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Author Biography

Jade is a lecturer at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, and she is interested in the intersection of eighteenth-century literature and queer studies. Her recently published book chapter entitled “My Son, My Lover: Gothic Contagion and Maternal Sexuality in Horace Walpole’s Mysterious Mother” is part of a collection called Stage Mothers: Women, Work, and the Theater, 1630-1830 co-edited by Laura Engel and Elaine McGirr. Her dissertation is titled “’A Stranger to the World’: Women, Bisexuality, and Performance in Eighteenth-Century England.”

Abstract

This essay juxtaposes readings of material culture and gender performance in Charlotte Charke’s Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Charlotte Charke (1755). It argues that the transient relationship Charke has to the objects in her life mirrors the fluidity of her gender. The essay ultimately uses Charke’s narrative as a case study in a questioning of a binarized gender matrix. The thesis suggest that, though we lack language to fully describe it, characters and historical figures like Charke move beyond and explode gender binaries.

Keywords

Charlotte Charke, Gender performance, Queer, Material culture, Sexuality studies, Eighteenth-century