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Regional Meeting: Another Queering of Mansfield Park

September 17 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Please join us IN PERSON on Saturday, September 17, 2022
at 12 NOON
at Connolly’s Pub & Restaurant (14 E 47th St, between Madison & 5th Avenues)
Another Queering of Mansfield Park: Incest and Sodomy, Fanny and Tom, and a Little Speculation about Sir Thomas
Registration Fee: $45.00
Includes lecture PLUS 4 course sit down lunch
(Cash bar)
More than one scholar has suggested that there is something “queer” about Fanny’s unspeakable love for her cousin Edmund. As Claudia Johnson reminds us, Henry Crawford actually uses the word to describe the heroine and explicitly wonders if there is something “wrong with [Fanny] (is she odd, out of sorts, cold, and thus peculiarly resistant to normal heterosexual seduction)?” My paper extends the discussion of Fanny’s queerness to include her eldest male cousin, Tom Bertram, who, I argue, may be a homosexual–or what, in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century terms, would be called a molly or sodomite. The evidence about Tom is not definitive and I am not declaring him gay. Rather, I am interested in the novel’s allusions to this possibility, and I connect them to Fanny’s definitively incestuous desire for her cousin Edmund. At the paper’s end, I also consider the novel’s allusions to Sir Thomas’s illicit and possibly even violent sexual behavior in Antigua.
SUSAN CELIA GREENFIELD is a professor of English at Fordham University, editor of Sacred Shelter: Thirteen Journeys of Homelessness and Healing (2019), author of Mothering Daughters: Novels and the Politics of Family Romance, Frances Burney to Jane Austen (2002, 2003), and co-editor of Inventing Maternity: Politics, Science and Literature, 1650-1865 (1999). She has also published many scholarly articles, op-eds, and short stories.
Registration CLOSES on Saturday, September 12, 2022


September 17
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category: