While much has been written about the domestic and subtly conformist ideals that infuse Little Women (1868), the fact remains that by deciding to get married at the end of the novel and keep her writing career, Jo March provides a timely—and timeless—model for girls and women everywhere. In her talk, Armbruster revisits Little Women from the perspective of 2018 and contemplates seeing at least one of the book’s heroines—Jo March—not as a “little woman,” but as a “nasty” one.
ELIF ARMBRUSTER, PhD, is an Associate Professor of English at Suffolk University where she teaches courses in American Literature, American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. In addition to her book, Domestic Biographies: At Home with Stowe, Howells, James, and Wharton (2011), she has forthcoming essays on Willa Cather, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Elif is the current Vice President of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association and past Co-President of the New England American Studies Association. Elif is an avid runner and enjoys participating in the annual benefit race for the Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord. She lives in Arlington.