Mary Jacobus

  • author of The Poetics of Psychoanalysis: In the Wake of Klein (OUP, 2005), Romantic Things: A Tree, a Rock, a Cloud (Chicago UP, 2012), Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint (Princeton UP, 2016), and, On Belonging and Not Belonging: Translation, Migration, Displacement (Princeton UP, 2022)
  • currrently working on a book about trees and forests, provisionally entitled Into the Woods

Mary Jacobus was a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, from 1971 to 1980. In 1980 she moved to Cornell University, where she held the John Wendell Anderson Chair of English and Women’s Studies. In 2000 she returned to the UK as Grace 2 Professor of English at the University of Cambridge, where she was also a Professorial Fellow of Churchill College. From 2006 until her retirement, she was Director of Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). She has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, and the AHRC, and is an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and Churchill College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She has written on Romanticism, feminism, and psychoanalysis, as well as visual culture.

Prof. Jacobus will talk about Rambling and Romanticism: The Right to Roam

Rambling and roaming (the words are etymologically connected) form part of a tradition that has provided titles and subject-matter for literary works from the 18th century onwards. Enclosure of public land has long been associated with struggles over freedom of access, whether for grazing animals or for recreational walkers. Privatization and public infrastructure projects have galvanized a comparable modern movement. This lecture will focus on late 18th c. and early 19th c. writers (William Cowper, John Clare, and Jane Austen) as well as a modern Caribbean poet (Jason Allen-Paisant), arguing that our contemporary “right to roam” movement has a substantial cultural, literary, and political history stemming from the curtailment of public space and the “confinement” of those who wander, mentally or physically. Both rambling and roaming involve issues about well-being and rights, as well as literary formations and physical freedoms.