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Faculty Highlight: Dr. Ghazi Nassir

AUK Associate Professor of English Language and Literature Dr. Ghazi Nassir attended The 42nd American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 17-20, 2011. Professor Nassir presented a paper titled "Un-Johnsonian Sequels."

The paper focuses on the two attempts that have been made to correct the supposed defect in the conclusion of Rasselas: Dinarbas; A Tale: Being a Continuation of Rasselas, by Ellis Cornelia Knight in 1790, and The Second Part of the History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia, by Elizabeth Pope Whately in 1835. One might ask the following question: what Johnson's opinion would have been, had he been alive to express an opinion, of two attempts to extend and complete the narrative of Rasselas? The paper argues that Johnson would have rejected both attempts to compose sequels to Rasselas because his commitments to religion were at odds with romantic narratives, the genre of these sequels are written in, and because of his repulsion against glorifying images of war and military conflict which they contain in excess. The premise of peruse of happiness in these two sequels is marked by many basic references that would have been unthinkable by Samuel Johnson. After all, sequels, like in movies, do not recreate the same perceptions, outcomes, and reactions. Thus, this paper's main purpose is to assess these sequels not only as imitations of Rasselas, but as a critical response to it. Simply put, neither author followed Johnson's dictum that "happiness, as well as virtue, consists in mediocrity."


Dr. Ghazi Nassir

Released by the PR & Marketing Department on the 30th March 2011









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