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Claire Jarvis

Claire Jarvis

Core Faculty
Assistant Professor of English
B.A, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1998)
M.A., Boston University (2000)
M.A., The Johns Hopkins University (2004)
Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University (2009)

I study Victorian literature with emphasis on the novel and theories of sexuality. I am currently finishing my first book, Marriage, Masochism and the Victorian Novel. In it, I use lenses developed from sexuality studies to consider the body's necessity to the novel, an approach that demonstrates the limitations of a critical discourse focused on the deep, interiorized subjectivity of the novel's characters and on symptomatic readings of the marriage plot's conservative impulses.My readings, centered on Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Anthony Trollope's Can You Forgive Her? and The Way We Live Now, Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscur and D. H. Lawrence's Brangwen novels, trace the effects of what I call "supersensual" masochism on the idea of sexual and romantic partnership as it develops in the nineteenth-century novel. This term foregrounds the suspension of sexual satisfaction, the orchestration of scenes of humiliation with meticulously managed performances and reveals limits of both the Victorian "marriage plot" and contemporary criticism thereof.I have recently presented or published work on Charles Dickens, D. H. Lawrence, Barbara Pym, Tom McCarthy and E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy.