Settler Discourses of Reform in The Scarlet Letter

Jessica Cowing

College of William and Mary

Jessica Cowing is a PhD candidate in the American Studies Program at the College of William and Mary. Her dissertation examines nineteenth and early twentieth-century narratives of Native sovereignty through settler discourses of ability, reform, and assimilation. Jessica’s research interests include Native/Indigenous studies, critical disability studies, and American literature. Jessica received the 2016 Critical Disability Studies Caucus Award for the best graduate student paper in critical disability studies at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting.


In “The Governor’s Hall” and “The Elf-Child and the Minister,” local magistrates examine Hester and Pearl in order to determine if Hester is a fit guardian. In other words, Hester’s capacity to undertake Pearl’s... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Jessica Cowing (College of William and Mary)

Topic Area

Childhood Teleologies: Climates of Growth


S7b » Seminar 7.b: Childhood Teleologies: Climates of Growth II (10:15 - Saturday, 24th March, Boardroom East)

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