3/12 — Adapting Uncle Tom's Cabin

    In the first half of the semester we began looking at the way Uncle Tom's Cabin was adapted by artists working in different media and serving different causes. For the rest of the semester we'll also be exploring the ways in which Uncle Tom's Cabin was adapted by different historical periods, with different cultural needs. I want to use this first class of "the rest of the semester" to take a long view of these various adaptive processes.

    We'll start with what you could call the soundtrack of
Uncle Tom's Cabin as a cultural phenomenon.
      The links on this page lead to the lyrics for the songs we've identified that were written specifically about or for the novel or its dramatizations, from 1852 through 1925. Read through this material. 16 of the songs are playable (4 from the 1850s in modern performances; 12 from the early 20th century, in original recordings). Get online through a fast connection and listen to these. (And if you know how to read music, you'll also find links to the sheet music for many of the other songs at other archives.)

      "Tomitudes" is the name that was given at some point early on in the story we're studying to the various material incarnations of the Uncle Tom phenomenon. As you'll see at the homepage off the link above, this category includes decorations for the parlor, games for children, ads for products, &c. Look at as much of this material as you can stand, but make sure you look closely at the following specific items:
          Staffordshire Figurines (1850s)
          Metal Figurines (1850s)
          Staffordshire Figurine (1850s)
          Ceramic Ashtray (c1900?)
          Staffordshire Pitcher (1850s)
          Decorative Screen (1850s)
          Souvenir Handkerchiefs (1850s)
          Uncle Tom Button (c1900?)
          Card Game (1850s)
          Toy Village (1900s)
          Paper Cutouts (1895)
          Topsy|Eva Doll (1929)
          Plantation Party (1949)
          UTC IN ADVERTISEMENTS   (From the items on this page make sure you look at Topsy Tobacco, Thomson Ad Agency, Desserts by Elizabeth Woody and Inkograph Pens.