‘Fever’ and its meanings in English literature: Annabel Barry

Focus on Undergraduate Research

By Jenifer Jonson

Annabel Barry
Annabel Barry, 2019 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize winner. Photo by Denise Applewhite

The acknowledgments at the beginning of Annabel Barry’s senior thesis start with a thank-you to her family, including her seven siblings, and end with a shout-out to Princeton’s theatrical scene shop staff “for agreeing to operate some very heavy puppets.”

At Princeton, Barry’s talents ranged from theater and community service to peer academic advising. She earned the Pyne Prize alongside Sydney Jordan. Her academic accomplishments as a researcher and writer were forged in the English department, where she was one of three rising seniors to spend summer 2018 at Oxford through the Princeton Bread Loaf fellowship.

“At Oxford, I began to read Mary Wollstonecraft’s feminist philosophy and travel writings,” Barry said. Her thesis “describes the contradictions in Wollstonecraft’s philosophy, which dreamed of an escape from the sexed body and the ‘woman’s fever’ that cut her career short.”

Professor of English Susan Wolfson described Barry’s research as “an impressively ambitious, savvy adventure.”