Month: May 2016

Romantic Outlaws (Chapters 11-20): Motherhood, Literature, and Rebellion

Chapters 11-20 of Charlotte Gordon’s Romantic Outlaws follows Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley as they begin to publish their most influential literary texts. Though Wollstonecraft would later write several fictional works, her political and philosophical writings have been her most successful. A Vindication of the Rights of Man (1790) and A Vindication of the Rights…

Outlander Season 2: Review of Episodes 4-5

Black Jack is back! There’s no point in burying the lede here. The return of sadistic Captain Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall is probably the most important event in the action-packed Episodes 4-5, “La Dame Blanche” and “Untimely Resurrection.” Outlander can have a tendency to move slowly, but I certainly can’t critique the brisk pacing of…

Romantic Outlaws (chapters 1-10): Motherhood, Literature, and Rebellion

Last week, I began to read Charlotte Gordon’s recent text, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her Daughter Mary Shelley. While these two women are unarguably two of the most fascinating figures in literary history, I nonetheless expected their biographies to be somewhat dry, likely due to my limited, stereotypical understanding of…

Move Over, Downton: Louis XIV Returns in Versailles with One Reign to Rule Them All

In March, Downton Abbey set its last table, rang its last bell, and gave its memorable chandelier a final gentle dusting. After six seasons of laughter, heartbreak, and satisfying one liners from the unshakeable Maggie Smith, Crawley and Co. bid us goodnight. But devoted friends of the series need not resort to full mourning over the…

Rethinking the Academic Conference – Notes from ASECS 2016

Prefatory Note: What follows is a working outline of suggestions generated at the “Rethinking the Academic Conference” workshop held at the 2016 ASECS meeting in Pittsburgh. In addition to the notes taken during that workshop, I asked that remote members use the #myasecs hashtag to provide further suggestions and comment. I am grateful to David…