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Full-Text Articles in Creative Writing

Whitewashing Blackface Minstrelsy In Nineteenth-Century England: Female Banjo Players In 'Punch', Laura Vorachek Jan 2015

Whitewashing Blackface Minstrelsy In Nineteenth-Century England: Female Banjo Players In 'Punch', Laura Vorachek

Laura Vorachek

Blackface minstrelsy, popular in England since its introduction in 1836, reached its apogee in 1882 when the Prince of Wales took banjo lessons from James Bohee, an African-American performer. The result, according to musicologist Derek Scott, was a craze for the banjo among men of the middle classes. However, a close look at the periodical press, and the highly influential Punch in particular, indicates that the fad extended to women as well. While blackface minstrelsy was considered a wholesome entertainment in Victorian England, Punch's depiction of female banjo players highlights English unease with this practice in a way that ...


Dangerous Women: Vera Caspary’S Rewriting Of 'Lady Audley’S Secret' In 'Bedelia', Laura Vorachek Jan 2015

Dangerous Women: Vera Caspary’S Rewriting Of 'Lady Audley’S Secret' In 'Bedelia', Laura Vorachek

Laura Vorachek

Considering Vera Caspary's Bedelia as a reimagining of Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret allows for a new critical interpretation that refutes the typical view of Bedelia as reinforcing traditional gender roles. Instead, Caspary critiques World War II America by bringing Victorian concerns with female roles into the twentieth century.


Crossing Boundaries: Land And Sea In Jane Austen's 'Persuasion', Laura Vorachek Jan 2015

Crossing Boundaries: Land And Sea In Jane Austen's 'Persuasion', Laura Vorachek

Laura Vorachek

Jane Austen suggests in Persuasion the pressures that the increased mobility of the middle class placed on the established aristocratic society in her time. Anne Elliot especially brings to light the inherited assumptions of her society. She can marry within her social rank (Mr. Elliot or Charles Musgrove) or marry below her (Wentworth at age 23), but either is a choice within the limits established by her society. One owns land or one does not. But when Wentworth returns a man of name and wealth, he is not a member of the landed gentry nor is he below Anne in ...


Speculation And The Emotional Economy Of 'Mansfield Park', Laura Vorachek Jan 2015

Speculation And The Emotional Economy Of 'Mansfield Park', Laura Vorachek

Laura Vorachek

At the midpoint of Mansfield Park (1814), the Bertram family dines at the Parsonage, and card games make up the after dinner entertainment. The characters form two groups, with Sir Thomas, Mrs. Norris, and Mr. and Mrs. Grant playing Whist, while Lady Bertram, Fanny, William, Edmund, and Henry and Mary Crawford play Speculation, This scene is central not only because Speculation reveals certain characters' personalities, but also because another type of “speculation” occurs during the game as the players contemplate or conjecture about one another. Moreover, “speculation” in the sense of gambling functions as a metaphor for the vicissitudes of ...


Playing Italian: Cross-Cultural Dress And Investigative Journalism At The Fin De Siècle, Laura Vorachek Jan 2015

Playing Italian: Cross-Cultural Dress And Investigative Journalism At The Fin De Siècle, Laura Vorachek

Laura Vorachek

This examination of late Victorian journalism reveals that one type of clothing offered middle-class women protection from street harassment: cross-cultural dress. In appropriate ethnic attire, reporters and social investigators ventured into the immigrant communities that made up a part of England’s urban poor, exploring such trades as Jewish fur-puller or Italian organ-grinder. This incognito ethnic attire afforded women both the means and the authority to carry out their investigations into the Italian constituency of the Victorian working poor. This study also examines how costumes enabled female investigators to manipulate class- and gender-based assumptions about who had broad access to ...