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Pioneering Scholar Presents Bishop Lecture, April 17th
The Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries
Scholarly Communication Center, 4th Floor|
Archibald S. Alexander Library
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey
This year’s Bishop lecture will feature Elaine Showalter, former Rutgers University professor (1967-1984) and currently English Professor of Princeton University, who will discuss “A Literature of My Own – Living With Victorian Women Writers.”
Professor Showalter, a noted scholar who helped establish and continues to invigorate the field of feminist literary criticism, is the author of A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing (1977), The Female Malady (1985), and most recently Hystories (1998).
Her published works examine the way women have been represented in classic and current literature, often challenging prevailing views. "Hystories" took this approach one step further by offering a perspective contrary to prevailing social opinions on such maladies as Gulf War illnesses, chronic fatigue syndrome and alien abduction. Termed "a spirited Freudo-literary analysis" by the New York Times Book Review and built on extensive research, "Hystories" points out common factors in six well-known disorders that continue to elude classification or cures.
At Rutgers, at a time when few other educational institutions devoted any courses on feminist literary criticism, one of the first courses Showalter taught focused on the image of the educated woman in English and American literature. While at Douglass, she wrote "A Literature of Their Own," a groundbreaking work in which she theorized that women's writing evolved in distinct phases over time in response to social conditions and the prevalent limitations or freedoms for women.
Showalter's affinity for Rutgers is evident both in her return to deliver the Bishop Lecture and by her donation to the Rutgers University Libraries of her formidable collection of more than 500 19th- and 20th-century books. That collection includes a number of noteworthy volumes, including one written by Queen Victoria in 1868, another by Jane Welsh Carlyle (the wife of famous literary figure Thomas Carlyle) and an early French edition of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland."
Reception will follow the lecture.
RSVP (acceptance only) by April 13th