Areas of Specialization and Interest
British Literature, Irish Studies, Ethnic/Postcolonial Studies, Cultural Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Narrative Theory
Mullen's research examines the relationship between history, literature, and politics with a particular emphasis on nineteenth-century English and Irish writing. Her current book project considers anachronisms in nineteenth-century English and Irish novels. It demonstrates how the novel's narrative form – long associated with linear development and shared national time – unsettles the progressive plotting of imperial history and the homogeneous, empty time of the nation. Work from this project is forthcoming in Victoriographies and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. She has published additional research on the politics of historical time in Victorian Poetry. In addition to her work on nineteenth-century literature, Mullen is interested in the public humanities, public education, and contemporary theory.Awards
Book in Progress
- Moore Institute Visiting Fellowship, NUI-Galway, July 2014
In Real Time: Institutions, Anachronisms and the Nineteenth-Century Novel
In Real Time redefines realism through the contradiction between its institutional and anachronistic aesthetics. Realism conceals historical time by mediating the past and future so that we imagine them in terms of already-existing political and social institutions. But realism's pervasive anachronisms—its out-of-date, even regressive characters, confused chronologies, and prevalent narrative anachronies—paradoxically introduce historicity to institutions that work to conceal it. Challenging the solidity of a historical and social reality defined by institutions, anachronisms insist on a heterogeneous historical time open to unknown futures. In Real Time centersthe 'failed' Irish novel as an exemplar of realism's contradictions, offering new readings of canonical novels by Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, and Charles Dickens alongside lesser-known Irish novels. Creating a new transnational literary history, the bookargues that realism locates its opposition to institutions in the very anachronisms that institutional time creates.
- "In Search of Shared Time: National Imaginings in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South." Place, Progress, and Personhood in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell. Ed. Emily Morris,Sarina Gruver Moore,Lesa Scholl. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Forthcoming 2015.
- "Public Humanities' (Victorian) Culture Problem." Cultural Studies. Forthcoming.
- “Anachronistic Aesthetics: Maria Edgeworth and the Uses of History” Eighteenth-Century Fiction.26.2 (January 2014): 233-59.
- “Untimely Development, Ugly History: A Drama In Muslin And The Rejection Of National-Historical Time.” Victoriographies.3.2. (November 2013): 161-183.
- “Two Clocks: Aurora Leigh, Poetic Form, and the Politics of Timeliness.” Victorian Poetry. 51.1. (Spring 2013):63-80.
- “Manliness and Mother Ireland.” Review of Joseph Valente’s The Myth of Manliness in
Irish National Culture, 1880-1922. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. 7.3. (Winter 2011).
- Review of David Lloyd’s Irish Times. Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. 56 (2009).