Dr. Mary Lee Stephenson Huffer is currently Senior Professor of English at Lake Sumter Community College in Leesburg, Florida. She received her Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Florida.
2007 0-7734-5282-6 This study examines Emily Dickinson’s experiential poetics and her position within and against the changing orthodoxy during the Second Great Awakening, which is best demonstrated by the orthodox sermons of her contemporary, Reverend Dr. Charles Wadsworth. Wadsworth’s published sermons and his “rhetoric of sensation” reflect the characteristics of the changing orthodoxy that arose from the conflict between the liberal Unitarians and the conservative Congregationalists. The tension of knowing and not knowing that existed between these two divergent and convergent faiths created the perfect literary situation in which Dickinson could thrive as a poetic figure. Therefore, this context will shed new light on the study of Dickinson and her work.