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Jane Austen and Diversity: Laughter through Gritted Teeth

Posted in Arts & Culture
Jan 15, 2021

Literature Matters is a community lecture series hosted by the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan.

Literature Matters is a community lecture series in which members of the Department of English examine diverse literary topics.

Date: Friday, Jan. 15
Time: 3–4 pm (Sask. time)
Location: Online via Zoom

Free and open to the public

Register on Eventbrite

Jane Austen and Diversity: Laughter through Gritted Teeth

Presented by Kathleen James-Cavan

Kathleen James-Cavan
Kathleen James-Cavan

Long considered the most white-bread of British literature, next only to Shakespeare’s plays, Jane Austen’s works appear inured to conflict or controversy. In truth, however, neither is very far from her compositions buttressed as they are by the aftermath of the French revolution, the abolitionist movement, and Napoleonic Wars. But what can Jane Austen’s works say today amid a pandemic that daily manifests deadly inequities based on gender, race, class, and ability? From the dispossession of women in her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, to the commodification of the “half-mulatto” heiress Miss Lambe in her last and unfinished work, Sanditon, Austen’s novels critique privilege. Through the lens of disability studies, this paper examines how laughter through gritted teeth opens cracks in the smooth complexions of ableist hierarchies by focusing primarily on Emma, Persuasion, and Sanditon.

Info: english.department@usask.ca

 

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