Julie Park - "My Dark Room" - Jayne Lewis

Friday, September 15, 2023 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Julie Park

Julie Park will discuss My Dark Room. She will be joined in conversation by Jayne Lewis.

Presented in partnership with By the Book

Virtual Event


About the book:  My Dark Room examines spaces of inner life in eighteenth-century England to shed new light on interiority in literature and visual and material culture. In what kinds of spaces are we most aware of the thoughts in our own heads? In My Dark Room, Julie Park examines places of solitude and enclosure that gave eighteenth-century subjects access to their inner worlds: grottoes, writing closets, landscape follies, and the camera obscura, that beguiling “dark room” inside which the outside world in all its motion and color is projected.

My Dark Room  illuminates the spatial and physical dimensions of inner life in the long eighteenth century by synthesizing material analyses of diverse media, from optical devices and landscape architecture to women’s intimate dress, with close readings of literary texts not traditionally considered together. Park also analyzes letters and diaries, architectural plans, prints, drawings, paintings, and more, drawing our attention to the lively interactions between spaces and psyches in private environments. Her innovative method of “spatial formalism” reveals how physical settings enable psychic interiors to achieve vitality in lives both real and imagined.

About the author: Julie Park is Paterno Family Librarian for Literature and professor of English at the Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of The Self and It: Novel Objects in Eighteenth-Century England and coeditor of Organic Supplements: Bodies and Things of the Natural World, 1580-1790.

About the interlocutor: Jayne Lewis is professor of English at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Air’s Appearance: Literary Atmosphere in British Fiction, 1660-1794, as well as numerous other monographs and articles, primarily on eighteenth-century literature and culture.

Event Location: