Graduate Fellow, Spring 2019
Kurt McGee is a Ph.D. candidate in English. His literary-historical work examines concerns about privacy and privacy invasion during the early twentieth century in Europe. In Britain, for instance, passport laws, income tax, widespread conscription, and the welfare state established individuals as accountable citizens and essentially made it illegal for them not to be recorded. The literary component of my research investigates the response by Modernist authors of the period and their conflicted relationship with individual privacy and the political-technological apparatuses that would compromise it. By investigating trans-European writers such as Joseph Conrad and Samuel Beckett as well as prophetical voices such as Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, Kurt plans to show how privacy is interwoven into the content as well as the form of twentieth-century fiction. Just as the European Union’s 2018 General Data Protection Regulation has brought to public attention one of the major issues of contemporary Europe, Kurt hopes to foreground the ideas of the great minds that encountered these concerns nearly a century ago to see what they can teach us about our present crisis. Kurt earned a B. A. in English and Philosophy at Georgia Southern University, and an M.Phil. in Irish Writing at the University of Dublin, Trinity College.