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Grant number: FT-255252-17

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Aeron Hunt
Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3858)

Representations of Veterans in the Victorian Literature and Culture

A book-length study on the representation of veterans in 19th-century British literature and culture.

“Discharged Honorable: Veterans in the Victorian Social Imagination” examines the nearly ubiquitous but often unremarked figure of the veteran in Victorian literature and culture. I argue that the Victorian veteran was a profoundly social figure more than an emblem of psychological trauma, representing a complex transitional role, in which subjects were poised between economic and social activities oriented toward larger collectives—especially, in this case, the nation, the state, and the military itself—and others oriented toward the capitalist marketplace or the individual family. By analyzing how writers engaged and shaped the characters, plots, and genres through which veterans’ stories emerged or were muted, my book generates new perspectives on Victorian concepts of service and labor, social responsibility and welfare, and gender and identity, and suggests that the social imagination of Victorian veterans holds lessons for reimagining citizenship and care in our own moment.

Project fields:
British History; British Literature

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 7/31/2017