Author Biography

Kathryn Strong Hansen is assistant professor of English at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. She is currently at work on a book manuscript exploring how changes in beliefs about women's dress in the eighteenth century relate to the British novel's establishment as a respectable genre.


This article describes a classroom activity that increases students’ connection to literary characters, and by extension, texts. The activity, constructed as a party attended by literary characters, tasks students with taking on the point of view of one character in an assigned novel. This can encourage a student to see the viewpoint of a character that differs from him or her in gender, social status, or any other category of difference. In heightening students’ relationship to eighteenth-century characters, I argue, instructors can bring the eighteenth century closer to contemporary students as well as increase students’ sensitivity to viewpoints that differ from their own. A post-activity writing assignment extends the activity to encourage student analysis and reflection.


empathy, connection, gender, pedagogy, activity, worksheet, Evelina, Burney, Oroonoko, Behn