In the 2003-2004 academic year, thanks to a special grant from the Stella Yousem Jane Austen Special Collections fund. Goucher was privileged to welcome two scholars. November 4-8, 2003. Claudia L. Johnson, professor of English at Princeton University. Her public lecture was titled “Jane Austen’s Body,” building upon research she began during a previous trip to Goucher’s Austen collection, and explored the famous novelist’s depiction in portraits, busts, and other visual media. Johnson is the author of several scholarly works about female authors of the 18th century, including Jane Austen: Women, Politics, and the Novel, and The Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft. In addition to her stand-alone critical works, Johnson has also provided introductory notes for several editions of Jane Austen’s works.
March 22-26, 2004. Peter W. Graham, Cutchins professor of English and chair of graduate studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His public lecture, “Jane Austen’s Tangled Bank: A Darwinian Look at the Development of Sibling Personalities in Austen’s Novels,” explored Austen’s treatment of sibling relationships, with special emphasis on the role of birth order in personality development. Graham is the author of numerous scholarly works about Jane Austen, Charles Darwin, and Regency England, including several articles and publications that establish links between the poetry of Lord Byron and Darwinian evolutionary theory. Graham used his time at Goucher to establish similar connections between Austen and Darwin, for a new book on the subject.