Principal Investigator
Nicole Mansfield Wright

Nicole Mansfield WrightLiterature is often touted as creating a more just and empathetic world—but what happens when it doesn’t?

That’s the question explored in Nicole Mansfield Wright’s new book, Defending Privilege: Rights, Status and Legal Peril in the British Novel, published in 2020. In it, Wright explores literature from 18thand early 19th-century authors, and how it is used not to give a voice to the voiceless but rather to portray the privileged as the true victims in society.

Wright found that these narratives, rather than disappearing, appear to have infected and influenced modern-day society like malware in unseen and unacknowledged ways—from deciding who gets to hand out justice to whose testimony is believed in court.