Dr Elizabeth McLean
School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne
Elizabeth McLean’s research ranges from the Romantic period through to the contemporary, with a strong focus on processes of fictionality and genres of storytelling. She received her PhD in 2019 for her thesis, “The Topographical Parenthesis: Articulations of Space in the Novels of Henry James.” She is currently working on a trans-historical account of women’s literary journalism from the Enlightenment through to the present. This study is structured by four discrete episodes, that each present a composite of ideological and technological transformations vital to the professionalisation of literariness, journalism, and female authorship. These periods are: 1780s; 1890s; 1970s; Now. In a period of precarity for practitioners of both journalism and literary studies, this study looks to the late eighteenth century, and specifically to reportage of the French revolution, for a pre-history of the interdisciplinary form of literary journalism. In its veneration of both truth and form, literary journalism embodies the dualism of critique and creativity so essential to the relationship between Enlightenment and Romantic ideologies.