Institutional practices—disciplinary methods, genres of criticism, definitions of canons—obscure how Irish realist experiments shape more canonical English and Scottish realism.Tracing an alternative genealogy of the realist novel through Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent (1800), this talk rethinks realism as a narrative form and a literary institution. It suggests that Castle Rackrent’s narrative innovations elucidate the formal contradictions at work, often more subtly, in canonical English realism.
Mary Mullen is an assistant professor of English and member of the Irish Studies faculty at Villanova University. She is currently completing a book manuscript titled Novel Institutions: Realism, Anachronism, and the Nineteenth-Century Novel, which rethinks British realism through an attention to the nineteenth-century Irish novel. She has published several articles in the fields of Irish and Victorian Studies. Her most recent published work includes essays on cultural authority in public humanities initiatives, metaphors of indigeneity in nineteenth-century Irish nationalist writing, and national time in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.
Professor Mullen received her bachelor's degree from Notre Dame, and her work in Irish Studies began at the Keough-Naughton Institute. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.