot summary can substitute for experiencing Stowe's passionate voice, these websites offer students an opportunity to fill in narrative gaps if classes read only excerpts of the novel. Further information about Stowe and about the novel may be found here.



* Stanesa, Jamie, "Slaves, Slavery, and the Politics of 'Home,': An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching Uncle Tom's Cabin," in Approaches to Teaching Uncle Tom's Cabin.