Recovering Childhood Desire: Alice Dunbar-Nelson's "His Heart's Desire" (1900)

Jean Lutes

Villanova University

An associate Professor of English at Villanova University, Lutes is the author of Front-Page Girls: Women Journalists in American Literature and Culture, 1880-1930 (Cornell, 2006) and the editor of Around the World in Seventy-Two Days and Other Writings by Nellie Bly (Penguin Classics, 2014). Her current project examines the personal advice column as a key genre in the history of women’s authorship of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century United States. She has published work in American Literary History, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature, The Cambridge History of American Women Writers, American Quarterly, Arizona Quarterly, and Signs. 


Part archival research project, part venture into queer theory and childhood studies, this paper analyzes “His Heart’s Desire,” an exquisitely crafted short story by Alice Dunbar-Nelson that was recently reprinted in a... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Jean Lutes (Villanova University)

Topic Area

Childhood Teleologies: Climates of Growth


S7b » Seminar 7.b: Childhood Teleologies: Climates of Growth II (10:15 - Saturday, 24th March, Boardroom East)

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