Sep
02

Strategies of Containment: The Return to Williamsburg

Over the past few weeks, I have been swept up in the rush of new student orientation and the first days of class, but it’s time now to get back to business on my honors project. I’m seeing opportunities for application to my thesis in some of coursework in the English department already. This fall,…
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Aug
20

Strategies of Containment: Wessex Tales

From August 11th to 13th, I traveled throughout the region of Dorset county that corresponds to important locations in Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. Hardy himself was born in the small village of Higher Bockhampton, and his fictional characters and landscapes occupy an imagined region of England called “Wessex.” Wessex derives its name from…
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Aug
12

Strategies of Containment: Supplementary Fictions

One thing I’ve always been struck by in reading criticism has been the near impossibility of containing an argument entirely to a single work. If one writes a long piece on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, one might also feel impelled to mention Villette or Emily’s Wuthering Heights, or some other contemporary novel like Vanity Fair or Mary Barton. It’s hard to write about…
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Aug
11

Strategies of Containment: Thinking About London

I am writing this entry on my last evening in London before heading to Thomas Hardy’s Wessex tomorrow morning. After a day in bed with some unspecified illness (how Victorian!), I have spent the better part of a week reading in the British Library, making pilgrimage to literary and tourist destinations, and generally adopting a British…
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Aug
04

Strategies of Containment: Research Challenges and Mentorship

As summer rolls into the first full week of August, I continue to dive deeper and deeper into my investigations. In a lot of ways, however, I feel like I know less for certain than I did when I began.