Abstract: Pauline E. Hopkins & Black Publishing

Scholars often discuss the literary field in terms of the strained relationship between its creative and commercial interests. However, for African Americans at the turn of the twentieth century, these interests were deeply intertwined. I contend that agents in the black literary world defined the field by its interdependence rather than by its autonomy. To explore this dynamic, this essay examines the publishing career of Pauline E. Hopkins whose work as an editor, composer, and author made her essential to shaping and maintaining the African American literary field between 1879 and 1916.

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