Deborah Morse, of William & Mary (Williamsburgh, Virginia), presents ‘Burning Art and Political Resistance: Anne Brontë’s Radical Imaginary of Wives, Enslaved People, and Animals in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)’ in this English Research Seminar.
Anne Brontë’s art exposes the legal and cultural privilege that connects male acts of violence against women and animals. Brontë also evokes the history of chattel slavery through language and plot, as well as by setting The Tenant of Wildfell Hall during the 1820s, the decade of most fervent parliamentary debate upon British West Indian slavery before its abolition in 1833. Brontë connects violence toward women’s bodies and the enslaved bodies unrepresented in Tenant, Sutherland’s ‘unnarrated hinterland’ of the Victorian novel — erased bodies repeatedly called forth by the shared, echoing language of feminist and abolitionist discourses.
The seminar will be held in the Lawson Lecture Room, Kennedy Hall.