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Performativity in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Shorter Fiction

A Case Study in the Uses of Theory

Authors: Schaub, Melissa

  • Examines the specific theoretical issues raised by Elizabeth Gaskell’s characterization in her shorter fiction, and looks outward to the larger question of how literary critics ought to use theory
  • Uses performativity in Elizabeth Gaskell's work as a case study to illustrate the larger issue, both producing an argument about Gaskell and also staking out a position on how far we can go in adapting theory
  • Argues how to interpret Elizabeth Gaskell's characters within their own literary and cultural content, and how best to use theory when reading literature
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eBook $44.99
price for USA (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: November 17, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26314-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: October 20, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26313-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

This book simultaneously examines the specific theoretical issues raised by Elizabeth Gaskell’s use of characterization in her shorter fiction, and addresses the larger question of how literary critics ought to use theory. The text gives a history of Judith Butler’s theory of performativity and the uptake of that theory in literary criticism, and also provides detailed close reading of Gaskell’s fiction—both frequently examined texts like Cranford, Mary Barton, and Wives and Daughters, and some that are less often studied, such as “Lizzie Leigh” and Cousin Phillis. The book argues that as theory becomes naturalized into the vocabulary of literary scholars, it often becomes more optimistic and less specific. In discussing the naturalization of theory exemplified by the application of performativity to Gaskell, the book advances general principles on the use of theory. It can be read as scholarship or used as a textbook in literary methods courses.


About the authors

Melissa Schaub is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, USA, where she teaches courses on British and women’s literature. Her research has focused primarily on Victorian novels and other work by British women writers. She is the author of Middlebrow Feminism in Classic British Detective Fiction: The Female Gentleman (Palgrave, 2013).

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: November 17, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26314-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: October 20, 2019
  • ISBN 978-3-030-26313-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Performativity in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Shorter Fiction
Book Subtitle
A Case Study in the Uses of Theory
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-26314-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-26314-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-26313-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 76
Topics