Romantic Sexuation: The Enjoyment of Sexual Difference in British Romanticism

Sigler, David Scott, Department of English, University of Virginia
Ross, Marlon B., Department of English, University of Virginia

“Romantic Sexuation” argues that gender can be understood as a logical system within British Romantic literature. After explaining that system, it shows how certain texts applied pressure to its logical aporias, so as to render imaginable interdicted forms of sexuality. Adapting a Freudian-Lacanian theoretical framework for the specific demands of literary Romanticism, this project traces the pathways of desire through the literature of the period, showing how literary works by Edmund Burke, Mary Robinson, Ann Radcliffe, Joanna Southcott, Charlotte Dacre, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley construed and re-construed sexual difference and gendered identity. Attuned to the ways that unusual configurations of desire could gain momentum within British Romanticism, this study makes available a fuller view of gender and sexuality in the period than is afforded by the familiar masculine/feminine, queer/straight binaries.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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