He Does Not Suffer Now: Death and Citizenship in the National Tale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The politics of death in the National Tale reveal a politics of bare life, rendering clear the boundary between the categories of citizens who are invested with rights and those whose lives can be killed without the violation of a law. The politics of death, sovereignty, and citizenship reveal the degree to which the power of the nation-state depends upon bodies that can be killed in order to demarcate the boundary not merely between citizen and non-citizen, but between the political subject and the private subject. By reading the politics of bare life through deaths in novels by Sydney Owenson, Germaine de Staël, and Maria Edgeworth, the National Tale offers citizenship only to those willing to surrender to the power of the sovereign, and marks as alien those lives deemed “unliveable” because of their refusal to submit to the biopolitics of modernity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPalgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
ISSN (Print)2634-6435
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6443

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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