October 26, 2010: First Fridays Speakers Series presents Heidi Kaufman: "Who We Are": East End Perspectives in George Eliot's 'Daniel Deronda'
“Who We Are”
East End Perspectives in George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda
Prof. Heidi Kaufman, Associate Professor of English
University of Delaware
Tuesday, October 26th
Hamilton Smith Hall, room 101
Join us for a presentation by Prof. Heidi Kaufman, Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware. Prof. Kaufman is a UNH alumnus and scholar of nineteenth-century literature and culture. Her specific research and teaching interests include women’s literary history, Jewish cultural studies, British colonial and imperial histories, and racial discourses.
This talk will focus on George Eliot’s depiction of London’s East End in her novel Daniel Deronda (1876). By the early decades of the nineteenth century the East End—a term coined in Pierce Egan’s novel Life in London (1821)—came to be associated with crime, drugs, poverty, prostitution, and foreigners. The more famous narratives about this part of London were produced by so-called “privileged” outsiders, or by those who visited the East End while residing in other areas of the city. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Eliot foregrounds the challenge of seeing, or of reading “foreign” or “impoverished” East End culture as an outsider. The social drama in this text emerges through her depictions of the bumbling flanuer, Deronda, a man who attempts to act in and for a world he does not understand. In the process, Eliot imagines East End space as a product of exchanges between insiders and outsiders, and as a space constituted by voices of dissent, confusion, and contradiction. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the UNH English Department: (603) 862-1313.
Professor Kaufman is currently completing a book on the work of Jewish discourse in the nineteenth-century British novel. She has also begun new work on immigrant communities living in London’s East End in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. To learn more about Prof. Kaufman's research interests, please visit her University of Delaware homepage: Heidi Kaufman - Associate Professor - University of Delaware