Kelly J. Hunnings is one of six recipients of the competitive dissertation completion fellowship funded by the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Education Foundation. Her dissertation project uses affect theory and feminist methodologies to argue for a little-known literary network of eighteenth-century women laboring-class writers over their shared use of the “chaotic domestic,” a term she introduces to describe an image of the domestic that is turbulent, unruly, and one that mirrors what is happening outside of domestic spaces within natural ones. In examining how the writers of this network use the chaotic domestic to talk to and with one another across the century, we challenge our conceptions of literary networks and women laboring-class writers broadly. The poetry included in this dissertation is crucial for decoding the limits and possibilities of a women’s laboring-class poetic tradition, building on Deborah Kennedy’s idea that literary relationships between disempowered writers are built “not from blood, but from ink.”
Kelly J. Hunnings additionally received The 2018 Literary Encyclopedia Scholarship for archival research at Trinity College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. Her project, “Tracing the Chaotic Domestic in Mary Barber’s Verse,” was awarded a £750 travel bursary to defray the costs of conducting archival research. This research will contribute towards the completion of her dissertation on a network of eighteenth-century women laboring-class writers.