On 31 March 2023, I gave an “Author’s End Notes” speech for a conference by post-graduates of the literature department at Teesside University in Middlebrough, UK. Eight students gave overviews of their thesis papers on subjects all under the thematic umbrellas of “Ethics, Literature, Culture”, and I was delighted to have been asked to address the group on this theme. Because of the 8-hour time difference, I hadn’t been able to listen to all the presentations, although I read summaries of them, but the ones I heard were very interesting and well-researched. Topics included such areas as sexuality in contemporary gothic fiction; racial ethics of “Passing” in early U.S. African-American fiction; unethical representation of race in the Twilight Saga books and films; the ethics of representing the Second Gulf War in novels and short stories; the mysogynistic treatment of female musical genius as “madness”; women’s facial hair in 19th century literature; and the ideology of cross-dressing in Victorian England.

My talk is titled: “You Can’t Do That! Our Fascination with Breaking the Rules”

Click here to see/print a copy of the text of my presentation, (or click on the box at bottom left) and once you have that, you can read along as you watch the video of my powerpoint — click here for video. Where it says CLICK in the text is where the next slide, or more often, the next picture on an individual slide, will show up. The powerpoint is timed to keep changing and keep moving on to the next slide, but all you have to do is hit the Pause button (two vertical bars) at the bottom of the film, in order to keep an image stable while you’re reading the text.

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