New Directions in the Humanities’s Updates

Kenneth DiMaggio – Winner of the International Award for Excellence for The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 14

The New Directions in the Humanities Research Network is pleased to announce the selection of “From Egypt to the Arizona Desert to Places Still to Come: The Ongoing Meta-literary Journey of Eliza’s Escape to Freedom in Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” by Kenneth DiMaggio, as the recipient of the International Award for Excellence for Volume 14 of the New Directions in the Humanities Journal Collection.

This article was selected for the award from among the ten highest-ranked articles emerging from the peer-review process and according to the selection criteria outlined in the referee guidelines.

For a limited time, download the full article for FREE from our bookstore.

In his words:

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of those novels we all seem to know about but probably have not read. Even if we have read it, many of us have probably done so from the perspective that it is more of a historical document. Slavery ended in this country more than a century ago, making Uncle Tom’s Cabin a book that will never transcend Antebellum America.
But Uncle Tom’s Cabin is more than just a text of its time. The scene where the slave Eliza feels across the ice-clogged Ohio River with her son Harry (who is slated to be sold to another master) is the archetype of the refugee crossing borders that will mean freedom for them. Eliza’s flight can be traced back to the flight of Holy Family in the New Testament; where Mary, Joseph, and the Infant Jesus fled Israel after King Herod issued an edict to kill newborns in an attempt to eradicate the prophetic threat that Jesus posed to him. The archetype is alive and well today in mothers fleeing with their children from the violence of Guatemala or Honduras, and by crossing the Mexican border into the United States, they hope that their children will also be safe. Eliza and her son Harry are very real people today. The question is: do we welcome them or not after they cross our border?

  • Asun López-Varela Azcárate