Graduate Research: Forgotten "Nonsense" Verse of Laura Richards
Dr. Etti Gordon Ginzburg recently received her Ph.D. at Bar-Ilan for her innovative dissertation project, "From Sense to Nonsense: The Hidden Autobiography of Laura E. Richards," written under the supervision of Prof. Susan Handelman. The dissertation suggests a novel reading of the nonsense poems and two autobiographies of nineteenth-century American children's writer Laura E. Richards (1850-1943).
The fact that these works have been barely given any serious scholarly attention, Dr. Ginzburg claims, raises fundamental questions concerning genre, gender and canonicity. As she describes her research, "Reading these works in the wider context of their author's life and times reveals a surprisingly sophisticated writer who found an original way to bypass gender constraints and safely give vent to a myriad of issues, private and public alike, under the veil of nonsense."