This new Literature Compass essay has just appeared as part of their very useful series, and seems appropriate for a number of you as you think about the course readings and potential research projects. Taylin, for example, could consider the role of material culture as she thinks about the importance of dress, Serena could be thinking about the latest scholarship about masculinity, and adaptation has become an important component for a number of you in your thinking about our readings this term. Take a look, and let everyone know what you found useful.
Here is the abstract:
This essay identifies emerging trends in Jane Austen scholarship published between 2010 and 2020, with a focus on monographs and edited collections. In recent work examining Austen through contemporary theoretical and critical lenses, the following new topics have been central: material culture, animal studies, masculinity, place, and celebrity. The last of these includes Austen’s use of Regency celebrities in her novels and her connections with other women writers. Studies of the parallels between her and Shakespeare’s rises to fame have also surged. Connected to the interest in celebrity is the explosion of fan-culture studies: Austen is now a multimedia superstar with wide appeal. This expansion of audience has meant a shift in the style of much scholarly writing on Austen as books try to cater to both academic and non-academic markets.
Sayre N. Greenfield and Linda V. Troost, “New Directions in Jane Austen Studies,” Literature Compass n/a, no. n/a (n.d.): e12658, https://doi.org/10.1111/lic3.12658.
One thought on “Greenfield and Troost, New Directions in Jane Austen Studies”
I found Sarah Ailwood’s argument that Austen has a tendency to write “a new model of desirable masculinity” in her novels to be particularly interesting (7). It seems like Austen is reacting to the shift in kinship/family dynamic that occurred during her lifetime. She seems to harken back to a nostalgic idea of masculinity, one that likely disappeared due to the change in how men viewed women during this time (i.e., a shift toward seeing women as a burden and the necessity, therefore, of marrying them off). Austen idealizes men who value women, an ideology that was disappearing quickly during her lifetime.