Sunday, April 08, 2012

Working Weekend: in which I go back in time

When I was in college, my English classes did not stress historical context. My training lies in extended close readings. Until a year ago, it never occurred to me that one might (should?)consider anything outside of the text itself in a piece of literary analysis. Incidentally, I know very little about history. I took one history class on British Empire when I was in London--but of course, I was concentrating much more on being in London than I was on Empire or anything else that I was supposed to be learning about. My semester in England was more of an emotional and psychological education than an intellectual one.

Almost everything I know about American history I learned from the American Girl books growing up. Almost everything I know about world history I learned from Simone de Beauvoir's memoirs--or Doctor Who.

But suddenly I am a graduate student, and regardless of poststructuralism, I cannot ignore history. (For a million reasons, some intellectual and some ethical).

This weekend I have thrust myself back in time to the 18th and 19th centuries for two different assignments. I am writing a 5 page cultural history essay on hair jewelry in the 18th century, and a 5 page essay on three different reviews of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall from 1848. Meanwhile, I am reading a book on emotional discourse in the 19th century--which seems to tie everything together, in that I am investigating what feels like one giant cloud of sentimentality that set over Britain in the early 18th century and did not dissipate until the onset of Modernism in the early 20th century. That's me: feelings in literature. I'm that gal.

[cardigan: Urban Outfitters, dress: Modcloth, belt: vintage tights: Sock Dreams, boots: gifted, bag: Iowa City Public Library]


heymegz said...

my life is literature and history. as a dramaturg, i must be able to be learned in the historical context of the script and provide the actors, director (god forbid) and design staff with what the fuck is actually happening in the script.



Ester DurĂ£es said...

loving this look! the belt over the cardigan looks fantastic :)