Project Title: Asexual Epidemics, Detectives and Spinsters: the construction of pathological asexuality in Victorian fiction
Dr Katherine Inglis, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, The University of Edinburgh.
Dr Anna Vaninskaya, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, The University of Edinburgh.
About Claudia’s Research
My research focuses on Victorian and fin-de-siècle literature, more specifically on the relation between narratives and medical writing in constructing medical stigmas. My work intersects with Medical Humanities and Queer Theory. My thesis interrogates the development of the concept of asexuality, meaning the experience of not being sexually attracted to others, in Victorian texts. I consider the relationship between fiction and medicine as reciprocal, I will argue that Victorian character construction created a gendered stereotype of the frigid persona that continues to affect medical studies. I will highlight the evolution of this figure, considering the nineteenth-century medical and literary discourse as co-dependent.