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Friday, September 25  Mansfield Park–Especially after the ‘light and bright’ quality of Pride and Prejudice, readers are often baffled or alienated by the darker vision of Mansfield Park — one critic even titled his piece ‘The Difficult Beauties of Mansfield Park.’  Much of the difficulty centres on Fanny Price, who doesn’t fit the mold of Austen’s earlier witty or energetic heroines, so let’s talk about what kind of heroine Fanny is:  does her timid passivity make her less likable than earlier protagonists like Catherine Morland, Elinor Dashwood or Elizabeth Bennet?  Does she even deserve the appellation heroine?  A second subject of discussion will take on the issue of slavery, a topic that has become more central in Austen studies, especially since the release of Patricia Rozema’s controversial film.

Friday,October  23 Emma

Friday, November 20  Persuasion

Tara Ghoshal Wallace is Emerita Professor of English at George Washington University, specializing in 18th– and 19th-century British literature.  Her books include Jane Austen and Narrative Authority, Imperial Characters:  Home and Periphery in Eighteenth-Century Literature, Women Critics, 1660-1820 (co-editor, with the Folger Collective), and Frances Burney’s A Busy Day (editor).  Recent articles include pieces on Austen, Burney, Alexander Pope, Walter Scott, and Mary Wollstonecraft.  Her current book project is on Walter Scott’s representations of monarchy.

During her long tenure at GWU, Tara Wallace has served as Associate Dean for Graduate Students, as the English Department’s Director of Graduate Students, and as Chair of the Committee on University Honours and the Faculty Senate’s Committee on Libraries.

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