New Books in the Arts & Sciences

Jane Austen, and Women Writers “At Home in the World”

Friday, November 17, 2017  1:00pm The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

Registration

Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated

Sponsors

The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences in the Humanities

New Books in the Arts & Sciences
         —panel discussions celebrating recent work by the Columbia Faculty,

At Home In The World
by Maria DiBattista and Deborah Nord

In a bold and sweeping reevaluation of the past two centuries of women's writing, At Home in the World argues that this body of work has been defined less by domestic concerns than by an active engagement with the most pressing issues of public life: from class and religious divisions, slavery, warfare, and labor unrest to democracy, tyranny, globalism, and the clash of cultures. In this new literary history, Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord contend that even the most seemingly traditional works by British, American, and other English-language women writers redefine the domestic sphere in ways that incorporate the concerns of public life, allowing characters and authors alike to forge new, emancipatory narratives.

The book explores works by a wide range of writers, including canonical figures such as Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Harriet Jacobs, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, and Toni Morrison; neglected or marginalized writers like Mary Antin, Tess Slesinger, and Martha Gellhorn; and recent and contemporary figures, including Nadine Gordimer, Anita Desai, Edwidge Danticat, and Jhumpa Lahiri. DiBattista and Nord show how these writers dramatize tensions between home and the wider world through recurrent themes of sailing forth, escape, exploration, dissent, and emigration. Throughout, the book uncovers the undervalued public concerns of women writers who ventured into ever-wider geographical, cultural, and political territories, forging new definitions of what it means to create a home in the world.

The result is an enlightening reinterpretation of women's writing from the early nineteenth century to the present day.

Reading Jane Austen
by Jenny Davidson

Whether you're new to Austen's work or know it backwards and forwards already, this book provides a clear, full and highly engaging account of how Austen's fiction works and why it matters. Exploring new pathways into the study of Jane Austen's writing, novelist and academic Jenny Davidson looks at Austen's work through a writer's lens, addressing formal questions about narration, novel writing, and fictional composition as well as themes including social and women's history, morals and manners. Introducing new readers to the breadth and depth of Jane Austen's writing, and offering new insights to those more familiar with Austen's work, Jenny Davidson celebrates the art and skill of one of the most popular and influential writers in the history of English literature.

Participants

  • Author

    Jenny Davidson

    Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature

    Columbia University

  • Author

    Deborah Nord

    Professor of English

    Princeton University

  • Author

    Maria DiBattista

    Professor of English

    Princeton University

  • Discussant

    Ruth Yeazell

    Chace Family Professor of English

    Yale University

  • Discussant

    Claudia Johnson

    Murray Professor of English Literature

    Princeton University

  • Moderator

    Arden Hegele

    Lecturer in English

    Columbia University

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