Time Management and Autonomous Subjectivity: Catherine Talbot, Politeness, and Self-Discipline as a Practice of Freedom

Soile Ylivuori

Abstract


The article investigates the moralist author and bluestocking Catherine Talbot’s (1721-1770) system of time management and self-discipline through her manuscript journals. Her writings paint a picture of a woman who, by monitoring her daily activities by the minute, aimed at making the most of her time in a very concrete way. More specifically, Talbot’s time management was an integral part of her regime of self-imposed discipline, aimed at moral and polite self-improvement and rational selfhood. Moreover, the article argues that Talbot’s quest for self-control can be seen as an attempt to formulate autonomous subjectivity within the framework of the culture of politeness and to gain pleasure through working on the self. Self-discipline could also be a means of acquiring freedom from normative gender roles in an environment where discipline was seen as a masculine prerogative.


Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/JEMS-2279-7149-20391



Licenza Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


 
Firenze University Press
Via Cittadella 7 - 50144 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712
E-mail: journals@fupress.com