Clara Poteet (3283)

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Title: Literary Dinner Parties as Performance Art by British Women

Description: I am going to be researching scenes of dinner parties in Victorian and Modernist novels, focusing on the role of aesthetics and gender. I will be reading George Eliot's Middlemarch, Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, Anthony Trollope's The Duke's Children, and Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, and conducting site-based archival research in England of etiquette guides, diary entries, and preserved houses, as well as my authors' manuscripts and letters, dating from the mid-nineteenth-century to the early twentieth-century. By pursuing this honors project, I will be able to produce an English honors thesis arguing for Victorian and Modernist authors' use of dinner parties as moments of temporally-bound female performance art, rooted in the period-appropriate social norms, but giving women the space to exercise artistic agency.

Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia

Department: English

Advisor: Deborah Morse

All William & Mary Honors Fellowships fundraising supports the Charles Center Honors Fellowships Fund. Direct support for individual undergraduate research projects is distributed by the Roy R. Charles Center for Academic Excellence

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