Date of Award
Campus Access Dissertation
English Language and Literatures
David S Shields
A table is an intersection, a crossroads, a convergence, a gathering. Imitating this spirit, my project explores the numerous ways the table has been set in American life and letters: from Herman Melville's reincarnated apple-tree table to dinners displaced by bodies on Eudora Welty's tables, from table expectations in nineteenth-century domestic manuals to deathway traditions repurposing those same tables, from cannibalistic inversions of the table to the communion table in Toni Morrison's Beloved. Life and death, food and body, consumption and communion - the table brings us to a place where object becomes symbol, where ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Smith, A. L.(2011). Shall We Gather At the Table?: the Symbolic, Material, and Cultural Significance of the Table In American Life and Letters. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/1098