"…there is, finally, too much rather than too little to say about Uncle Tom's Cabin."
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
- 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,
- 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,
- This collection of essays offers a range of contemporary scholarly perspectives on the novel.
- 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,
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- This PBS site chronicles the history of American slavery through images, documents, stories, biographies, and
commentary. Includes teaching materials.
- American Memory
- 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
- 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
- This is the official website of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and Library.
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.