“Karl Marx: The End of the Enlightenment” in Reading as Democracy in Crisis: Interpretation, Theory, History. James Rovira, ed. Lexington Books, 2019.
Abstract: This chapter seeks to locate Marx and his most salient ideas in their historical context. Working against the myth of a unified or cohesive system in Marx’s thinking, I track the shifts in Marx’s work as the events of the mid-nineteenth century redirected his methods and analysis. Attempting to either avoid or unpack the specialist’s jargon, I have worked to provide an account of Marx’s thought and how it differed from the other radical thinkers of his age suitable for upper-division undergraduates and graduate students, alike. Special attention is given to the Marx’s “reading of history” as an interpretive strategy developed within the context of Hegelian philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment. Additionally, the core concepts of alienation, ideology, and commodity fetish are placed in relation to each other, arguing that Marx’s use of these conceptual tools, adapted from other thinkers, reveal important shifts in Marx’s critique of capitalism.
“Far from being the work of a static prophet with a unified theory of capitalism and its inevitable downfall, Marx’s writings are filled with the kind contradictions that would be expected to develop throughout the lifetime of a serious scholar.”
“The Affects of ‘Fourier’: Locating Free Love Socialism in Aurora Leigh” in Women’s Literary Networks and Romanticism: “A Tribe of Authoresses.” Andrew O. Winkles and Angela Rehbein, eds. Liverpool University Press, 2017.
Abstract: Unpacking the various meanings that Elizabeth Barrett Browning associated with the utopian socialist Charles Fourier in Aurora Leigh (1855), I argue that “Fourier” serves as an emotionally charged sign for EBB referring not only to contemporary political struggles surrounding the radical Left but also to EBB’s personal psychoanalytic conflicts against both her father and her own queer desires (particularly, for George Sand). Thus, “Fourier” functions a nodal point in the text where a crisis during the development of capitalism and EBB’s individual psychological needs meet to produce a dismissal not only of the economic and social alternatives that were available at that historical moment but also of the forms of queer sexual identity that challenged the heteronormative order.
“The various functions of ‘Fourier’ attest to the complexity of the political message in Aurora Leigh, but they also indicate something of the process by which subjects come to commit themselves to certain ideological positions and how texts emerge through the interactions of various cultural fields, including those of politics, family, and sexuality.”
Rienzi: A Drama in Five Acts by Mary Russell Mitford. A Digital Scholarly Edition prepared for The Digital Mitford (Forthcoming)
Abstract: Rienzi, the most successful of Mary Russell Mitford’s dramas, was first staged in Convent Garden in 1828 and ran for fourteen nights. Drawn from Mitford’s reading of Gibbon, the play follows the unlikely rise and tragic fall of the fourteenth-century revolutionary, Cola di Rienzi. Lowly-born and a man of the people, Rienzi sought to put an end to the abuses committed by Rome’s aristocratic families and restore the glory of the ancient Republic. Mitford radically condenses Rienzi’s career and embellishes the story with a Shakespearean love plot, producing a thought provoking and politically ambiguous tale of the struggle for social justice and the dangers of personal ambition.
I am preparing a digital scholarly edition of Rienzi. In addition to a new headnote and annotations, this Digital Mitford edition will allow for a side by side comparison of the original manuscript, the first print edition (1828), and the revised edition that appeared in Mitford’s collected works (1854).