Photo 179

Alex Dumont

331 Wheeler
By appointment

Professional Statement


My dissertation examines “form” in the realist novel as both a constitutive concept and a troubling one. “Form” is not only the name realism gives to the relation between the novel’s large and small parts, its particulars and abstractions, but also an idea against which the realist mode defines itself as a rejection of the “merely” aesthetic. But realism, I contend, rather than simply seeking to mirror or describe the extra-textual world, is a mode deeply concerned with the ways in which linguistic forms can themselves be real. It finds these forms not in representation, but in the places where representation becomes its opposite, and the text turns away from “the world.” It is in this turning away from representation that, I argue, realism stages a critique of the Romantic theory of the symbol, and articulates a new relation to the symbol’s bad other, allegory.


Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

"What Everyone Knows and Nobody Says: Realist Sentences." The North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, Honolulu, July 2015.

"'Law and Concord!'": Harriet Martineau's Illustrative Fictions." The North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, Pasadena, October 2013.

"'In Which the Story Pauses a Little': Metalepsis in Adam Bede." International Conference on Narrative, Manchester, UK, July 2013.

"Shedding a Light Beyond Her Comprehension: The Uses of Wonder in Henry James."  The Fifth International Conference of the Henry James Society, Rome, Italy,  July 2011. 

Recent English Courses Taught

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