In the weeks leading up to the 2017 Flexner Lectures, we're highlighting the many engaging courses being offered in conjunction with Brown University Professor Bonnie Honig's residency and lectures. "Refuse and Refusal in Victorian Britain" is taught by Professor of English Kate Thomas.
The florid wealth of Britain in the nineteenth century was fed by income from slave trade, industrial exploitation, and imperial expansion. It was also an era that was horrified by its own growth; abolitionism, the women’s suffrage movement, the arts and crafts movement, the inception of the welfare state were all nineteenth century protests against the waste of human life and spirit. The noun “refuse” finds etymological root in the concept of that which is “despised, rejected ... outcast.” This course will touch down on key events, debates and literatures that brought the figures of the outcast and the resister into sharp relief.
Established in honor of Mary Flexner, a Bryn Mawr graduate of the class of 1895, the Flexner Lectureship has brought some of the world’s best-known humanists to campus for a brief residency. In addition to their public lectures, holders of the Mary Flexner Lectureship often lead seminars or discussions with undergraduate and graduate students. By agreement with Bryn Mawr, the Flexner Lectures are subsequently published by Harvard University Press.