Dr. Jane Censer Speaks at 2013 Scholar’s Lecture

Caught Between Two Centuries: Virginia Female Authors

by Dani Kreigh

Dr. Jane Censer Speaks at 2013 Scholar’s Lecture

            The annual Scholar’s Lecture was held by Women and Gender Studies on November 11th, 2013. Thirty faculty members and students joined together to listen to a lecture by PhD. Jane Censer from the History Department. Censer has written on topics such as white Southern womanhood, Southern women novelists, and Southern families throughout various periods of war. The lecture was titled “Caught Between Two Centuries: Virginia Female Authors”.

            For the lecture, Censer discussed the literary correspondence between Richmond authors Ellen Glasgow and Amelie Rives. Their relationship involved discussing love, beauty, and intimacy as well as their writing. Censer explored how the authors had coded Victorian messages about same-sex attraction in their discussions by examining certain phrases in their correspondence. Thus, some of their letters demonstrated a shift towards “modern womanhood” in contrast to Victorian values of hyperpurity and heterosexuality for women. Glasgow and Rives both embodied and transgressed Southern culture in different ways by using white, upper-class privilege and their writing talents.

            The lecture was followed by a dinner where students and faculty were able to discuss the event.