Presenter's Name(s)

Casey O'ReillyFollow

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Sarah Alexander

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

English

Primary Research Category

Arts & Humanities

Presentation Title

Phantom Limb: An Exploration of Manner in Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories

Time

9:20 AM

Location

Mildred Livak Ballroom

Abstract

The term “phantom limb” is used to describe the phenomenal tingling sensation that occurs in the nerve endings of an amputated limb; though the limb is no longer physically attached to the body, the person experiences pain and physical sensation in the space the limb once occupied. Though the body part has been removed, it haunts both the body and the brain. It is through this metaphor that I am interested in investigating the connection between the disembodied and the embodied. The metaphor of the phantom limb paves the way for an exploration of the liminal space between the body and the mind, the internal and the external. In order to interpret this space, I turn to an analysis of manner: habitual bodily movements, gestures and behaviors. Manner, by definition, is the mind consciously and unconsciously telling the body how to move and hold itself. I argue that it is within these subtle movements and moments that nineteenth century societies were able to read and interpret difference. Using Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Lifted Veil and The Yellow Wallpaper as my primary case studies, I investigate that the relationship between the internal and external in order to shed light on a new way to read queer characters in nineteenth century ghost stories.

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Phantom Limb: An Exploration of Manner in Nineteenth Century Ghost Stories

The term “phantom limb” is used to describe the phenomenal tingling sensation that occurs in the nerve endings of an amputated limb; though the limb is no longer physically attached to the body, the person experiences pain and physical sensation in the space the limb once occupied. Though the body part has been removed, it haunts both the body and the brain. It is through this metaphor that I am interested in investigating the connection between the disembodied and the embodied. The metaphor of the phantom limb paves the way for an exploration of the liminal space between the body and the mind, the internal and the external. In order to interpret this space, I turn to an analysis of manner: habitual bodily movements, gestures and behaviors. Manner, by definition, is the mind consciously and unconsciously telling the body how to move and hold itself. I argue that it is within these subtle movements and moments that nineteenth century societies were able to read and interpret difference. Using Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Lifted Veil and The Yellow Wallpaper as my primary case studies, I investigate that the relationship between the internal and external in order to shed light on a new way to read queer characters in nineteenth century ghost stories.