Mon, November 12, 2007 • 4:00 PM • CAL 300 Atwood Library
Gulliver's Rakish Refusal to identify Himself as a Physician, and the Making of the English Middle Class
Cecilia Miller is the author of Vico: Imagination and Historical Knowledge (Macmillan, London, 1993). She is now working on a book on Enlightenment and Political Fiction, of which the topic of this talk is a part.
Gulliver's Travels is seen to prefigure Adam Smith and Karl Marx in some of their ideas on class, wealth creation, and justice. These ideas will be explored starting from Gulliver's desire to be perceived as a diplomat, not a doctor. He falls into the role of a diplomat with ease as his main concern is to collect information about other cultures in order to bolster his homeland, as if he has a sense that he is the first of many Britons to explore these eccentric cultures. Swift attacks colonialism throughout, as well as economic inequities at home.
Speaker: Cecilia Miller