Please join us this afternoon at 1:00 in the Center for Scholarly Communication (2nd floor of the Central Reading Room in Melville Library) for the final event in the University Libraries Present: Women’s History Month Colloquium Series.
Wednesday, March 30, 1:00: Dr. Kristina Lucenko
“I’m ‘Wife’! Stop there!”: Mary Carleton’s “Uncivil” Union
Though modern biographers agree that Mary Carleton was likely born Mary Moders, daughter of a Canterbury fiddler, in or before 1642, she represented herself as a high-born German aristocrat named Maria de Wolway willfully deceived into marriage by a greedy John Carleton and his family. In my talk I’ll explore Mary Carleton’s multi-generic narrative and its concern with marriage as a “civil” institution. Speaking as “wife,” Carleton articulates a refusal to be exploited by English laws, which stipulate that a woman who marries must hand over her property to a husband. Carleton’s critique of women’s inferior legal status as wives appears alongside her insistence that her marriage to John Carleton is binding. Suggesting the analogy between the marriage contract and the social contract, Carleton maintains her right to proper, reasonable, and courteous governance, and enacts this privilege via the politically oriented pamphlet form.
Dr. Lucenko is the Director of the Program in Writing & Rhetoric at Stony Brook University. She is the author of numerous essays, reviews, translations, and creative works, including “Generation(s) of Narratives: Life Writing and Digital Storytelling” (Service Learning and Literary Studies, Approaches to Teaching, Modern Language Association, Winter 2014), “Poem” (Story 1, Winter 2014), and “Secret Playdate” (mamazine.com, February 2007).
Head of Humanities & Social Sciences at Stony Brook University Libraries
Kate is Head of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stony Brook University Libraries. She is the liaison to the French & Francophone Studies program and the Russian Studies program.
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