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Defining moments: a cultural biography of Jane Eyre
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Modern Languages.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the ways in which various practices, such as novel-writing, publishing, book-reviewing, reading for pleasure, adaptation and studying English literature, have produced Jane Eyre’s complex cultural profile. The organizing principle of the study is Paul du Gay, Stuart Hall et al’s ‘circuit of culture’, which identifies five key processes or ‘moments’ as being productive of the meanings that a cultural artefact or text comes to possess. Explaining the meanings which have been attached to Jane Eyre partly involves trying to understand why it has been perceived and described dichotomously. For example, it has been thought of as trivial and serious, radical and conservative, feminine and unfeminine. The investigation begins with the writing process, exploring how and why Charlotte Brontë embedded the text with specific hybrid features. The study then traces how these textual features have acquired meaning in different discourses, focusing primarily on the novel’s reception in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century and in the 1990s. The thesis points to the role played by distinct target-audiences in configurations of Jane Eyre; Charlotte Brontë, publishers, biographers, literary critics, film-makers and teachers have all had specific audiences in mind when they have described, evaluated, regulated and/or creatively reworked the novel, its author’s life and/or the culture in which the author lived. During the course of the twentieth century, Jane Eyre became increasingly thought of as a legitimate object of study at all levels of the education system. The thesis examines how the text has been studied, and contributes to ongoing debates about National Curriculum English by offering ways of allowing more creativity into the classroom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Moderna språk , 2004. , 198 p.
Keyword [en]
Literature, identity, production, representation, regulation, consumption, circuit of culture, discourse, publishing, biography, canonization, adaptation, education, moral panic, criticism, Charlotte Brontë, Victorian literature, National Curriculum
Keyword [sv]
Litteraturvetenskap
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-284ISBN: 91-7305-655-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-284DiVA: diva2:142955
Public defence
2004-06-07
Available from: 2004-05-24 Created: 2004-05-24Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1400 kB)5238 downloads
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File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1400 kBChecksum SHA-1
c95b0fc2b8dd5a902e1219525df9280cd84b4cc7a70ec3b12f7c3843290d0abf16c13711
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf