Jennifer Chambers at NEMLA

Photo: Jennifer Chambers

Photo: Jennifer Chambers

Congratulations to FHASS professor Jennifer Chambers, who presented her paper “A Woman’s Will: May Agnes Fleming’s Cross-Border Publishing” at the Northeast Modern Languages Association (NEMLA) conference held at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto on May 1, 2015. The paper considered nineteenth-century Canadian writer May Agnes Fleming’s publishing career of serialized domestic fiction in story papers in the U.S., as well as the material and social conditions of her move to Brooklyn, NY to be nearer her publishers. Married women in New York could own property at the time, and Fleming enjoyed a lucrative career that enabled her to support her four small children and to become estranged from her ne’er-do-well husband. The plot of her fiction often mimicked the story of her life, and Fleming profited from her ability to frame it into popular fiction. Her life ended due to illness at the age of 39, but not without her leaving a will that speaks volumes beyond the grave by securing fortunes for her children, with specific instructions that the bequest to her daughters be left in their names only, never to be usurped by their potential male partners.

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