“Feeling Stupid: Austen, Trollope, Eliot, Us,” Rae Greiner (Indiana University)
Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies Seminar
Leeds Trinity University, West Yorkshire
8 May 2017, 6:00pm
What does it mean to feel stupid? This talk addresses what it means to feel stupid. It does so in part by reminding us of the ways in which stupidity has always involved feeling: feeling stunned, stupefied, shocked, as does Satan in Milton's Garden. The talk sketches a brief history of the concept of stupidity, pointing in particular to the ways in which its meaning(s) did not involve measurements of intellect – or the absence of intelligence – only. That Jane Austen and George Eliot conceive of stupidity differently is one measure of this history, as are the ways in which Austen and Eliot's conceptions of stupidity resemble (and do not resemble) our own.
Rae Greiner is Associate Professor of English and Director of Graduate Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the author of Sympathetic Realism in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (Johns Hopkins University Press) and is at work on a monograph entitled Stupidity after Enlightenment. She is co-editor of the journal Victorian Studies.
All are welcome to this free event; please email LCVS@leedstrinity.ac.uk to confirm your attendance.