281 Bachelor Hall
Mary Jean Corbett
- John W. Steube Professor of English
- Affiliate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- Ph.D., English, Stanford University, 1989
- B.A., English, Smith College, 1984
- Nineteenth and twentieth century anglophone fiction
- Victorian literature
- Women’s writing
- First-year composition
- Nineteenth-century English and Irish writing
- Feminist and postcolonial theory
- Women’s writing
- “Two Identities: Gender, Ethnicity, and Phineas Finn.” The Politics of Gender in Trollope: New Readings for the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Regenia Gagnier, Deborah Denenholz Morse, and Margaret Markwick. Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2009. 117-29.
- Family Likeness: Sex, Marriage, and Incest from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008. Paperback, 2010.
- “Orphan Stories and Maternal Legacies in Charlotte Brontë.” Other Mothers. Ed. Ellen Rosenman and Claudia Klaver. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008. 227-47.
- “‘The Crossing o’ Breeds’ in The Mill on the Floss.” Victorian Animal Dreams. Ed. Deborah Denenholz Morse and Martin Danahay. Aldershot: Ashgate Press, 2007. 121-43.
- “Husband, Wife, and Sister: Making and Remaking the Early Victorian Family.” Victorian Literature and Culture 35 (2007): 1-19.
- “Postcolonial Theory and the Case of Castle Rackrent.” Rpt. In Two Irish National Tales: Castle Rackrent, Maria Edgeworth, and The Wild Irish Girl, Sydney Owenson. New Riverside Editions. Ed. James M. Smith. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2005. 391-407.
- “Performing Identities: Actresses and Authobiography.” The Cambridge Companion to Victorian and Edwardian Drama. Ed. J. Kerry Powell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 109-126.
- “Between History and Fiction: Plotting Rebellion in Maria Edgeworth’s Ennui.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 57 (December 2002): 297-322.
- Allegories of Union in Irish and English Writing, 1790-1870: Politics, History and the Family from Edgeworth to Arnold. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
- “Reading Mary Shelley’s Journals: Romantic Subjectivity and Feminist Criticism.” In The Other Mary Shelley. Ed. Anne K. Mellor et. al. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. 73-88.
- Representing Femininity: Middle-Class Subjectivity in Victorian and Edwardian Women’s Autobiographies. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Work in Progress
Corbett’s recent book, Family Likeness: Sex, Marriage, and Incest from Jane Austen to Virginia Woolf (Cornell, 2008), examines representations of incest as a racialized figure in narratives of the family. It argues that tropes of cross-cultural mixing, including those relating to sex and marriage, took a turn in the mid-nineteenth century, becoming negatively charged as miscegenous, while anxieties about sexual and racial impurity within English families put concerns about both incest and miscegenation on the cultural map. Examining the work of women writers in relation to legal and political documents, polemical periodical essays, and anthropological studies of primitive cultures and urban primitives authored largely by men, the project contributes to an understanding of the broad nineteenth-century cultural discourse about the family in which issues of race and class intersect at many points with questions of gender and sexuality. Corbett’s new projects include a collaborative essay with Denise McCoskey on Woolf and Sophocles; an essay on neo-Victorian fictions by Byatt and Waters in relation to Tennyson and Barrett Browning; and a book on Woolf’s representations of the nineteenth century.