November 17, 2011: UNH 18th Century Interdisciplinary Lecture: "The Unsustainable Countryside in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park"
UNH 18th Century Interdisciplinary Seminar presents:
'How very wonderful the operations of time': The Unsustainable Countryside in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park"
Date: Thursday, November 17th
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Hamilton Smith Hall, room 101
Mansfield Park, more than any other of Austen's novels, makes us acutely aware of the passing of the seasons, and of the normative weather conditions in southeastern England at the end of the Little Ice Age (c. 1350-1850)—a period of shorter springs and growing seasons, longer winters, and often abrupt and violent shifts in weather patterns across northwestern Europe. The widespread perception during Austen’s lifetime that the climate of the British Isles was unstable and prone to abrupt shifts and dislocations encourages us to think about the ways in which the novel’s vision of Nature both resists and responds to the specific climatological conditions of the early nineteenth century. More broadly, literary texts, such as Mansfield Park, can be seen as invaluable resources for exploring how climatic variability shaped perceptions of nature, society, and self during the last years of the Little Ice Age.
Robert Markley is W. D. and Sara E. Trowbridge Professor of English at the University of Illinois and editor of the interdisciplinary journal, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. The author of more than eighty articles in eighteenth-century studies, science studies, and new media, his books include Two-Edg'd Weapons: Style and Ideology in the Comedies of Etherege, Wycherley, and Congreve (Oxford UP, 1988), Crises of Representation in Newtonian England, 1660-1740 (Cornell UP, 1993), Virtual Realities and Their Discontents (ed., Johns Hopkins UP, 1996), Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination (Duke UP, 2005), and The Far East and the English Imagination, 1600-1730 (Cambridge UP, 2006). He has held fellowships from the NEH, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell, and the Huntington, Clark, and Beinecke Libraries. He is currently completing a book on climate and culture during the Little Ice Age (c 1450-1800).
This event is free and open to the public. Please contact the UNH English Department for more information about this event: (603) 862-1313.