Teaching Ethnicity, Gender, and 19th Century English Literature: The Inclusive 19th Century
Nineteenth century British prose, especially the novels, are a motherlode of cultural references. Ethnicity and gender are two underlying themes that are themselves both important and, at times, almost secondary to the all-pervasive class themes. In this discussion, the idea is to explore the writings of such writers as Jane Austen and Wilkie Collins. Their references and characterizations of one's ethnicity and gender reveal 19th century English culture. However, with writings from Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, Matthew Arnold, and others, there is another, a more complete view, of this important time. Without the help of contemporary cultural critics, one is forced to see a different England than the one imagined by cultural scholars of today.
Keywords: 19th Century English Literature, Cultural Criticism
Dr. Glen Bush
Professor of English and Humanities, Humanities and Fine Arts, Heartland Community College