Verena Laschinger presents at the Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Society

On Thursday June 6, 6pm CET, Verena Laschinger will be presenting in the series of online Freeman lectures ("An Hour with Mary E. Wilkins Freeman"). The talk is entitled "Unruly Analogy in Mary E. Wilkins` (Freeman) 'Understudies'."

In this analysis of Understudies, Mary E. Wilkins’ (Freeman) 1901 short story collection is characterized as unruly due to its formal, stylistic, and aesthetic as well as its thematic focus on rebellion and resistance. This unruliness is seen as indicative of the nascent modernism in Freeman’s later works. Striving to transcend the confines of local color and realist novels, the writer uses analogy to create thematic coherence and structural cohesion across the twelve stories in Understudies. This technique establishes a "relational epistemology," as described by Cécile Roudeau, by weaving a complex network of relations that enhances the collection’s relevance and expansiveness, akin to the realist novel. Simultaneously, analogy allows for productive glitches, mismatches, and contradictions that make Understudies a generic hybrid. The analysis will mainly examine the collection’s paratexts, composition, and editing history to elucidate these points.

Join the online presentation here