LAURIE ASCOLI: "Intimacy Never: The Impossibility of Homosexuality in A Passage to India" Race works as a metaphor for sexuality in Forster's novel.
LAUREN BENNETT: "Destabilizing the Bildungsroman Through an Imperial Lens" In this paper, I will argue that The Voyage Out, by Virginia Woolf, not only serves as a proto-feminist work that subverts the tradition of the Bildungsroman but also functions as a template for undermining the Bildungsroman from a colonial perspective. I will explore the role of transitional space within the text The Voyage Out. Drawing on the work of Susan Fraiman and Fredric Jameson, I aim to shed light onto the intricate colonial structure of transitional space and use Rachel Vinrace as the representation form of the transitional space within the novel. Through her oscillation of different states, including, but not limited to, waking/sleeping, real/unreal, living/acting, and, most poignantly, reality/hallucination, I hope to uncover the intersection of modernism and imperialism within the text, a construction that prevents the existence of a Bildungsroman in a colonial setting.
KRISTEN BROWN: "The Many Layers of E.M. Forster: A Homoerotic and sychoanalytic Reading of the Double Plot in A Room with a View" Forster's A Room with a View provides an insightful psychoanalytic perspective to his own life and work; his protagonist's decision between two men is much like the predicament that Forster felt due to his homosexuality. Much like Lucy must choose between the oppressive Cecil and the uninhibited George, Forster's identity as a homosexual created a dilemma for him as he had to decide between a life of repressed homosexuality and the freedom of expressing this sexuality. Forster therefore creates an overt plot of feminism and class differences through Lucy in order to secretly exude a covert plot of homosexuality and the choice between two contrasting sexual lifestyles; hence the double-plot of this novel embodies Forster's personal frustrations and paradoxical sentiments regarding his own sexual identity.
ERIN COAKLEY: "Crossing Boundaries in Woolf's Orlando" Orlando is perhaps Virginia Woolf's most ambiguous novel, due mainly to the boundaries that are crossed in both its form and content. As Adam Parkes writes, Orlando "freely crosses boundaries usually found between different ages, nations, and sexes." Woolf accomplishes these crossings by creating a main character who lives for over three hundred years, who performs the role of both aristocrat at the English Court and ambassador to Turkey, and who, most shockingly of all, transforms from a man to a woman overnight. Such boundary crossings found in the plot are also found in the structure of Orlando itself, in that it is part biography, part fantasy, and part parody. Woolf deconstructs the boundaries that establish gendered, national, and sexual differences in binary terms in order to undermine and destabilize social conventions that were in place at the time of her writing of Orlando.
JESSICA CONNELLY: "Drowning in Imperialism's Wake: Friendship in A Passage to India" In the opening pages of E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, the question is posed whether or not it is possible to be friends with an Englishman. The infamous relationship between Dr. Aziz, an Indian, and Mr. Fielding, an Englishman, is often scrutinized by critics in terms of its homoerotic undertones, but seldom in terms of the roles that the characters occupy against a backdrop of an imperial society. The question that E.M. Forster has posed will ultimately be answered, as this paper traces the movement of the relationship over the course of the book in terms of imperial roles, the effects of the psychology of empire, and officialism.
KATIE CORASANITI: "The Sounds of Silence: Representations of Indian Women in A Passage to India" Indian women remain the mysterious, inaccessible other to the Indian men and English men and women who inhabit Forster's fictional world.
MEAGHAN COUGHLIN: "'It's a Lesbian!' The Performance of Laura Brown" If gender and even biological sex can are understood as performative according to the theorist Judith Butler, then what of sexual identity? It too emerges performatively, at least in the case of Michael Cunningham's The Hours.
KARA EBRAHIM: "Androgyny in Bloomsbury" E.M. Forster, in A Room with a View, utilizes simultaneous interplay of binary oppositions as a modernist tool to accentuate the benefits of his androgynous narrator. Forster's characters and the plot of the novel conflate such binaries as sex and violence, creative and destructive passion as perceived in the murder scene, the natural world and the city, and most obviously, femininity and masculinity. By employing an androgynous narrator, Forster is able to effectively and perceptively describe both sides of these binaries; Forster ultimately proves, through his narrative, the main assertion of Virginia Woolf's lecture and novel, A Room of One's Own, that the most successful narrator is one that can harmoniously blend the masculine and the feminine.
JESSICA BORGES: "If You Can Walk Like an Englishman and Talk Like One, You're Good in My Book" (an analysis of "Alien Corn" and Return of the Soldier)
DANIELLE DESIMONE: "Austen's Updated Englishness"
KATIE ERIKSON: "Confinement vs. Comfort: Opposing Attitudes towards the Catholic Church in Dracula and Dubliners"
ALEXANDRA FREEMAN: "Englishness and the Jew: A True 'Other' or a Mirror Image?" (an analysis of Harrington, Trilby, and "Alien Corn")
SARAH FAGAN: "Science, Society, and Fear in Voyage in the Dark" Anna Morgan of Voyage in the Dark is a fifth generation West Indian exiled in the motherland of England. Many critics have seen the impossibility of harmony in the dichotomous identity of both metropolitan colonizer and peripheral colonized in this female protagonist of Jean Rhys' 1934 novel. I look at the conditions of late modernist and imperialist England that serve to make Anna such an outsider. The England I reveal teems with social and racial fears that were both fueled by and helped fuel nineteenth and twentieth century scientific ³discoveries² which allowed England to rule with an iron fist and disallow citizens of appropriated lands to ever be fully and authentically "English."
MATT GUDERNATCH: "Taking the Female Out of Forster" It is widely accepted that E.M. Forster is a postcolonial author who took on the issues of class and colonial struggles in books such as Howards End and A Passage to India. However, Forster's campaign for the disempowered colonial other fails if it does not recognize the struggle of the feminine within the English hierarchical system. There is a definite conflict between Forster's postcolonial views and the inherent misogyny in his work.
MEGAN GUINY: "Commodity Fetishism and Cognitive Mapping in Jean Rhys' Voyage in the Dark" The novel's protagonist, Anna Morgan, "buys" into the ideology and fantasy of 20th-century London's consumer culture. She becomes trapped, both literally and figuratively, within its economy of exchange. The novel establishes an economy that both circulates, and therefore affixes meaning to, material items. She ultimately fails in attempt to cognitively map her experience in the city.
KRISTEN KALUZA: "Performance in Orlando as Escape from Society's Shackles" Virginia Woolf takes a radical stance in Orlando in her implicit argument that gender is socially constructed. Gender - masculine and feminine - is a reinforced confinement placed upon individuals, while sex - male and female - is a much more stable biological category. Woolf deconstructs such gender binaries through the descriptions, actions, and inner thoughts of Orlando as well as other characters that Orlando interacts with. Patricia Garvey comments, "Woolf sketches an [implicit] argument for moving beyond binarisms or polarities, or dichotomous readings of gender, to a more open text, fantastic, visionary." Her use of the performance of identity throughout the novel allows Woolf to tackle such subjects cautiously and in a not so obvious way. Her performance of the biographical form permits readers to enjoy the novel at face value, as a fantastical story, or to dig deeper and delve into the many layers of performance which subvert gender and gender roles. According to Woolf, "Nothing is any longer one thing."
CAITLIN KELLY: "Howards End: A Feminist Utopia" The central and defining relationship of Forster's Howards End is not between the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes, or between Margaret and Henry. Rather, the most significant relationship in the text is between the Schlegel sisters themselves. In order to achieve its ultimate goal of "connection," the novel seeks to overcome structural oppositions of men v. women, city v. country, intellectualism v. materialism, rich v. poor. If these connections occur at all, they do so not between the text's central families but its two sisters: Margaret and Helen. This focus on a bond between women allows for a reading of Howards End not as misogynistic, but as an endorsement of female power.
ALYSSA KIRSCHNER: "Penetration of the English Body and Mind: The Fear of Invasion in Dracula and Return of the Soldier"
MARY LYONS: "Gesture into the Darkness: Moving Beyond Language and Gender in E.M. Forster's Howards End" Howards End opens with a voice that is quirky and indecisive: "One may as well begin with Helen's letters to her sister." Immediately the traditional sense of narrative authority is undermined because the implication is that other starting points may be just as valid, and this is just one of the many ways the story could be told. Much critical debate surrounds whether the narrator is constructed as a masculine or feminine voice: the arbitrary and timid opening line suggests a conventionally female tentativeness, yet the narrator nonetheless asserts his own forceful presence, indicated the traditional masculine storyteller with control over the novel and perhaps our judgment of the females in it. He is after all the one who decides where it is we do begin. Yet there is an intimacy in this first line that makes Howards End different from traditional nineteenth-century novels. From its chatty and frank opening comments the relationship between the narrator and read develops along complex trajectories and becomes one of the most important aspects of the novel.
MIKE MCCORMICK: "Learning and Unlearning Englishness" (an analysis of Harrington, "The Grove of Ashtaroth," and Trilby)
MARNY NOFI: "The Influence of Sex on the Construction of Identity in Virginia Woolf's Orlando" In Virginia Woolf's Orlando the protagonist is a man who becomes a woman, yet the biographer claims, "though it altered their future, [it] did nothing whatever to alter their identity." If this is true, the biographer is disclaiming the assumption that sex influences our "identity"-something inside us, a core that Woolf seems to believe exists. The question the text poses is how an individual might form an identity apart from social influences and its prescriptions about gender.
KAYLA O'MALLEY, "An Opening to New Voices: Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours" The practice of postmodern re-presentations of modern literature allows for an opening to new voices where multiplicity, fragmentation, and deconstruction bring new meaning and emphasis to previous texts, ideals, and cultural conceptions. In The Hours, Michael Cunningham both revisits and expands upon the characters, themes, and cultural phenomena of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. Through the new settings of New York City in 1999 and Los Angeles in 1949 Cunningham is able to have his female characters reach the potential Woolf gestured towards in Mrs. Dalloway.
ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE: "He Blinded me with Seyence: An Analysis of how Dracula and Svengali Invade British Society"
CHRISTINE PLEFKA: "Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Warren Smith: Exploring the Implications of a Repressed Sexuality in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway" By making comparisons and drawing connections between Clarissa and Septimus in Mrs. Dalloway, the reader of Woolf's novel is able to observe the various and oftentimes dangerous implications of repressed sexuality.
MICHAEL PROCOPIO: "Sexuality and Oppression in Michael Cunningham's The Hours" How is it that society shapes our sense of sexuality? This is just the question that Michael Cunningham explores in The Hours through the juxtaposition of three temporal frames: England in the 1920s, Los Angeles in the late 1940s, and New York City at the end of the millennium.
ANDREA SHEDLOCK: "Austen's Feminine Mystique" (an analysis of Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice)
LUKE WIGHT: "The Repression of Forster's Sexuality in A Passage to India" The development of Forster's self-understanding provides a fitting psychobiographical context for the reading of his Anglo-Indian classic, A Passage to India.