Saturday, May 06, 2017

Saturday, May 06, 2017 12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
Some recent Brontë-related thesis research:
Knowing Others, Or Not: Performing, Caring, Foreboding, and Acknowledging in Nineteenth-Century British Fiction
Meechal Hoffman, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
February 2017

Knowing Others, Or Not makes two overarching claims about the nineteenth-century novel’s depictions of relations. First, they are overwhelmingly concerned with epistemological questions about knowing others, and second, more often than not, the problem of other minds is portrayed as productive of both pleasure and valuable negative affects. While much scholarship on the relational nineteenth century focuses on either sympathy or social responsibility within the framework of liberal individualism, I show instead that the authors in this study—Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Wilkie Collins, and George Eliot—repeatedly register doubt about the usefulness or possibility of authenticity, and posit the pleasure that bad feelings can bring to characters and readers. As my subtitle indicates, I focus on four sites of epistemological inquiry: performances of authenticity, care relations that distinguish between care as an action and care as a feeling, foreboding as a feeling unlike anxiety that stems from accurate knowledge, and acknowledgment of others in the place of sympathy or knowledge. Throughout, this dissertation asks questions about performance, affect, and knowledge—What emotions are structurally expected in what contexts? What social performances are demanded and by whom? What options are there for acting out? How can we allow for radical difference while acknowledging shared values?—and attends to the centrality of, and indeed encouragement of, bad behavior and feelings in the nineteenth-century novel.
From the Attic to the Screen: An Adaptation of Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea
Sunn, Farrah F.
Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Deborah Barker from English, The University of Mississippi.
April 2017

Jane and Antoinette is an adapted screenplay from the novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Rhys’s novel, written nearly one hundred years after the publication of Jane Eyre in 1847, functions as a prequel to the original text. I develop the two stories into one, cohesive narrative for the screen. The adaptation process includes close analyses of the texts, both independently and in relation to one another. I viewed all film or television adaptations of the two novels and read critical analyses of these adaptations. I also studied adaptation theory and applied those principles to the discipline of screenwriting.
This thesis includes a brief preface, which frames the social contexts of Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea at the times that they were written. The preface also describes characteristics of film adaptations and my decision-making process. As per traditional screenplay formatting, the premise, synopsis, and script then exist together as an independent work. A bibliography is included at the end. The screenplay is a culmination of the research I conducted and my own creative process. I extract key elements from each novel without attempting complete fidelity to either text. This creates space for the collaborative authorship of Brontë, Rhys, and I to share in Jane and Antoinette.
Processing the Suppressed: A Look into Productive Relationships in Jane Eyre and Villette
Sierra Carney
Davis & Elkins College. Research Advisor: Dr. Katherine Osborne
April 2017

In order to become a truly aware, authentic self, individuals must process their suppressed experiences and desires. This act is most effectively done when the individual is able to accept their experiences through seeing their suppressed self-reflected in or approved by another individual. In Charlotte Brontë’s novels Jane Eyre and Villette, Brontë describes the journey to an authentic self through the female protagonist’s relationship with her male counterparts. Within both novels, the protagonist has a choice between two men: an ideal, marriage-plot husband and an unlikely brute. The men that are ultimately chosen allow a pathway for the protagonist to process their suppressed desires because the man understands the woman as a being-in-creation, rather than a finished product. By entering into these relationships that encourage self-growth, the women are engaging in relationships that rely on a substance deeper than what is found in traditional marriage-plot novels.


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