I am a fourth year PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and my dissertation committee includes Dr. Betty Schellenberg, Dr. Diana Solomon, and Dr. Leith Davis. My dissertation is entitled “Writing Eliza Haywood/Eliza Haywood Writing,” and my research interests are dedicated to Eliza Haywood and the writers, print market place, and literary milieu that fashioned and shaped her work.   The deeply discursive and layered nature of Haywood’s texts, along with a passionate belief that her texts have yet to be studied on their own merit, has driven me to propose a dissertation arguing for a text-based approach to Haywood studies.  Studies of Haywood’s life and work have been marked by the dichotomy of amatory/reform, early/late and have largely been categorized by an interest in the particulars of Haywood’s elusive and subsequently sensational biography.  Critic Paula Backscheider has dubbed this approach to Haywood criticism “The Story” and qualifies it as a particular barrier to studies of female authors such as Eliza Haywood.[1]  My dissertation builds on the idea that The Story signifies a critical preoccupation with the life of Haywood, rather than a turning to her texts to see how we might be able to “connect her texts, including those from the 1720s and from the 1750s, to each other in meaningful ways.”[2]  It is the goal of this dissertation to examine the textual side of The Story by turning from Haywood’s life to examine her texts on their own merit.  The methods of inquiry I have chosen directly reflect the threads of discursivity I see in Haywood’s oeuvre, and they include: the prevalence of amatory fiction throughout Haywood’s oeuvre, the performance of authorship in Haywood’s narratives, paratextual considerations (how Haywood’s paratexts network), and finally I end with a consideration of Haywood’s constructed author function in relation to other writers during her own time.

When I’m not thinking or writing about Haywood, I like to run (currently training for the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, AL), practice yoga, bake things, and read books that have absolutely nothing to do with my project.  I currently live in Atlanta, Georgia (I moved back home to be with my partner and dog while writing my dissertation), and I’m looking for ways to network academically while away from Simon Fraser.  You can find me on Twitter (@writinghaywood), or in Emory’s Woodruff Library.

[1]Paula Backscheider, “The Story of Eliza Haywood’s Novels: Caveats and Questions,” in  The Passionate Fictions of Eliza Haywood, edited by Kirsten Saxton and Rebecca Bocchiccio (The University Press of Kentucky 2000, 19-47), 19.

[2] Ibid., 20.



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