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9 December 2021 - 9 December 2021
1:00PM - 2:00PM
You are warmly invited to the second Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Studies Research Seminar, hosted by Durham University’s English Studies Department and the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies.
As COVID-19 ravaged care homes across the world, global leaders met the deaths of thousands of older people with a collective shrug of inevitability. In this talk I argue that the structural ageism that made this eldercide possible was shaped, in part, by the legacy of an imperial imaginary that linked older bodies with racialized others through an economic discourse of expendability. Focusing on Anthony Trollope’s antipodean The Fixed Period (1882)—a dystopian novel about the failed attempt to euthanize everyone at the age of 68—I suggest that his novel stages the tension between care and independence as a colonial romance, a configuration that continues to resonate in debates about the value of human life: of who is deserving of care in a time of crisis and who is not.
Lecturer in Victorian Literature, Newcastle University
Jacob Jewusiak's first book, Aging, During, and the English Novel: Growing Old from Dickens to Woolf, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. He recently co-edited a special issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long-Nineteenth Century on the theme of “The Old Nineteenth Century.” His articles have appeared in journals such as NOVEL, ELH, SEL, and Textual Practice. He is currently working on a second book project, titled The Ageing of Empire.