Hope Rogers

B.A. University of Georgia, 2013

Hope joined the department in 2013. Her dissertation examines provincial novels by Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Margaret Oliphant, and George Eliot to analyze actions performed by women in these texts. In it, she argues that these actions meaningfully demonstrate agency despite the conventionality and conservatism for which they have often been dismissed. The conventional forms of action found in provincial novels matter for several reasons. First, they are a source of pleasure to the characters themselves, and I will argue that such personal satisfaction is significant even if it is selfish and/or conservative, seeming to fit neatly into dominant ideologies. Second, by limiting their scope to small and quotidian actions, provincial novels naturalize female action as subject matter and often subtly expand the provenance of acceptable actions for their heroines even as they free their heroines from many of the costs and responsibilities of agency. Third, these small actions reshape the form of their novels, producing innovations from episodic plots to flat characters.

Hope was a Preceptor for ENG 345: Nineteenth Century Fiction and is co-teaching ENG 339: Jane Austen Then and Now with Professor Claudia L. Johnson in Fall 2017. She organized the Victorian Colloquium during the 2015-16 academic year. Hope has published on J.R.R. Tolkien and multiculturalism in her article “No Triumph Without Loss: Problems of Intercultural Marriage in Tolkien’s Works” in Tolkien Studies 10 (2013), and her article “Secret Agents: Agency without Responsibility in The Mysteries of Udolpho” is forthcoming from Studies in Romanticism. In it, she argues that by portraying her heroine’s actions as unwanted, accidental, or insignificant—a strategy that culminates in the novel’s anticlimax, Radcliffe creates space for agency without responsibility, allowing her to act without being called to account for her actions.