I’ve organized a panel at ASECS 2019 entitled “Early Incels: the Legacy of Eighteenth-Century Misogyny.” Read the call for papers here.
I’ll be speaking on the “50 Years of Richardson” Roundtable at ASECS 2019, delivering a paper entitled “The Novel That Never Ends.” In it, I argue that educators deal with the challenges posed by teaching Clarissa by reframing the novel as a generic experiment, to be read among other such texts (including post-modern and contemporary novels). Outside the eighteenth-century graduate level seminar, Clarissa hardly gets credit for its inventiveness, despite the fact that it has much in common with experiments like Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle and formal challenges like the newly-minted twitter novel. In fact, as Stephanie Hershinow has argued, Clarissa evidences a surprisingly contemporary obsession with keeping a log of life’s minutiae; like a twitter bot, or a fitness app, it plots discrete points that ultimately tell a larger story. It even shares some formal similarities with a twitter feed: each letter feels like a burst of immediate experience (despite being highly crafted behind the scenes), and yet when read together, it looks like a narrative that never ends. In this paper I discuss a few practical ways that instructors could help their departments and students think differently about Clarissa and Richardson in general and ask how the novel could enrich explorations of form outside of the long eighteenth century.
(Relatively Recent) Past Events:
I co-organized a special session for MLA 2019 entitled “Theorizing the New Rape Studies” with Doreen Thierauf. I’ll be talking about my critique of the critical practice I call “adjudicative reading.” Read a full description here.
I was honored to be invited to speak at the Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding (CERRU) as part of their yearly Innovation Exchange. The topic was #metoo. You can check out video of the event here.
I organized and spoke on a roundtable for the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting (NWSA) 2018 entitled “Imagine a World Without Rape.”
I spoke on “The Origins of the Rape-As-Aberration Plot,” at the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting (ASECS) in Orlando, FL.
I spoke on “Teaching the Literature of Sexual Violence in the Ear of the Trigger Warning,” at NWSA 2017 in Baltimore, MD. My talk was covered by Inside Higher Ed.
I delivered a paper entitled “Is Mr. Darcy a Rake? (And Other Questions about Austen’s Seductions),” at ASECS 2017.
I organized and presented on a panel entitled “Daring Second Glances: Rereading the Rape Narrative,” for the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA). My paper was called “‘Clarissa Lives’: Rape and Epistemology in Clarissa.”
I organized and presented on a special session at MLA entitled “Framing the Rape Victim in the Long Nineteenth Century” which invited feminist theorist Carine Mardorossian (author of Framing the Rape Victim: Gender and Agency Reconsidered) to respond to applications of her theory to the literature of the nineteenth century.
Contact me for more information about any of these events, or a full list of engagements.
Image: Alice Liddell as Pomona, by Julia Margaret Cameron. Via the Met Museum.