American Fiction and the Production of Women’s Independent Space, 1880-1929

Thursday, March 9, 2023 - 12:00
Iontas Building - Room 1.33

Guest speaker: Dr Katherine Fama (UCD) 

 Talk: The Literary Architecture of Singleness: American Fiction and the Production of Women’s Independent Space, 1880-1929.   

About the research: 

This book project explores the literary production of single space, mapping the reciprocal relationship between the early 20th-century novel, new domestic rental architectures, and the emergence of the single woman in America. I work with two events constitutive for modern singleness: a crisis in the marriage plot and a revolution in urban domestic architecture. I argue that modern singleness was born when it found a home; novelists and architects provided women literary and material spaces beyond the family. The book constellates a trajectory of modern literary singleness—from the promising independence of early rented rooms to the single resolutions of later apartment fiction.  

About the speaker:

Dr. Katherine Fama is an assistant professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the School of English, Film, and Drama at University College Dublin, Vice Chair of the Irish Association for American Studies, and co-director of the "Fictional Spaces" research strand at the Humanities Institute. Her research focuses on narrative theory, domestic architecture, the history of emotions, singleness, and aging. Her recent publications include the co-edited essay collection on representations of single life (with Jorie Lagerwey), Single Lives: Modern British and American Women in Literature, Culture, and Film(Rutgers UP, 2022). Her work has been published in MELUS, Studies in American Naturalism, the Journal of Modern Literature, Emotions: History, Society, Culture, and elsewhere. Her research has been funded by the Mellon Foundation, the Marie Sklowdowska-Curie Fellowship, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others.