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Rita Dashwood

PhD, Dep. of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick, UK
MA, Dep. of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick, UK (Merit)
BA, Department of Modern Languages, University of Coimbra, Portugal (Hons.)

My PhD thesis, “Women in Residence: Forms of Belonging in Jane Austen,” investigates the centrality of non-portable property – the house – in Austen’s fictional landscapes, particularly her portrayal of how her female characters establish feelings of ownership and belonging towards houses they are not legally entitled to own. Austen’s novels therefore offer ways of thinking about property that would not be legitimised by the law for several decades after her death. As I demonstrate, through her novels Austen offers more than just a critique of the current property laws and the ways in which they leave women in a precarious situation: she demonstrates how women can circumvent the limitations of the law, in order to create a sense of purpose for themselves and express their identities through the spaces they create and occupy. In doing so, she legitimises female ownership of property in a way that is distinctly emancipatory.

My work is interdisciplinary in nature, in the sense that it draws on the dialogue on women and property, management, education and accomplishments as present in such non-fictional sources as conduct books, diary entries and letters, as well as other fictional works of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It at once engages with and challenges social history by exploring the ways in which fiction can represent experiences of ownership that a sole focus on legal discourse would overlook. Through my analysis of Austen’s representations of the various relationships women can form with the spaces they inhabit, I encourage a revision of the common conception we currently hold of ownership as something that is dependent on a legal right. This conception, as I argue, is unhelpful in understanding Austen’s depiction of women’s relationships with property, as well as the ways in which people more generally conceptualise such relationships.

Publications

Journal Articles

“‘An Office in Which She Had Always Depended’: Surrogate Managers in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion.” Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, vol. 41, no. 3, 2018, pp. 373-389. URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1754-0208.12524/full

“Was Mary Wroth Shakespeare’s Dark Lady?” Op. Cit.: A Journal of Anglo-American Studies. [Online] 2nd Series, No. 3 (2014). Document 4, Online since November 29, 2014. URL: https://sites.google.com/site/apeaadirecao/journal [Under "Rita Oliveira"].

Book Chapters

“Women Owning Property: The Great Lady in Jane Austen” in Jane Austen and Philosophy. Ed. Mimi Marinucci. Rowman and Littlefield. November 2016, 107-119.

Reviews

Review of Jocelyn Harris, Satire, Celebrity, and Politics in Jane Austen, in The Jane Austen Society Newsletter, Spring 2018, 16-17;

Review of Jessica A. Volz, Visuality in the Novels of Austen, Radcliffe, Edgeworth and Burney, in The Jane Austen Society Newsletter, Autumn 2017, 14-15.

Media

“‘My Dear Bess’ — The Relationship Between Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and Lady Elizabeth Foster.” History Matters. 14 September 2017.


Conference Presentations

January 2018: "'Working Herself into' a Home: Fanny Price’s East Room in Mansfield Park," as part of the "Pots and Pans; Back Stairs and Hallways; Bachelors and Milk Maids: Uncovering the Hidden Eighteenth-Century Home and Its Inhabitants" roundtable at BSECS 47th Annual Conference, "Truths and Lies" Conference, Oxford

July 2017: "Creators of Spaces: Single Women and Decoration in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility" at BARS 2017 Annual Conference, “Romantic Improvement," University of York

May 2017: "'‘Abilities, as Well as Affections': The Surrogate Manager in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion" at "Women, Money and Markets (1750-1850)" Conference, King’s College London

January 2017: "'An Office in Which She Had Always Depended': Surrogate Managers in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion" at BSECS 46th Annual Conference, "Friends, Allies and Enemies," University of Oxford

November 2016: "'An Office in Which She Had Always Depended': Surrogate Managers in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion" at Centre for the Study of Women and Gender Seminar Series, University of Warwick

May 2016: "'An Office in Which She Had Always Depended': Surrogate Managers in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion" at English Department Postgraduate Symposium, University of Warwick

April 2016: "Women Owning Property: The Great Lady in Jane Austen" at International Conference, “Deslocamentos, Descentramentos: Romances Sem Fronteiras," at University of São Paulo, Brazil

April 2016: "'Method, Moderation, and Economy': The Female Household Manager in Jane Austen" at Jane Austen Society South-West Branch Meeting, Exeter

January 2016: "Women Owning Property: The Great Lady in Jane Austen," at BSECS 45th Annual Conference, "Growth, Expansion and Contraction," University of Oxford

May 2015: “Women Owning Property: The Great Lady in Jane Austen," at English Department Postgraduate Symposium, University of Warwick

May 2013: "Was Mary Wroth Shakespeare’s Dark Lady?" at English Department Postgraduate Symposium, University of Warwick


Honours and Awards

2018-2019: Early Career Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Warwick;

2017: Winner of the BSECS President’s Prize of 2017, awarded to the best paper at the annual conference presented by a postgraduate student, for "'An Office in Which She Had Always Depended’: Surrogate Managers in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion";

2016: Nomination for the BSECS President’s Prize of 2016, awarded to the best paper at the annual conference presented by a postgraduate student, for “Women Owning Property: The Great Lady in Jane Austen”;

2012: Feijó Curricular Award, presented to the best student graduating from the Modern Languages department of the University of Coimbra;

2012: Award for the top 3% students of the degree in Modern Languages of the University of Coimbra;

2011: Award for the top 3% students of the degree in Modern Languages of the University of Coimbra;

2010: Award for the top 3% students of the degree in Modern Languages of the University of Coimbra.


Teaching Experience

2018-2019: Tutor for self-created WEA module, "Women at Home: Gender and Place in the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Novel," Kenilworth

2018: Lecturer for the EN201 The European Novel, University of Warwick

2016-2017: Seminar tutor for EN328 English Literature and Feminisms, 1790-1899, University of Warwick

2016-2017: Recipient of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice by the Learning and Development Centre (LDC), University of Warwick

2016: Lecturer for EN201 The European Novel, University of Warwick

2013-2014: Tutor for Transformations programme, University of Warwick

2013: Guest seminar tutor for the EN958 Shakespeare and His Sister, University of Warwick


Conference Organisation

2015-2016: Part of the organising committee for the Arts Faculty Seminar Series, University of Warwick;

2011: Part of the organising committee for the 32nd Annual Conference of the APEAA (Portuguese Association of Anglo-American Studies).


Funding

2018: £250 for attendance and presentation at the BSECS 47th Annual Conference, “Truths and Lies,” in Oxford in January of 2018, from the Warwick English department;

2017: £130 for attendance and presentation at the BARS 15th Annual International Conference, “Romantic Improvement,” at the University of York in July of 2017, from the Warwick English Department;

2017: £50 for attendance and presentation at the “Women, Money and Markets (1750-1850)” Conference in King’s College London in May of 2017, from the Warwick English Department;

2017: £90 for attendance and presentation at the BSECS 46th Annual Conference, “Friends, Allies and Enemies,” in January of 2017, from the Warwick English Department;

2016: £1050 for attendance and presentation at the international conference “Deslocamentos, Descentramentos: Romances Sem Fronteiras” at the University of São Paulo, Brazil in April of 2016, from the Warwick English Department;

2016: £250 for attendance and presentation at the BSECS 45th Annual Conference, “Growth, Expansion and Contraction" in January of 2016, from the Warwick English Department;

2015-2016: £250 for the Arts Faculty Seminar Series from the HRC, Warwick University, for 2015-2016;

2015-2016: £100 for the Arts Faculty Seminar Series from CADRE, Warwick University, for 2015-2016;

2015: £100 for attendance at the “Women, Land and the Making of the British Landscape, 1300-1900” Conference in June of 2015, from the University of Hull.


Memberships

British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies
Jane Austen Society UK

Foreign Languages

Fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, elementary knowledge of French

R.Dashwood.1@warwick.ac.uk


R.Dashwood.1@warwick.ac.uk


Fourth-year Ph.D., University of Warwick


Supervisors:

Professor Christina Lupton

Dr. David Taylor


Mentor:

Professor Emma Mason