Seminar: Histories of Urbanism, Gender & Urbanization
Spring Semester 2023
Horrors of Feminine Repression. Examining Gender and Urbanism of Victorian England on the examples of literary archetypes.
by Kristina Shatokhina
Lecturers: Dr. César Reyes Nájera and Dr. Jens van de Maele
With literary and film references, this video essay explores the emergence of two types of heroines who emerged at the same time in Victorian England: the madwoman of the attic and the flaneuse, and how they reflected the feminine exhaustion, urgency, and thrill of breaking out of the domestic confinement of the time. The author proposes a parallel between the two literary figures as two faces of the same feminist emancipatory attempt, one liberated and exploring public space, while the other confined as a consequence of defying the norms imposed by Victorian society based solely on her gender role. The public space is a space of struggle against patriarchal norms imposed on allegedly good behavior; and the attic as the ultimate space of confinement, resistance, and freedom of expression...