Shameful Spectacles: Affect, Gender, and Subjectivity in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




While shame might, at first glance, appear the hallmark emotion of Victorian repression, this project argues that it shapes major developments in the nineteenth-century British novel form that challenge restrictive conceptions of gendered subjectivity, sexuality, and social relations. Tracing the formal and ideological impact of shame in the novels of Frances Burney, Jane Austen, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charlotte Brontë, and George Du Maurier illuminates how significant innovations in novel form, especially in novelistic voice, result from the search for intimate affective modes other than sympathetic.