Parsons, Deborah L. 1973-
Parsons, Deborah L. 1973-
Born 1973. Education: University of Reading, B.A., M.A.; Birkbeck College, University of London, Ph.D.
Office—Department of English, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, England.
Academic. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England, senior lecturer.
Modernist Studies Association.
Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City, and Modernity, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.
A Cultural History of Madrid: Modernism and the Urban Spectacle, Berg (New York, NY), 2003.
Theorists of the Modernist Novel: James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf, Routledge (New York, NY), 2006.
Deborah L. Parsons is a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham in the department of English. Parsons was educated at the University of Reading, developing a background in English literature and philosophy before earning her Ph.D. at Birkbeck College in the University of London. Her research interests include urban representation and culture from the nineteenth century to the present day as well as Anglo-American modernism, with particular interest in the writings of Djuna Barnes, Dorothy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf. Parsons's 2006 publication, Theorists of the Modernist Novel: James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson, and Virginia Woolf, specifically examines aspects of the work of two of these writers.
Parsons's first book, Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City, and Modernity, primarily focuses on London and Paris, the two cities she used as case studies in her doctoral thesis. Parsons examines the role of the woman as a figure in urban space and brings together the varying opinions of theorists who discuss this topic while interjecting her own insight. Reviews for Parsons's first book were mixed. In a Signs review, Christine Bauhardt noted that she finished reading the book without a clear picture of its argument, saying that "Parsons's conclusion seems quite vague." In a Nineteenth-Century French Studies review, Gayle A. Levy called the book "of limited use" for scholars of French literary studies, since most of the work "is devoted to analyses of English and American writers." However, she acknowledged that Parsons "offers a theoretical reconsideration of the figure of the flaneur," or observer of the urban scene, and most importantly, "proves that there was room for the flaneuse," his feminine counterpart.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Nineteenth-Century French Studies, fall-winter, 2001, Gayle A. Levy, review of Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City, and Modernity, p. 178.
Signs, winter, 2003, Christine Bauhardt, review of Streetwalking the Metropolis, p. 736.
University of Birmingham, Department of English Web site,http://www.bham.ac.uk/ (March 11, 2007), author profile.