Abstracts

SCRC 2020: Paper Abstracts

 

A-B / C / D / E-G / H-I / J-L / M / N-Q / R / S / T-U / V-Z

John Alexander (University of Texas at San Antonio)
“Vaulting in the Cathedral of Tortona: State of Investigation”

Construction on the cathedral of Tortona (Italy) commenced in 1574, and it was completed within forty years, in two phases.  During Phase One of construction (1574-1583), the liturgical end of the church was built (consisting of the chancel and the two nearest bays in the nave).  In October of 1583, the completed half of the cathedral was consecrated.  Phase Two of construction followed immediately; it included the remaining four bays of the nave and the facade.  Phase Two was completed in twenty years (1583-1603), with the vaulting over those four nave bays constructed in the early 1610’s.

The design of the cathedral presents a number of anomalies for a sixteenth-century cathedral in northwestern Italy.  Complicating matters, a nineteenth-century act of the cathedral chapter reveals three surprising facts:  1) the two bays of the nave closest to the chancel were originally covered with a lathe-and-plaster ceiling in the form of a barrel vault (and not a true masonry barrel vault, like the rest of the nave); 2) the elevation of the nave arcade in those two bays was noticably thinner than the rest of the nave arcade, and 3) there were signs of structural problems there. 

This presentation will examine this information, and posit an hypothesis about the differences communicated in the nineteenth-century act.  While the document noted diverging opinions about why a masonry vault had not been constructed over the two bays, it seems most likely that the lathe-and-plaster ceiling was completed during Phase One in order to provide an inexpensive, quickly-constructed and temporary (yet decent) covering over the part of the church that would house religious services.  The original design for the church probably included a continuous barrel vault, as seen in the cathedral today.  If evidence of settling appeared immediately, then the architect could have altered the design of the nave arcade, resulting in piers constructed during Phase Two that were bulkier (and thus more structurally sound) than those previously constructed.  These are not the only possibilities, however, and this presentation will also examine other options, some of which emerge from considering both the document and the context.

 

Amanda Atkinson (Southern Methodist University)
“The Epistemology of Wandering in Paradise Lost

I seek to recover the link between wandering and Raphael’s seemingly unrelated assertion that humans learn through “discourse” (V.488). Merritt Y. Hughes remarks in his footnote to this line that the Latin and Middle French etymology of the word reveals an earlier meaning concerning “running to and fro” either physically or intellectually. This etymology allows us to understand discourse and wandering as thematically linked. Following this, I argue that the thematic and structural importance of wandering in the poem is central to Milton’s project of educating the reader.   

The reader of Paradise Lost cannot help but wander. The poem ranges over the entirety of God’s creation, and the main action of the poem is often interrupted by interludes depicting journeys across vast celestial realms. This spatial wandering is compounded by a warped chronology that jumps backward and forward in time over the course of the poem and often within the span of a single, syntactically convoluted sentence. Of course, this structural wandering echoes the various acts of physical and intellectual wandering that pervade the poem, including Milton’s own, described in his invocations of the Muse Urania.

This paper focuses on Milton’s invocations, which I read as modeling a type of wandering that leads to intellectual and spiritual growth. During these invocations Milton wanders “where the Muses haunt” to find Urania and then roams across God’s creation in order to narrate the events of the poem (III.27). I suggest that Milton’s creative process and the resulting structure – which is in no way chronologically or formally linear – establishes the practice of wandering as key to the reader’s process of making meaning. In fact, it is only through wandering as well as retracing one’s steps and reading the text both forward and backward that the reader arrives at a full sense of the poem’s meaning.

 

Matthew Augustine (University of St. Andrews)
“Learning to Read with Marvell”

 

Michaela Baca (Texas A&M University)
“Rhetorical Regicide: The Gendered Dynamics of Mary I’s Queenship”

When Mary Tudor and Philip of Spain entered London together in 1554, Philip occupied a role that was traditionally, and until this point exclusively, female—that of the foreign royal destined to be married to England’s monarch. Scholars have noted Mary’s dominance in the entry and her marriage ceremony; she was clearly positioning her own precedence over Philip as sovereign. Her kingly rhetoric throughout these events served as a reminder to England that she, not Philip, was in charge. However, upon their marriage, Mary’s authority shifted from Queen Regnant to married woman. As the female half of the royal couple, her body would be called upon to produce an heir. While this heir would have prevented the Protestant Elizabeth from taking the throne, the act of bearing a child repositioned Mary’s authority still further from the masculine power of the throne. The fact that she suffered two false pregnancies and was subsequently abandoned by her husband left her with no authority at all—as a mother, wife, or queen. By examining Mary’s rhetorical moves before, during, and after her marriage to Philip, I argue that Mary I’s marriage stripped her of rhetoric of kingship and replaced it with the rhetoric of queenly wifehood: consort.

This paper traces Mary’s rhetorical change after her marriage from Queen Regnant to co-monarch. Material objects such as the Great Seal reflect the equalizing of power between Mary and Philip, while written documents such as the treaty defining Philip’s role as King consort reflect Mary’s demand for sovereignty. By examining contemporary historical documents as well as material objects associated with Mary, I reveal the ways in which she reconciled her queenship with her womanhood, and ultimately argue that her marriage resulted in a material and symbolic erasure of her as a capable queen.

 

James S. Baumlin (Missouri State University)
“Is This the Promised End?” King Lear, Mandel’s Station Eleven, and the Shakespearean Apocalypse”

Emily St. John Mandel’s novel, Station Eleven (2014), opens with a stage performance of King Lear, in which the actor playing Lear—Arthur Leander—dies in earnest onstage, heralding a viral pandemic that wipes out 99% of the human populace worldwide. Thrown into a near-feral existence, Mandel’s survivors are left to rebuild civil society. The humanizing power of art—of Shakespearean performance specifically—becomes thematic in Mandel’s post-apocalyptic world. In its uses of Shakespeare, Mandel’s novel invites readers to see threats to our own existence (biological, ecological, political, technological) through the lens of “Shakespearean apocalypse.”

 

Lawrence Bonds (McMurry University)
“’All the argument is a whore and a cuckold’: Shakespeare’s Chaucerian Greek Thersites in Troilus and Cressida

What does Shakespeare do when he dramatizes Chaucer’s works that deal with Greeks? To begin to answer this question, it is crucial to recognize that Chaucer is extraordinarily important to people of Shakespeare’s era. Chaucer is regarded as the Father of the English vernacular literary tradition, with eight printed editions of Chaucer circulating in England across the “long” Sixteenth Century. Chaucer, for Shakespeare and his contemporaries, is the English literary tradition. Yet Chaucer presents at least two problems for Elizabethan/Jacobean readers and writers. First, because of language changes caused by the Great Vowel Shift, Chaucer is hard to read. In fact, Sixteenth-Century reviewers of Sir Francis Kynaston’s Latin translation of Troilus and Criseyde praise Kynaston for making it possible to read Chaucer without using an English dictionary! Second, although much of Chaucer is high-style literature (including Troilus and Criseyde), much of Chaucer is also bawdy and lowbrow. Coupling the ambiguously laudatory and unsavory reputation of Chaucer’s works with the reputation of Greeks as a frivolous (“merry”), over-sexed people who lack venerable Roman gravitas makes it inevitable for Shakespeare to dramatize Chaucer with amorous intrigue and crude language. Shakespeare creates in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, and the collaborative The Two Noble Kinsmen fascinating combinations of the wonderfully sublime and the extraordinarily brutish.

 

Hannah Bowling (Texas A&M University)
“Shakespeare’s Marian Moments: Identifying the Presence of Medieval Mariology in Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale

When approaching the Early Modern Era in England, one might assume that the Protestant reformers had eradicated the Virgin Mary from all art forms. After all, the veneration of the Virgin Mary was “corrected” by the iconoclasm of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Despite best efforts, though, Mary still lingered in the hearts and minds of both the reformers and traditionalists alike; with this lingering came an outpouring of literature referencing her, interlacing guilt and regret at the loss of old ways, bittersweet nostalgia at how things used to be, and acceptance and anticipation of things to come.

No single author serves as a better example of this more complex approach to Mary’s representation in Early Modern Era drama than William Shakespeare. In particular, his later plays, like Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale, seem to reflect almost a return to the homage paid to Mary in the Medieval Era. My paper will not confirm or deny any of Shakespeare’s personal religious and political beliefs; instead, the focus is on analyzing his plays as cultural artifacts in and of their own rights and examining how they embody this new, complicated relationship being expressed in English society. Through works like Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare alludes to the virginal nature of Mary through emphasizing the role she plays as intercessor for all, her fall from grace in Protestant theology, and her manifestations in iconography within medieval artwork and religious settings. Shakespeare’s use of the Virgin Mary in his plays serves to highlight the tension of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries while simultaneously conjuring the appearance of veneration similar to that seen in Medieval Drama. In my paper, then, I briefly establish the Virgin Mary’s presence and its function in Medieval literature before transitioning to a close reading of two Shakespearean texts, Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale, in order to discover how Shakespeare both overtly and covertly pays homage to the Virgin Queen of Heaven in his productions.

 

Emilie Brinkman (Independent Scholar)
Holy Mary: Dress and the Fashioning of Mary I’s Catholic Identity”

There remains a large gap within current early modern English scholarship concerning Mary I’s wardrobe as well as Marian fashion more generally. Studies of Tudor dress have tended to focus almost exclusively upon the court of Mary’s father Henry VIII or her half-sister Elizabeth I, whose impressive wardrobe has already been extensively studied. Janet Arnold has provided an exhaustive pictorial and textual inventory of Elizabeth I’s wardrobe, while Carole Levin has definitively demonstrated how dress was integral to the formulation of Elizabeth’s lasting image as the “Virgin Queen” or “Gloriana.” Yet, how has fashion contributed to the formation of Mary’s image and legacy as “Bloody Mary,” the papist murderer of Protestant martyrs? This paper examines the role of dress in the fashioning of Mary I’s royal image, with particular attention to her Catholic identity. I first explore Mary’s apparel before and after her accession in 1553, and then proceed to analyze her posthumous wardrobe within drama, literature and printed works from the seventeenth century to today. This paper reveals how such an emphasis on specific colors, cuts, styles and garments has helped shape her historical identity as a Catholic queen. I demonstrate how playwrights and authors emphasized Mary’s Catholic faith through her dress and physical appearance. Indeed, Mary was often garbed in opulent and heavily embellished attire in order to symbolize popish vice and excess. Other authors dressed her in Iberian styles or in the plain garb of a novice as in Webster and Dekker’s Sir Thomas Wyatt in order emphasize her loyalty to Spain. Ultimately, this paper reinforces how fashion was, and still remains, a fundamental aspect of religious, political and historical identity.

 

Chloe Brooke (Texas Tech University)
“Lucy Hutchinson’s Cosmology: Childrearing as Basis for Early Modern Political and Religious Erasmian Legacy”

This paper argues that since Erasmus’s conduct manual for children, early modern literature like Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder, didactically provides models, specifically through a fictional adaptation of a cosmology which could be put into action through the parent-figures. In this analysis, which uses Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder, De rerum, and her memoir written for her husband Colonel Hutchinson, the paper synthesizes Lucy Hutchinson’s perspective on parent figures’ responsibility to model appropriate behaviors at political, religious, and familial levels. In Order and Disorder, Hutchinson clearly critiques not only monarchical powers but even biblical figures. Through this critique of other hierarchies which she views as morally failed systems, readers glean an Erasmian value in the pedagogy which Hutchinson proposes: that superiors display virtue. This perspective is most obvious in her memoir. In Hutchinson’s memoir to her husband, she dedicates the work to her children under the guise of memorializing him for their memories. Her memoir proves to be of great impact suggesting that Hutchinson had actually intended the work for a much different audience as Norbrook has suggested. In the memoir “for her children,” Hutchinson details the virtuous behaviors of Colonrel Hutchinson. Of all the virtues she which make him worthy of memory and honor, she repeatedly concludes that each of these virtues is the result of his Christian Puritan faith. To this end, a unique conflict of ideology emerges. Can Hutchinson argue through her literary works that virtuous behaviors are a good Christian choice and yet also believe that eternal fate is predestined? If the end is already predestined from its beginning, do virtuous behaviors really matter? Hutchinson’s works suggest that the virtuous and non-virtuous behaviors displayed by parent-figures to their children are inherited. More importantly, Hutchinson gives a critical statement toward children in the monarchy line. Though a child may be born into the lineage to ascend the crown, predestined, child successors should lose that birthright power if they display bad behaviors. While Hutchinson certainly views this as a moral issue, her concern is also for the corrupting impact which badly behaved models can cause.

 

Nicholas Brush (University of North Texas)
“Making a Meal of You: The Colonial Cannibalism of a Caribbean Caliban”

Cannibalism has long been often associated with sexual deviance. Native and indigenous peoples were often colonized as a means to eradicate decidedly non-Western approaches to sex, gender, and sexuality, also referred to as Western and/or Christian erotophobia. This Christian erotophobia is ever present in The Tempest. Prospero has colonized Caliban, whose name reads as an anagram of canibal, because of Caliban’s attempt at taking Miranda’s virginity. Some scholars argue, though, that Caliban did not seek to actually rape Miranda but that the severity of his advances was purposely misconstrued by both Prospero and Miranda based solely on Western notions of appropriate sexual relationships. Prospero’s response to Caliban’s act of sexual deviance, therefore, represents the Christian erotophobia of native and indigenous peoples, whose queered bodies and sexualities violated Western sexual norms.

Prospero, however, has no problem utilizing the homoerotics of cannibalism as a means to overtake other men he encounters, Ferdinand in particular. According to Prospero, Ferdinand will be made to eat a rather queer diet, one presented in an ordered construction of male genitalia (1.2.460-62). Prospero’s insistence that Ferdinand consume the older man’s phallus reinscribes the very Christian erotophobia with which Prospero has colonized Caliban. This paper seeks to reimagine the Prospero-Caliban relationship through a decolonial lens, rereading the pair as a queered couple consisting of colonizer and colonized. I will argue for a decolonizing of Caliban’s queered “cannibal” body, one that Prospero has colonized through both the homoerotics of cannibalism and the Christian erotophobia that seeks to wipe these homoerotics out. By decolonizing Caliban’s body, we see Prospero’s act of colonization as one based not primarily on race but of Christian erotophobia and the fear of sexualized, non-Western civilizations. The man we see as the savage cannibal has been made such through a lens of Christian erotophobia and, like his island itself, must be decolonized and reclaimed.


A-B / C / D / E-G / H-I / J-L / M / N-Q / R / S / T-U / V-Z

Jill Carrington (Stephen F. Austin University)
“Viewing the Bronze Narrative Reliefs by Bellano and Riccio at the Santo in Padua”

Paduan sculptor Bartolomeo Bellano made ten bronze reliefs of Old Testament narratives between 1484 and 1486 and his successor Andrea Riccio made two more in 1506-1507 for the exterior of the choir enclosure  (1434 – 1482) of the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, known as the Santo. Following a major fire in the church in 1749, numerous original architectural elements were re-used in the reconstruction of the choir enclosure; however, the bronze reliefs were moved inside along with some architectural parts formerly on the exterior.  While scholars have disagreed about the plan of the original choir, all have accepted the elevation drawings of the choir enclosure’s original exterior published in 1851-1852 by Bernardo Gonzati in his massive volumes devoted to the Basilica of the Santo.  Although the elevations scrupulously adhere to the detailed description of the original enclosure published in 1590, significant inaccuracies of scale appear to exist.  The elevation drawings enlarge the scale of the three-by-two foot bronze panels and position them some eight feet high, making their small-scale elements difficult to see, whereas inside the rebuilt choir they are placed slightly above eye level.   

The present paper considers three factors essential to considering how the reliefs originally looked to visitors: 1)  their gilding and relief height;  2)  comparison with the size and viewing height of reliefs on other choir enclosures;  and 3) the viewing height of other gilded bronze reliefs by the sculptors and Donatello for the High Altar within the choir itself.

 

Heidi Cephus (Oklahoma State University)
“Advertising with Shakespeare: A Fan Studies Approach”

A colleague once remarked how irritated she feels when gifted Shakespeare toys by family and friends. The gesture, to her, represents an unwillingness or inability by the gift giver to take her occupation—the study of Shakespeare—seriously. One might expect that Shakespearean scholars would have a similar reaction to the use of Shakespeare in advertising. The description of a yogurt and topping pairing as “like Romeo & Juliet” (Noosa) or an email referring to A Midsummer Sale’s Dream (Whole Foods) disconnects Shakespeare and his works from their original context, eliminating the need for expertise. In this paper, however, I propose that we take such use of Shakespeare seriously by connecting historical conditions to contemporary understandings of fandom.

Shakespeare’s theater shares with modern day marketing both a sense of play and the need to sell one’s product. Although it may seem too obvious to state, plays are also associated with playing. This was even more true in Shakespeare’s day when actors faced accusations of idleness and when attending or participating in theatrical performances was consistently held up as the antithesis to work. And yet, both marketing and early modern English theater also share a dependence on generating profits.

I argue that dismissing the use of Shakespeare in marketing materials as inconsequential has real effects for the ways in which Shakespeare—and thus our work as scholars or theater practitioners—is perceived. Much in the same way that anti-theatricalists delineated between work and play, we enact a value judgment when we categorize between those who can use Shakespeare and those who cannot. Placing Shakespeare as marketing tool and Shakespeare as early modern theater practitioner in conversation under the banner of fan studies can help us better understand both enterprises and avoid constructing elitist limits on the use of Shakespeare.

 

Sarah Chambers (University of Oklahoma)
Validating Villainy: Manipulation as an Expression of Vulnerability in Much Ado and Othello

Although the plays differ radically in tone, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Othello are united by the ruthlessness of their antagonists, whose arguably equal villainy is separated only by degrees of success. In Much Ado, reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick steal the show, leaving the near-tragedy of Hero and Claudio’s love story to play out around them. Behind both couples, however, brooding antagonist Don John the Bastard complicates the plot, challenging the possibility of love and forcing the characters to reevaluate their perceptions. In his minimalist 2013 adaptation of the play, director Joss Whedon recontextualizes Don John’s character, emphasizing the complexity of a seemingly simple antagonist. The dynamic this reveals provides a useful template for understanding another villain—Othello’s Iago. Legendary for his spite and manipulation, Iago inspired Coleridge’s famous commentary on “motiveless malignity” in a character, yet closer scrutiny discloses a personal weakness motivating his interactions with those around him and with the audience. Director Oliver Parker’s 1995 version of Othello, featuring actor Kenneth Branagh in the role of Iago, perfectly illustrates this pattern of behavior. In adapting a play to film, a director acts as a guide to the audience, curating a specific vision of events originally suggested by the spoken word alone. Both Whedon and Parker deliver remarkably crisp, accessible interpretations of the plays. Whedon boldly emphasizes the dominating manipulation inherent in Don John’s character, while Parker’s Iago, reveals a vulnerable, insecure man, no less human than anyone else.

This paper explores the pattern of behavior compelling Don John and Iago to achieve self-definition and relevance through complex manipulation of others, a pattern clarified through the directorial lenses of Whedon and Parker. By assimilating their personal audiences into their own culpability, the antagonists project onto them the powerlessness that motivates their behavior in the first place.

 

Liana De Girolami Cheney (University of Bari, Italy)
“Giorgio Vasari’s Mercury and Cosimo I de’ Medici”

In 1565, assisted by Cristofano Gherardi, Il Doceno, Giorgio Vasari designed and painted a mythological and cosmological theme in the Sala degli Elementi, an apartment of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. In the Apartment of the Elements, the painted scenes are dedicated to the four elements (air, earth, fire and water), which in antiquity were considered to be at the origin of the world.

The four elements are personified as a history-painting theme on the walls of the chamber. On the window wall are large niches containing simulated sculptures of Hermes-Mercury and Hades-Pluto. These two images thematically connect with the wall decoration of the elements and the pantheon of the gods in the ceiling.

This essay focuses only on the image of Hermes-Mercury, consisting of three parts: a recount of the origin of these pagan god, an analysis of its classical stylistic sources, and an examination of his association and interconnection with Duke Cosimo I.

Aesthetically, it relates to the passion of the duke for collecting classical art. Symbolically, it alludes to the cosmological and magical qualities attributed to Mercury as they are linked with Cosimo’s persona

 

Kaitlyn Coalson (University of North Texas)
“Antony’s ‘tears belong to Egypt’: On Gendered Spaces, Duty, and Death in Antony and Cleopatra

Antony’s conflicting loyalties between Roman duty and Egyptian passion catalyze the political pressures in Antony and Cleopatra. The political feud that occurs in Act IV is seemingly caused by Antony’s failure to devote all his energy to Rome. Though in actuality, the play’s political divide occurs as a result of masculine, Roman authority succumbing to feminine, Egyptian seduction and emasculation. Rome and Egypt’s gendering suggests that residing in a feminine space like Egypt results in the feminization of the visitor: in this case, Antony. While Rome serves as a masculine space and Egypt—in the eyes of the Romans—is a cesspool of dangerous femininity, the political controversies that arise are a consequence of Antony’s conflicting loyalties between the two. L.T. Fitz, in an effort to point out various misogynistic criticisms of Antony and Cleopatra, argues that “almost all critical approaches to this play have been colored by the sexist assumptions the critics have brought with them to their reading” (Fitz 297). Antony’s duties as a Roman soldier and Cleopatra’s duties as Queen in their designated gendered spaces interfere with their romantic relationship; this much is clear. However, when the two lovers come face to face with death at the end of the play, they begin to operate in a space that is genderless and allows them to forgo their duties in order to grasp whatever bit of their love remains. This paper will explore Antony’s constant conflict between his Roman, masculine side and his Egyptian, feminine desires. Despite the clear gendering of spaces and the characters in the play, I contend that Roman masculinity and Egyptian femininity becomes irrelevant by Act V, situating Antony and Cleopatra in a non-binary space that allows them to fully embrace their love for each other without being constrained by the gender expectations of Rome and Egypt.

 

Louise Cole (University of Arkansas)
“Barrenness, Monstrosity, and Redemption: Exploring Motherhood in Paradise Lost

When the voice first speaks to the newly formed woman contemplating her reflection, it offers Adam to her as a more substantial companion than her watery image, declaring, “To him [thou] shalt bear / Multitudes like thyself and then be called / Mother of human race.”  The heavenly voice —presumably that of God— refrains from referring to her as “Eve,” a name which will conflate her identity with her maternal role. To both Adam and the poet, however, she is already “Eve” whom Adam directly addresses when she turns aside at their first meeting and whom the poet a few lines later refers to as “our gen’ral mother.” Eve’s association with motherhood while in Paradise can be seen as part of the complexity of time in the epic, as the narrative perspective shifts between the dramatic “now” of the prelapsarian Garden, her future as the prophesied mother of mankind, and her mythical role as ancestor to the poet and his readers. Milton’s concept of time in Paradise Lost and other works, such as his Nativity Ode, distinguishes between “two ‘nows’”— one being the “now” of eternity or the static “now” and the other being the dramatic “now” of time, constantly in flux. Although the association of Eve with motherhood seems fitting within the eternal framework of the narrative as the starting point for human history, the association is somewhat problematic within the dramatic narrative of time as it unfolds in the epic since Eve fails to conceive in Paradise despite being given a divine injunction to be fruitful and multiply and (thanks to Milton) an established sex life. Eve’s delayed fertility eventually gives way to postlapsarian motherhood, but after the fall, motherhood is conflictingly characterized as both a curse (depicted allegorically in the character Sin) and a means of salvation (foreshadowing the Virgin Mary as a perfected “second Eve”).

 

Consuelo Concepcion (Independent Scholar)
“‘The Plague of Custom’: Early Modern Capitalism in Tamburlaine Parts 1 and 2 and The Jew of Malta

Christopher Marlowe’s use of outsiders in the Tamburlaine plays and The Jew of Malta is a portrayal the rise of capitalism and how commerce and the exchange of labour changed toward the end of the sixteenth century. Such changes in social relations which came as a result of the change in economic relations. Two seminal events, the creation of the Russia Company in 1563 and the Siege of Malta in 1565, effectively signaled not only the end of the medieval period, but the ascension of how colonial power was to assert itself, with the European conquests of the Americas, as well as the early development of the African slave trade.

Marlowe, however, through Tamburlaine and Barabas, complicates the idea of an unchallenged expansion of capital through the use of societal “outsiders” to show how the development of capitalism changed to a system where labour production became more monetized and subject to exploitation. Marlowe shows that Tamburlaine and Barabas faced numerous challenges to the respective expansions and often were forced to defer to the respective positions as outsiders to assert any form of control. Each character is pushing the boundaries of their circumscribed existences, but such circumscription also allows each of them to engage with the larger world which is also undergoing similar changes in economic and social relations. The 1565 Siege of Malta, where the Knights Hospitallers defeated a much larger Ottoman Empire army and the creation of the Russia Company two years earlier, inform Marlowe’s understanding of the development of capitalism, which he disseminates through the Tamburlaine plays and The Jew of Malta.

In this paper, I assert that the formation of the Russia Company and the Siege of Malta were part of the ascension of capitalism which ended previous systems of labour and commerce. Using Tamburlaine and Barabas, I will argue that Marlowe portrays their presence on the plays as central to the development of capitalism, which was not only crucial for the shaping of economic power, which served to implement modern forms of colonialism, but signaled the end of the medieval period.

 

James Conlan (University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus)
Shakespeare’s Lying Wonders”

Ignored by scholars who have presumed that Shakespeare wrote for the “Ordinary Intelligent Elizabethan,” Millennial Age theologians contemporaneous to William Shakespeare warned magistrates to beware the lying wonders of the devil and his ministers.  Toward that end, theologians derived evidentiary rules from scripture and canon law to distinguish diabolical illusions from the true miracles of God.  In 1589, at the height of the Disciplinary Controversy, Richard Bancroft, chaplain to Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor, Vice-Chamberlain and Shakespeare’s direct superior, preached in furtherance of the bishops’ cause on the text of 1 John 4:1, “1 John 4: 1: “Beloved, Believe not every spirit, but try whether they come of God, for there are many false prophets in the world.”  Several of Shakespeare’s plays differentiate their audiences on their ability to follow the scriptural counsel by applying the canon law rules in the context of a criminal investigation: first, to determine if the “spirits” were true miracles of God or lying wonders of the devil and his ministers; second, if lying wonders, to distinguish the product of the devil acting alone from the witchcraft of a minister of the devil working alone or with the devil’s participation; third, if originating as witchcraft, to determine the modality of witchcraft whereby the human agent produced the illusion to define its illegality; and, fourth, if the modality is illegal, to employ forensic techniques to identify the malefactor within the play.  The essay examines the Ghost in act one of Hamlet, the Caesar’s Ghost in Julius Caesar, Posthumous’s vision at the end of Cymbeline and the Witches in Macbeth against these canon law rules.  The utility of the process to answer longstanding questions about these plays argue that Shakespeare raised the specter of lying wonders to show the need for Ordinaries whose greater understanding of canon law secured the realm against the perils of princes’ hearkening to witches’ counsel.

 

Hayley Cotter (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)
“Robbers of the Sea: Popular accounts of Piracy, 1609-1675”

In England, between 1519 and 1610, the government issued twenty-seven royal proclamations concerning piracy. These proclamations included calls for the discovery and apprehension of specifically named pirates as well as general prohibitions against piracy (such as a 1599 proclamation that forbade piracy against allied shipping). Between 1611 and 1675, the number of this type of proclamation dropped to seven. Interestingly, the decline in printed royal proclamations concerning piracy corresponded with an increase in popular accounts of pirates: examples include Ward and Danseker: Two notorious Pyrates (1609), A true relation, of the lives and deaths of two most famous English pyrats (1639), News from Sea, or, The Takeing of the Cruel Pirate (1674), and An Exact Narrative of the Tryals of the Pyrates (c. 1675). Some of these accounts included woodcuts, suggesting an appeal to a popular readership.

My paper does not address the crime of piracy from a legal-historical context, but rather considers how non-lawyers, non-mariners, and non-merchants obtained their information about this maritime crime. Piracy occupies a unique position in early modern English crime narratives: unlike infractions committed on English soil, which were adjudicated by the common law courts, criminal and civil cases of piracy were handled by the High Court of Admiralty. And just as most readers would never encounter pirates on the high seas, most would never have cause for business in the admiralty court. Consequently, the world of pirates remained removed from readers’ everyday existence; piracy represented a transgression that they would have scant opportunity to commit.

Ultimately, my paper considers how, as a genre, a proclamation differs from a “popular account” in the way it conveys information about piracy, and implications of this difference. It considers these popular accounts as the offspring of the royal proclamation, one that both supplanted and transformed the government document, and traces this genealogy by analyzing distribution (from publicly displayed to privately purchased), form (from official government document to commercial text) and content (from unembellished facts to sensational narrative). It also ponders how the illustrations in certain popular accounts act as an additional means of theorizing early modern piracy.

 

Jasmin Cyril (Benedict College)
“Display and Ornament:  Carlo Crivelli and the Taste for Islamic Textiles in North Italian Painting”

The appearance of Islamic carpets and textiles in North Italian painting represented the entanglement, according to the theories expressed in current scholarship by Brian Catlos, Michael Dietler and the Mediterranean studies community, between the Ottoman empire and the trading cities on the Adriatic.  The process of entanglement relates the understanding of exchange and transmission across cultures both diachronically and synchronically.  It is the aim of this paper to review and reframe the experience of how North Italian artists included specific examples of Islamic textiles and carpets and the reception of the images in sixteenth-century Italy.  Gentile Bellini  included a prayer rug, sajjada, in his Madonna and Child Enthroned, National Gallery, London, 1475-85. The carpets are identified as a Para-Mamluk carpet and an “Ushak” re-entrant prayer rugs. The prayer rugs, sajjaa types used for prostration in prayer, or quarter size, Çeyrek, were primarily of Anatolian production and reached Venice through Istanbul or through Egypt.  John Mills, researcher in Islamic carpets and textiles, produced numerous articles delineating the appearance of Asian carpets in Italian paintings, especially in North Italian painting.  Carlo Crivelli, Venetian painter who travelled broadly in the Veneto and Marches, had access to trading contacts and luxurious fabrics and textiles. This is confirmed in his paintings as he rendered those sumptuous and visually tactile quality in the paintings. He used gold leaf, sgraffito, pastiglia and metal stamps to relay the depth and richness of those complex and lush textiles. In the Annunciation with St. Emidius, 1486, National Gallery London, the three Islamic carpets alone are indicative of this obsession, however the brocades and silk textiles in the robes of the participants and interior domestic scene rival those in splendor.  Crivelli’s St. Mary Magdalene, 1480, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam is a paean to his attraction to surface texture, pattern and luxury derived from Islamic sources.  It will be suggested here that the inclusion of silk, brocade and luxurious rugs signified the ongoing exchange and construction of cultural memory bonds between the Ottoman empire and the Adriatic communities in Italy.


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Brett DeFries (Gustavus Adolphus College)
“Forever Pregnant: Marvell, Potency, and Lovability”

Nigel Smith concludes his biography of Andrew Marvell by observing that “[his] poetry is one of fulfillment in a kind of self-love.” Indeed, many critics since the psychoanalytic and linguistic turns have interpreted Marvell’s interest in self-love as an indication of his narcissism. This sense corresponds with another trend in Marvell studies of seeing him as a poet of “liminality.” For Matthew Augustine, Marvell both “discovers dignity and even higher purpose in pastoral retreat” but also registers “something discomfiting, some unquiet and uncertainty” about that retreat. In keeping with Hirst and Zwicker’s arguments that that Marvell looks to poetic production as a teleological replacement for “the failures of sexual reproductivity,” criticism tends to see the displacement of textual production onto sexual reproduction as a repetition of the wound of the symbolic. The pleasure Marvell finds in poetic production can only be experienced as the painful incapacity of predicative lack. Such pleasure exists not in the emergence of poetic speech, but is instead perversely severed by such emergence as accession into the symbolic. Marvell is thus trapped between the desire to escape into the second world of aesthetic production and a realization that aesthetics and idealism simply repeat the narcissistic wound from which he seeks to escape. This is why critics have seen Marvell as either seeking to replace one predicate with another in order to actualize some form of potential, or as seeking total retirement, lest choice and duty kill that potential. This paper seeks to find a space between displacement and retirement by arguing that Marvell finds self-love not in aesthetics, retirement, or predicative merit but instead in the simple fact of embodied existence, replete with all of its passions, affections, wounds and sins. Drawing on neoplatonic conceptions of potentiality and eros, and with particular attention to commonly neglected poems like “Upon an Eunuch: a Poet” and “The Unfortunate Lover,” I argue that Marvell isn’t trying to rescue poetry from the wound of the symbolic, and nor does he rescue love from a wound. Instead, ever a step ahead, his poems shield lovability with the wound of life itself.

 

Kristen Deiter (Tennessee Tech University)
“Conceptual Integrations of Richard III and the Tower of London in Thomas Heywood’s The Second Part of King Edward the Fourth

This paper uses Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner’s theory of conceptual blending to argue that Thomas Heywood’s The Second Part of King Edward the Fourth played an instrumental role in associating Richard III (“Gloucester”) and the Tower of London in the early modern cultural imagination. Conceptual blending occurs when an individual projects data from two or more input spaces to a blended space. Heywood’s various and progressively complex ways of associating Richard III and the Tower helped create and reinforce a blended space that, along with other plays and texts, integrated King Richard and the Tower in late-Elizabethan playgoers’ minds.

Heywood gradually and steadily builds the association between Richard and the Tower. In Scene 11, although the Tower is not mentioned, characters allude numerous times to historic murders that (as most playgoers knew) had allegedly taken place at the Tower through Richard’s machinations. These allusions foreshadow the murders that take place at the Tower later in  2 Edward IV.

This play also firmly establishes that Sir Robert Brackenbury is “Constable of the Tower” (10.153) and “Lieutenant of the Tower” (12.21, 148, 177; 14.17). In a scene clearly set at the Tower (because the characters onstage, including Brackenbury, recently said they were going there), Brackenbury discusses his misgivings about Gloucester’s order to have the Tower prepared to “entertain” his nephews. A succession of blends proliferates as this situation amalgamates Richard and the Tower, at the Tower, thorough the Lieutenant of the Tower’s speech.

The conceptual integrations continue to increase in complexity as Gloucester enters with both the Princes and Tyrrell. The Princes now discuss the Tower in Gloucester’s presence, and Gloucester educates the Princes about the Tower, at the Tower, deepening the conceptual integration of Richard and the Tower at every turn. When the Princes exit, this scene set at the Tower continues as Gloucester directs Tyrrell to arrange the Princes’ murder at the Tower, all strengthening the blend in playgoers’ minds.

The play’s climactic scene, in which the Princes are murdered at the Tower, embodies Richard’s conceptual integration with the Tower—though Richard is neither onstage nor mentioned.

 

Patrick Delehanty (University of California, Berkeley)
“Marvell’s Mower: Between Past and Present”

This paper examines Andrew Marvell’s mower poems, with a keen focus on “Damon the Mower,” and their representation of the figure of the laborer. While Marvell critics like Rosemary Kegl have done much to argue for the mower as representative of an emerging class of displaced wage laborers, this literature has not gone far enough in its consideration of the social being of the wage laborer as Marvell represents it.         

Rather than focusing on the nature of the mower’s labor, I intend to focus on the nature of the mower as laborer. As such, this paper purports to examine the mower’s relationship to history. This relationship, I argue, emerges in a double register. Firstly, I claim that the mower as a character is unable, often comically, as in the case of the defanged snake and his eventual “fall” in “Damon the Mower,” to recognize the historical associations his actions bear. In both examples, Damon fails to recognize the biblical precedents his actions suggest. Here, through a brief comparison to the character of Thestylis in “Upon Appleton House,” who happily accepts the narrator’s linking of her labor to a Biblical precedent, I show how the mower’s itinerancy as a worker yields an inability to form a historical consciousness, unlike Thestylis, who, as a worker rooted in the Appleton estate, is able to form that consciousness easily.

Secondly, I argue that the way the poems are written enacts this same structure, as they take on many of the tropes of pastoral poetry, even while they constantly undermine them and unfold as poems that are outside the typical generic confines of pastoral. Through this logic of alluding to and invoking a past tradition only to continually disavow it, Marvell’s poems seek to engender in their reader the same instability represented in the figure of the mower. This dual inability to connect the past and the present, I conclude, is emblematic of an aristocratic reaction against the rise of wage-labor. Rather than being purely nostalgic, however, as an idyllic pastoral might be, Marvell’s poems are attuned to the material processes of labor throughout.

 

Donald Dickson (Texas A & M University)
“Sir William Parkhurst’s Translations of Symmachus in the Burley Manuscript”

Increasing attention is being paid to the Burley Manuscript (Leicester & Rutland Record Office, Finch collection, DG7/Lit2, commonly known by its Donne Variorum siglum as LR1) by literary scholars for its collection of Donne-related material. The forthcoming Oxford edition of Donne’s letters will depart from all previous collections in presenting thirty-five unsigned, unaddressed, and undated letters copied into LR1 as correspondence written by or received by Donne. These letters were all copied (without attribution, dates, or other identifying information) in the hands of two scribes, identified in the early twentieth century as ‘D’ and ‘P’ (for Sir William Parkhurst). Relatively little attention, however, has been given to the rest of LR1, which is largely in the hand of Parkhurst, an attaché or under-secretary in Sir Henry Wotton’s first Venetian embassy (later knighted in 1619) who inscribed nearly three quarters of the items in the manuscript. At some point, he took possession of the booklets with the distinctive clutch-of-arrows watermark paper that were begun by the other predominant scribe and ultimately had them bound with some booklets that I believe were his alone to create LR1 in its present form. I plan show that Parkhurst translated a collection of thirty-nine letters by the fourth-century Roman statesman and man of letters Quintus Aurelius Symmachus; these were the first items he copied into the political miscellany he began in Venice (LR1, folios 7r–14v). Not only are they in his hand, but they bear the unmistakable traces of authorial tinkering rather than scribal variation. These first entries tells us much about Parkhurst’s literary and political interests and may shed light on the Donne materials he later collected.

 

Megan Diveto (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
“Redefining Genres: King Lear and Modern Crime Reporting”

Through this paper, I intended to explore Shakespeare’s King Lear through a new historicist perspective using Hayden White’s theoretical framework. By applying White’s approach to history to a historical play such as King Lear the argument can be made that King Lear functions as a historical text. Furthermore, looking at examples of modern crime reporting as historical texts I argue that King Lear functions as not only as a historical text but also as a journalistic presentation of past events. Allowing for this comparison also means that in some regard journalistic writing can also operate as literary texts as well, which is supported by White’s notion of historical writing. This brings forth questions of sensationalism, the idea of fake news, and other implications of this reading. There has not been in-depth scholarly research about the connections between journalism and classic literature, but the scholarship that does exists merely provides comparison between modern events and the events of the literary narrative being compared. This is not to say there has not been scholarship on historical storytelling, rather there is an abundance from Barthes to Greenblatt. My argument takes the examination between journalism and classical literature a step further in which I assert that these genres are more overlapping then previously thought. Not only does this redefine what people would classically call journalism but also what the complications are of allowing this redefinition.

 

Amy Drake (Independent Scholar)
The Taming of the Shrew Reimagined: Why are Audiences Captivated by the Struggle for Dominance in Intimate Relationships?”

Through this paper, I intended to explore Shakespeare’s King Lear through a new historicist perspective using Hayden White’s theoretical framework. By applying White’s approach to history to a historical play such as King Lear the argument can be made that King Lear functions as a historical text. Furthermore, looking at examples of modern crime reporting as historical texts I argue that King Lear functions as not only as a historical text but also as a journalistic presentation of past events. Allowing for this comparison also means that in some regard journalistic writing can also operate as literary texts as well, which is supported by White’s notion of historical writing. This brings forth questions of sensationalism, the idea of fake news, and other implications of this reading. There has not been in-depth scholarly research about the connections between journalism and classic literature, but the scholarship that does exists merely provides comparison between modern events and the events of the literary narrative being compared. This is not to say there has not been scholarship on historical storytelling, rather there is an abundance from Barthes to Greenblatt. My argument takes the examination between journalism and classical literature a step further in which I assert that these genres are more overlapping then previously thought. Not only does this redefine what people would classically call journalism but also what the complications are of allowing this redefinition.

Courtney Druzak (Duquesne University)
“Melancholic Expulsions: The Written Text as Excrement in the Work of Mary Sidney Herbert”

Robert Burton’s ideas of writing to avoid/expel melancholy in The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), and Wendy Wall’s of the printed text as whore in The Imprint of Gender (1993), combine via Galenic humoralism to suggest texts may function as feminized melancholic excretions. With this framework in mind, I argue that in Mary Herbert’s “The Dolefull Lay of Clorinda” (1595) and “To the Angell Spirit…” (1623), the poetess explores the power of the written text as expelled feminine melancholic material, and plays with this notion to legitimize her authorial agency. Herbert’s texts are fashioned into “tears” at the loss of her brother Philip Sidney, which enables her emergence as author. Thus the excremental feminine demonstrates its agency is tied to its ability to narrate its own self, just as Sidney Herbert does. Text as grotesquely exposed and leaking woman is then reclaimed as powerful even as it remains the whore, for it is from the expulsive body that compositional and creative power arises.

 

Susan Michele Dunn-Hensley (Wheaton College), “Sexual Violence, Politics, and the Queenship in Titus Andronicus and ‘The Rape of Lucrece'”

Garthine Walker argues that rape has a history, and, to understand any particular instance of rape, we must consider its historical context. I would argue that representations of rape and sexual violence also have a history and stem from particular social contexts. With this argument in mind, this paper will examine representations of rape in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and “The Rape of Lucrece” in order to consider how the political and social context of the late 1580s and early 1590s influences representations of sexual violence in these works. The paper will focus on two significant late sixteenth-century anxieties: fear of England’s vulnerability to invasion and unease about female rule.  Writers and artists conflated the body of Elizabeth I with the realm; her virginal body suggesting the inviolability of the nation. Titus and “Lucrece” present the violation of Roman matrons whose bodies are in meaningful ways conflated with land and state. The paper considers this anxiety about invasion from foreign powers, as well as agents of the Pope.  It also examines continuing anxiety about female rule through a consideration of Tamora’s role in spurring on of her sons to rape Lavinia, an act which confirms stereotypes about the dangers of powerful women.


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D. Geoffrey Emerson (University of Alabama)
“Reflection and Refraction in Marvell’s Poetry and Prose”

In his poetry, Andrew Marvell refigures refraction and reflection as distorting, yet often clarifying influences on human vision. In The Rehearsal Transpros’d, however, he primarily uses reflection to illustrate Samuel Parker’s flawed representations. By figuring Parker’s rhetoric as bent or broken mirrors, Marvell demonstrates not only how optical metaphor determine public discourse, but also how public discourse determines optical principles like reflection and refraction. Opticians and writers alike exert mastery over appearance by manipulation the light in which their audience sees the subject. Marvell, a master of textual optics himself, renders the literal and figurative lines that determine such appearances and, in doing so, shows how these lines converge.

As Joanna Picciotto and Jane Partner explore, Marvell develops his analogical skills while optics come into focus during the early modern period—culminating in Isaac Newton’s aptly titled Opticks (1704), over a quarter century after Marvell’s death. Yet, Newton stood on the shoulders of Boyle, Hooke, Huygens, and Grimaldi who were supported by Descartes, Kepler, and della Porta among others. Despite these advancements, their contemporaries often viewed optics with deep skepticism arguing that magnification exacerbated the flaws of human vision rather than, as Hooke suggests, correcting them. Both these advancements and their criticisms, however, are depend on metaphors determining the world: the eye becoming a camera obscura (Kepler) and a ray of light a tennis ball bouncing on the court (Descartes). 

By reflecting and refracting on both poetry and prose, Marvell distorts and clarifies his subject, sometimes simultaneously. He demonstrates that whether through lenses, water, steel, or language, mastery over appearance determines public and scientific discourse—indeed, he shows that these spheres are mutually influential. By reconciling the optical images on Marvell’s poetry with the bent and broken mirrors of Rehearsal Transpros’d, I argue that Marvell demonstrates not only the value of scientific analogy both in and out of that community, but also the value of expertise in form and figure in the early modern period and in our own contemporary moment.

 

Rae’Mia Escott (Louisiana State University)
“Right Blood, Wrong Body: Gender on a Spectrum in Richard II

Richard II’s gender is a topic often discussed and analyzed by scholars both in Early Modern studies and gender studies. Whether people see the character of Richard as feminine or masculine is usually split and this paper intends to fill that gap. However, what happens when we read Richard as neither fully male nor female, but as a new type of kingship? I argue that the text actually assists in shaping Richard into a non-binary character whose presence disrupts English power structures. His multiplicity of genders allows him to perform power in all the stages of his life, from his governance of the people to his deposition. Although there are moments where feminine characteristics of Richard are more visible, his fancy dress and theatrical speeches, these also happen to be moments where he retains the most control. Within the play, I examine many of Richard’s poetic speeches and show how he is neither demonstrating female or masculine traits fully, slides between the two. My attempt to place Richard on a spectrum and create this new idea of sovereignty from the marginalized king, stems from my examination on the words femininity and masculinity via queer theory and feminist theory . Reading Richard as a non-binary character changes the deposition scene and the usurpation of his title by Bolingbroke. Richard’s untypical kingship muddles the idea of a traditional warrior king and assists in his downfall. The inability to characterize Richard complicates the regulation the other men in court have over him, which in return makes him dangerously unmanageable. Divine right becomes weakened and scrutinized when the crown belongs to a man who does not behave similar to the other men in court, which makes Richard an interesting and marginalized character. His ability to shift between genders allows readers the opportunity to analyze and examine the fluidity of gender in the early modern period. 

Joan Faust (Southeastern Louisiana University)
“John Donne’s Holy Sonnets: Knocking on Heaven’s Door”

The focus on most studies of Donne’s patronage literature is his borrowing of divine metaphors and hyperbolic praise from religious prayer to compliment secular patrons. Since John Carey’s controversial John Donne, Life, Mind, and Art in 1981 and Arthur Marotti’s seminal John Donne, Coterie Poet in 1986, commentators have noted Donne’s almost scandalous linking of his secular patrons to the deity in his encomiastic verse and letters, drawing from his Catholic and Anglican concepts of the Trinity, to employ in his patronage literature. He names Thomas Woodward “thou my Saviour” (“To Mr. T.W., Hast thee harsh verse” line 6) and credits him with “raising” his body from the dead (“To Mr. T.W., Pregnant again” 8); calls the Countess of Bedford “divinity” (“Reason is our Soules left hand” 2) who has her own “Saints. . . whome your election glorifies” ( 9-10). However, though he still was seeking secular patronage when composing his divine poems, the track from religious to secular uses should be seen from the opposite direction. In his personal attempts to bridge the gap between himself and his God, Donne turned to the only methods he could conceive to create and celebrate a relationship—the metacommunicative techniques employed in his patronage literature. Marotti is correct that, like the coterie writings, these sonnets are “witty performances that exploited a knowledgeable audience’s awareness of their author’s personal situation and history,” but the intended audience was not secular but the Divine Patron himself. An analysis of the practice of self-fashioning, positioning, and framing in the Holy Sonnets reveals that, as with his secular patronage literature, Donne used these poems as a means to bridge the terrifying space between himself and his God, to cross this limen, knocking on heaven’s door.

 

Andrew Fleck (University of Texas, El Paso)
“The Early Reception of Hugo Grotius in Jacobean England”

Hugo Grotius was a humanist prodigy. In addition to influential neo-Latin verse and drama, the young historian and lawyer served as a key political figure at the right hand of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt during a constitutional crisis of sorts in the nascent Dutch Republic. He would go on to write one of the keystone works of international law and would write in favor of religious toleration. A critical divide in Grotius’s life occurred in 1619. In that year, the Prince of Orange, Maurits van Nassau, toppled his political rival, Oldenbarnevelt. Grotius suffered in the wake of his patron’s demise: he was imprisoned in Loevestein Castle before escaping ingeniously in a chest of books and going on to live a life in exile, a productive life (he completed De Jure Belli ac Pacis in this period), but one in exile all the same. Grotius’s influence is typically assessed retrospectively, considering all of his influential work and his life cut-short by shipwreck. However, in 1619, at that sort of mid-point, a first English assessment of Grotius emerged. It is Grotius in life, at that mid-point, that will be at the heart of this essay.

In the summer of 1619, John Fletcher and Philip Massinger hastily prepared their Tragedy of Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt for the King’s Men. The manuscript of this play is a fascinating artifact that offers evidence of early modern censorship practices, preparation for the stage, and the collaboration of authors, scribes, company, and censors. In the tragedy, Barnavelt opposes the monarchical aspirations of an ambitious Maurice, Prince of Orange. He receives assistance in his opposition to the prince from Hugo Grotius. Grotius had played an important historical role in the recent events in the Low Countries; he had come to England ostensibly on matters of trade – he was, after all, the author of Mare Liberum, a critical work in the history of free trade so important to England’s East India Company and their Dutch counterpart, the VOC – and had tried to enlist King James’s support for Oldenbarnevelt’s cause. Scholarship on Barnavelt tends to pass over the part Grotius plays in the tragedy, but this paper will argue that Grotius plays a key role in articulating the republican ideas Barnavelt espouses in his opposition to Orange.

 

Erich Freiberger (Jacksonville University)
On Acting in Hamlet and Plato’s Sophist, Statesman, and Republic

Rhodri Lewis’ Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness argues that the pervasive venatorial imagery in Hamlet “serves to utterly discredit Cicero’s moral philosophy” (102). Rather than reading these references to hunting as a critique of Cicero’s tired and shop-worn humanist morality, this paper reads the venatorial references that Lewis so astutely hunts down in terms of the trope of the sophist as hunter and hunted in Plato’s Sophist.  Cicero’s analysis of “the knavery that masks itself as wisdom,” (de Officiis, 3.72), and his entire account of personation is closely connected to this trope. I argue that the play’s depiction of acting is intimately connected with Plato’s and that these references show that Hamlet is less a critique of Cicero, than it is an attempt to show Hamlet and the players as figures for a wisdom that wears the mask of knavery in a way that closely follows Plato’s use of the trope of acting. Through an analysis of the repeated appearances of this trope in the Sophist, Statesman, and Republic I argue that the play appeals to the imagery of hunting and acting less to disparage an exhausted Humanist morality, than to present Hamlet and the tragedians as more worthy of ruling than Claudius by virtue of their superior grasp of dialectic.  This suggests that contrary to expectation, that the play is structured to display character, or “that within which passeth show,” as superior to external appearance in a way that that suggests that Hamlet is inverting Plato’s apparent critique of tragedy to make the display of ideas and virtue, or the philosopher’s thought and character (“that which passeth show”)  into the central theme of his tragedy.

 

Patricia Garcia (The University of Texas at Austin)
“’O how I rejoice!  More women!’:  Sisterhood in John Dryden and William D’Avenant’s revisioning of Shakespeare’s The Tempest

In 1667, John Dryden and William D’Avenant, revisited Shakespeare’s The Tempest to re-tell this story with the songs and sentiments of the Restoration period from its comic style to the political satire of establishing and maintaining governments. This version was extremely popular, resulting in an even more successful operatic adaptation in 1674 that was the standard version of the play audience saw until a return to the original in the 1830’s. What is an especially interesting change in this version is the addition of Dorinda, Miranda’s sister along with her love interest: Hippolito, the orphaned duke of Mantua, Prosporo’s ward who arrived on the island with them and yet is raised in isolation. For these two daughters of Prospero, the chance to bond over their isolated upbringing, their devotion and frustration for their father, and their intrigue over the concept of a “man” complicates their growing sense of independence and agency, particularly for Miranda.  Dorinda is the more comical and naïve of the two girls, offering Miranda yet another chance to show her compassionate nature for her and for the men they encounter on the island.  As these women work to understand love, passion, and the rituals of courtship, their own sisterhood bonds, especially for Miranda and Dorinda, become lost.  Fearing that her sister has affection for her beloved, each decries to never again share a bed with her sister who has betrayed her.  Even as the play moves towards its conclusion of happy and multiple marriages, the sisters recognize that while they may be reconciled, their fate lies in the beds of their husbands.  This essay will examine how Shakespeare’s isolation of Miranda in the original version places her within the traditional social constructions of courtship and marriage and how, even with the joyful addition of “more women,” this newer version subscribes to similar views.  What role do female relationships thus play in The Tempest, and how does they contribute to its views of marriage and the state?

 

Wesley Garey (Baylor University)
“Reshaping Epic in Lucy Hutchinson’s Order and Disorder

Since the 1999 rediscovery of her epic retelling of Genesis, Order and Disorder, the seventeenth-century Puritan poet Lucy Hutchinson has received a well-deserved critical revaluation. However, although critics have examined the surprising connections between Hutchinson’s biblical epic and her Lucretius translation, less study has focused on her engagement with other classical writers. In this presentation, I show how Hutchinson’s poem engages with Virgilian epic and its seventeenth-century reception, especially John Denham’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid, which filled a substantial number of pages in Hutchinson’s literary commonplace book. As she retells the story of Abraham, in particular, Hutchinson not only uses conventions of heroic epic such as extended similes, but also includes more granular allusions to specific passages from Virgil’s Aeneid and Georgics, which she redeploys in thematically significant ways that have so far gone unnoticed.

I argue that Hutchinson strategically uses these epic conventions and Virgilian allusions to engage not only with classical texts, but also with the early Augustan poetics of her Royalist and Cromwellian contemporaries like John Denham and Edmund Waller. While Hutchinson associates classical and English Augustan understandings of heroism and glory with pride, violence, and tyranny, she does not reject the concepts of heroism and glory altogether. Instead, she seeks to redefine them, praising Abraham’s humility and generosity, while rejecting Augustan praise for military victory and imperial grandeur. Just as Hutchinson’s retelling of ancient warfare in Genesis 14 draws on language from Denham’s Aeneid translation, her paraphrase of the Abrahamic covenants draws on imagery from the Aeneid’s description of Roman imperial rule. By adapting language from Virgilian epic, but using it to praise Abraham’s humility and generosity rather than his military prowess, Hutchinson implicitly contrasts the imperial glory of Rome with her own redefinition of glory. Thus, by using elements of classical epic and adapting language from its English translations, Hutchinson draws on the imagery and conventions of the heroic epic tradition while critiquing the militaristic violence and praise of imperial power associated with the genre, much as Lucretius’s De rerum natura uses the imaginative power of heroic epic against itself.

 

Alex Garganigo (Austin College)
Marvell’s Fantastic Afterlives

While we know a great deal about the critical and political reception of Marvell’s work over the centuries since his death, less attention has been paid to the full scope of the literary one.  High-cultural quotations and adaptations of Marvell are well-attested: for example, Melville, Eliot, and Ashbery.  But what about other registers?  This paper will examine science fiction and fantasy writers who make use of Marvell in various ways, from the slight to the substantial: Ursula K. Le Guin, John Crowley, Joe Haldeman, and Peter Beagle, as well as Howell Davies, who wrote three SF novels under the pseudonym Andrew Marvell in the 1930s.

 

Christy Gordon Baty (University of Nebraska-Kearney) and Erin Moody (University of Glasgow)
Elizabethan Embroidery: Gloriana’s Gifts and the Power of the Needle”

In the Elizabethan court, gifts were not only highly valued, they were an important vehicle to create relationships, cement mutual obligations, and open up financial opportunities. In this era, when needlework was considered art, embroidered items elevated gift giving to a new level. Bess of Hardwick used embroidered gifts to secure placements at court.  Princess Elizabeth used her needlework to secure favor with her mercurial father and new stepmother. Mary, Queen of Scots, used her needlework to court a prospective husband and send a message of mutual treason.  All these gifts results in marriages secured, lineages established, and heads rolling.

In our presentation, we will examine the impact of embroidery in the Elizabethan court. By looking at Elizabeth I’s relationship to embroidery and gifts, and how the people of her court gave and received items, we will show how embroidery was both art and economic commodity.


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H. Ashley Hall (Creighton University)
“Some Notes on Sola Scriptura in Lutheran Orthodoxy”

Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) is accepted as a hallmark of Protestant theology. However, a universal and succinct summary of its meaning does not exist nor is there complete agreement on when and where the phrase originates. This paper will present research undertaken by the author while at the Reformation History Research Library (Wittenberg, Germany), which in turn was part of his larger effort to provide a genealogy of the phrase and its meaning.

 

Elizabeth Hart (University of Connecticut, Storrs)
“Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales, and the Legacy of the Prince’s ‘Collegiate Court’ at Nonsuch Palace”

Historians of Stuart art are cognizant of the role played by Thomas Howard, fourteenth earl of Arundel, in the development of Charles I’s art collection. They also note Arundel’s relationship with Prince Henry, who died in 1612 at age 18. Arundel brought to both friendships his family ties to Nonsuch, the Tudor palace situated in Surrey southwest of London. Nonsuch was one of several residences that James I designated for his children; but as Henry grew to adolescence it became specifically identified with him and his activities: his classical studies, athletic pursuits, literary patronage, and art, book, and manuscript collecting. Parry, Howarth, Smuts, Butler and others have recognized the importance of Henry’s friendship with Howard, finding in it the seeds of what would later become the earl’s more consequential collaboration with Charles I. I will focus on that earlier relationship and offer more information about Nonsuch. What do we now know about the galleries, courtyards, gardens, and entertainment grounds of this site that was actually lost to the modern era until the summer of 1959? Owing to that year’s archaeological excavation, we gain a sense of why the 18th-century historian Thomas Birch–writing eighty years after Nonsuch’s demolition–called it Henry’s “Collegiate Court.” Our understanding widens when we explore Howard’s close family connections: Howard’s paternal grandmother was a daughter of the first post-Henrician owner of Nonsuch, Henry Fitzalan, twelfth earl of Arundel. The younger Arundel grew up enjoying access to Fitzalan’s properties and to John Lumley, Fitzalan’s son-in-law, keeper of Nonsuch during the latter reign of Elizabeth I. Howard would have known Nonsuch’s displayed art and perhaps the artworks that lay hidden in its guarderobes. He would have been familiar with Lumley’s renowned library and with the garden statuary for which Nonsuch became a foreigners’ tourist attraction. He might have understood Nonsuch’s roots in the Italian-influenced 1530s’ architectural boom in French and English royal properties. Using works by Biddle, Dent, and historians of the Gonzaga of Mantua, I argue that Howard’s influential knowledge of Continental art must have derived, at least in part, from his lifelong familiarity with Nonsuch’s treasures.

 

Robert W. Haynes (Texas A & M International University)
“Intention and Play in Thomas Starkey’s Dialogue between Pole and Lupset

The presentation proposed here focuses upon a work has been for the sake of convenience assigned the title A Dialogue between Pole and Lupset, although there is no textual authority for this title.  A nineteenth-century scholar, writing not long after the book had been found in the government archives of England, had titled his edition A Dialogue between Cardinal Pole and Thomas Lupset, which suffered from the evident fact that the gentleman named Pole who is the primary speaker of the dialogue was not a cardinal at the time the conversation is staged. Yet Reginald Pole was a major figure in his day. A high-ranking kinsman of Henry VIII, possibly with as good a claim to the throne as Henry had, Pole narrowly missed elevation to the papacy and indeed died, shortly after the death of Queen Mary, as Archbishop of Canterbury.

Thomas More had led the way in English Platonic dialogue with his very influential Latin work Utopia, but others felt that their dialogues would be more effective if written in English.  Just as Utopia draws on Plato’s dialogues The Republic and Critias, so the dialogues of this group of writers engaged interlocutors in political discussion and analysis of ethical issues.  Unfortunately for Starkey, political developments in England outpaced his good intentions as erudite counselor to the king, and the conflict between Henry VIII and the Pope eliminated the key humanistic options of free speech and ethical independence. Aside from Reginald Pole, Starkey includes the character Thomas Lupset, who had managed the second edition of Thomas More’s Utopia, and the book itself consists of an extended conversation between the two learned men.

As the dialogue begins, the distinguished Reginald Pole is urged by Lupset to take a greater part in public affairs.  Lupset’s manner fluctuates between an admiring deferentiality and a gently reproachful urgency as he sets forth the reasons why Pole should give up his life of private study and contemplation and engage his talents in the public weal.  He becomes impatient as Pole responds by praising the private life and disparaging the futility which he claims accompanies the efforts of advisors to the king.  At length, however, Pole acknowledges that he really agrees with Lupset and that his previous arguments have been a ploy to get Lupset to articulate the case for involvement in the politics of the realm.  It is from this beginning that the long subsequent discourse arises, with its detailed analysis of specific problems needing solutions.

Readers of this work will recognize that in its early pages Thomas Starkey is establishing a kind of dialogue with Thomas More’s Utopia, a work which had laid out some of the working principles of humanist art, and Starkey clearly believes that a dialogue written in English to emulate the effect of Plato’s Republic will extend the humanist contribution beyond what More’s Latin dialogue accomplished.  His sense of Plato’s importance may have intensified as he realized that the role of counselor to Henry VIII increasingly resembled that of counselor to Dionysius of Syracuse, who had sold Plato into slavery. 

This analysis of Starkey’s Dialogue will be directed toward clarifying how humanist play and imagination in this work are shaped by the deterioration of what had previously seemed an auspicious environment for erudite counsel to find practical application in England.

 

Courtney Herber (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
“Defender of the Faith and Realm: Mary I, Warrior Queen”

In Pedro Calderon’s La Cisma de Inglaterra, first performed in the late 1620’s, the Infanta Maria, upon the grisly death of Ana Bolena, takes the throne beside her father. She makes it clear, however, that she would rather give up her right to the throne rather than renounce the Roman Catholic Church, as her father had done. When examining the play’s source history, it is easy to see how Calderon built directly from Pedro de Ribadeneyra’s Historia ecclesiastica in his characterization of Maria. These Spanish sources give a glowing portrayal of Mary and her reign.

La Cisma and Historia are not the only early modern sources which depict Mary and her rule in a positive light. The Catholic (or crypto-Catholic) chroniclers of England in the sixteenth century, including Nicholas Sander, Henry Machyn, and Antonio de Guaras, depict the accession and reign of Queen Mary as unambiguously positive. In general, Protestant Chronicles, including Foxe’s Actes and Monuments and Holinshed’s chronicle, begrudgingly admit that Mary was warmly welcomed into London, but her later reign cast that goodwill into the mud. 

It is not surprising that Catholic writers would see Mary’s reign as a godly one and the Protestant writers would disparage her. Within their depictions, however, there are more subtle differences which can be telling of what traits Mary displayed that were seen as positive by the Catholic writers versus those of a more Protestant persuasion. For example, neither Holinshed nor Foxe depicted Mary at the head of an army of supporters, rallied around her to reclaim her throne from Queen Jane, but de Guaras did. By describing Mary’s martial ability, de Guaras linked her to the memories of both her mother, Katherine, before Flodden Field, and her grandmother during the Reconquista. By examining these chronicles, and ones that depict her mother’s tenure as a consort queen and her grandmother’s as a regnant queen, I will show that how Mary was depicted was reflective of much more than just a Catholic and Protestant divide, but also linked her to her mother’s Spanish family through her bloodline and her faith.

 

Marion Hollings (Middle Tennessee State University)
Women’s Greek Literacy in Tudor Translation Culture”

This paper is part of a larger project on on the interface of gender and classical reception in the Tudor period. The paper considers two mid-sixteenth-century Englishwomen’s translations from the Greek into English: Mary Roper Clarke Bassett’s translation of Eusebius’ Ecclesistical History (c. 1547-1553) and Jane Lumley’s translation of Euripides’ Iphigeneia at Aulis (c. 1550-1553). Mary Bassett (c. 15524/1525-1572) is distinguished as the only woman during the reign of Mary Tudor to have her work appear in print (her English translation of her grandfather Thomas More’s Latin De tristitia Christi [Of the Sorowe of Christ, 1557]). Jane Lumley is distinguished as the first English translator of a Greek drama (which she dedicated to her father, Henry Fitzalan, twelfth earl of Arundel). My paper explores how Jane Lumley and Mary Bassett read their Euripides and Eusebius by considering the cultural conditions that allowed for mid-Tudor girls’ tuition in Greek—the legacy in Tudor girls’ education of curriculum reforms supporting the teaching of Greek at the colleges and grammar schools in the period roughly 1520s to 1560s.

 

Jessica Hower (Southwestern University)
“‘To her whose virtues and kingdoms he inherits’: The Politics and Practice of Tudor Imperial Queenship”

This paper explores the dynamic, yet largely unstudied, intersection between Tudor queenship and Tudor empire. It takes as its hook the epitaph on Elizabeth I’s tomb, in which James VI & I praises the queen as “her whose virtues and kingdoms he inherits.” We assume that this refers solely to Elizabeth; that is what James intended. However, the monument marks both queens regnant, and reminds us of what they shared. I argue that James’s verse, specifically the clause that reveres the kingdoms—plural—that he inherited, can and should be construed as applicable to Mary as well, revealing a new Early Modern World.

 

Ann A. Huse (John Jay College, The City University of New York)
Marvell and Attachment Theory: An Alternative Psychoanalytic Approach

Marvell’s depictions of little girls and his resistance to conventional marriage have attracted psychoanalytic critics, most notably William Kerrigan. Versions of Freudianism, including feminist revisions to this tradition, predominate. Yet another school of psychoanalysis, attachment theory, might better illuminate Marvell’s oeuvre as well as his biography. Pioneered by John Bowlby in the 1950s, attachment theory replaces Freud’s insistence on a universal fantasy with a scrutiny of the presence and quality of an infant’s emotional connections across time and space. Because it focuses on the stability of a household and on the dispositions of the child’s caregivers, this methodology lends itself well to historicism. Though, like Freudianism, it invites charges of anachronism, it relies for its claims on the study of material conditions that the mid-seventeenth century shares with the early- and mid-twentieth since it concentrates on child-rearing arrangements including proxy parents and on the wartime estrangement of children from their families. For instance, the upper-middle-class Bowlby resembles his early modern counterparts in that he was raised by a nursemaid and a nanny. Like British children of the 1640s and 50s, Bowlby had his sense of security disturbed by war: to escape the strategic bombing raids of World War I, he was sent away at seven to boarding school. Attuned to parental separation, Bowlby followed his absentee father into medicine, working at a child psychiatry unit with children evacuated from London to the countryside during World War II and with the Jewish children rescued from Hitler’s Europe through the Kindertransport program.  The rapport between domestic employees such as tutors or nurses and their charges, the effects on children of the dislocation of war, the struggles of orphans and others lacking “a secure base”—these are the preoccupations not only of the attachment theorist but also of our own orphan of the storm.


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Cole Jeffrey (University of North Texas)
“Thou Art the Man: Guilt, Repentance, and Aesthetic Response in Hamlet

According to Hamlet, art has the power to reveal truths about human nature. Hamlet believes that when his uncle Claudius watches The Mousetrap, the king’s emotional response to the play will “catch” his “conscience” and reveal his guilt. Most literary scholars, however, have not shared Hamlet’s confidence in the power of theater. The scholarly consensus is that Hamlet’s faith in The Mousetrap is unwarranted: Claudius is certainly guilty of murder, but his reaction to the play-within-the-play does not qualify as objective evidence of his guilt. In this paper, I challenge this assumption. Hamlet’s scheme to reveal Claudius’s guilt depends on the assumption that the moral nature of playgoers shapes their aesthetic responses to art. My research demonstrates that both the Christian and classical models of reception support this assumption. My reading establishes parallels between Hamlet and the biblical prophet Nathan, who reveals King David’s crimes of murder and adultery through the power of storytelling. I argue that Shakespeare draws from this biblical example in order to refute anti-theatricalists who denounced theater for its supposed power to manipulate and corrupt playgoers. Through the play-within-the-play, Shakespeare shows that art reveals—rather than controls—the spectator’s true nature. However, in keeping with Christian and classical models of reception, Shakespeare also shows that human nature is constantly in flux and, thus art cannot give Hamlet what he wants: certainty about the mysteries of human nature.

 

Lesleigh Jones (Southern Methodist University)
“The Figure of Echo in Milton’s Paradise Lost

Many scholars have noted how Eve briefly takes on the role of Narcissus when she views her reflection in Eden, but Narcissus’ companion in that myth, Echo, is largely ignored. In Milton’s Ovidian Eve, Mandy Green provides an excellent analysis of Ovid’s influence on Paradise Lost; however, she briefly connects Adam to the figure of Echo, whereas Richard DuRocher asserts in Milton and Ovid that Eve represents both Narcissus and Echo. This paper proposes to explore their disagreement and show how Adam’s connection with Echo is apparent throughout Paradise Lost and is precisely why he commits sin. To accomplish this, I will rely on Ovid’s Metamorphosis, the text most often considered when evaluating mythical figures, but also on to Seneca, Pindar, and Aristophanes’ brief portrayals of Echo as a more long-winded messenger. Milton would have been aware of these other texts and Echo’s multi-faceted aspects, and I would assert that these minor portrayals influence the way Adam mirrors the figure of Echo in Paradise Lost.

Adam portrays many of Echo’s characteristics: he consistently repeats information from others, reinterprets what information he is given, is externally focused, and also acts as a messenger. However, unlike Echo chasing after Narcissus, Adam’s role is to follow Eve. Instead, Adam is told to focus his attention primarily on God. Yet in the end, Adam falls because he, like Echo, prioritizes his companion above all else, including his role in Milton’s celestial hierarchy. At this moment his ideas become an echo of Eve instead of God’s Echo for Eve, thus placing her above not only himself, but also God, and it is this position that establishes his part in the Fall.

 

Lindsey Jones (Texas A & M University)
“‘Am I not king?’: Reconsidering Regicide in Richard II

“I am Richard II; know ye not that?” Elizabeth I once famously demanded. It’s unknown whether the queen was making a reference to Shakespeare’s play specifically; the popularity of the English history play in the late Tudor period meant many contemporary productions featured the Plantagenet king. Regardless, Shakespearean scholars have long connected her comment to his Richard II. After all, the play features a successful rebellion by a nobleman, and Elizabeth made this statement shortly after the aborted rebellion by the Earl of Essex. Supporters of the earl had even paid Shakespeare’s own company to perform a play titled Richard II the night before the rebellion, apparently wanting to arouse the audience’s support. The queen was clearly not alone in identifying herself with Richard.

Modern scholars have not questioned this connection, pointing to the Elizabethan censoring of the scene in which Richard is deposed (4.1) as further proof that the queen’s reading of the situation was the standard one, clearly intended by Shakespeare. Yet the play was able to be printed in 1608 complete with the deposition scene. The suggestion has been that, with Elizabeth’s death in 1603, a deposition was no longer quite as delicate a topic. Yet the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 demonstrates that James Stuart’s life and reign were just as threatened as Elizabeth’s. I argue that while Elizabeth does have an analogue in Richard II, it is not meant to be Richard, the deposed and murdered (but still lawfully anointed) king. Rather, Shakespeare associates her with Bolingbroke, the usurper (potentially) responsible for Richard’s death. Who would be the intended counterpart, then, for Richard? I say it is Mary, the deposed Queen of Scots, imprisoned and ultimately executed on Elizabeth’s orders. Shakespeare choosing to portray Richard’s/Mary’s fall as a tragedy implicitly criticizes Bolingbroke/Elizabeth, the one responsible for their death. I posit that Shakespeare argues in Richard II that just as Bolingbroke’s involvement with the deposition and murder of Richard was unjustifiable and the source of an English civil war, Elizabeth’s involvement in the deposition and execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, might spur the same.

 

Katie Kadue (University of Chicago)
“Green Sickness:  Anti-Erotic Poetics in ‘The Garden'”

 

Kristen Keach (University of California, Berkeley)
“From Stage to Page: Technologies of Triumph from Ancient Pageantry to the tre corone”

Triumphs have been ingrained into the fabric of Italian cultural and literary life since the inception of Ancient Roman triumphal pageants. While ancient triumphs celebrated particular conquests in military history, wherein victors became emblems of divinity, and spoils were proudly flaunted, the idea of “triumph” evolved in the medieval and early Renaissance into the valorization of Jesus Christ. Despite the shift in tone of the triumph, from imperial violence to Christian humility, certain factors remained constant throughout the centuries: pageantry, spectacularity, and the eternal preservation of a singular moment in time. One important difference, however, is the degree to which the live spectacle of the military triumph moved across time and space, and manifested itself in the “static” frames of literature.

This paper will examine the various technologies of triumph, as they have been transcribed out and transformed from live performances to literary-visual cultures.  Specifically, my paper will focus on how and why the theme of triumph is integral to the poetics of Italy’s tre corone: Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch. Through the use of ekphrasis, the tre corone re-imagine audience participation in Ancient Roman and Christian processionals, transforming their “static” texts into dynamic journeys across time and space. I will demonstrate the ways in which these poets sustain the sense of the triumph’s vital movement, preserving the spectators’ active engagement in literary representation. My paper will draw particular emphasis on how the technologies of triumph are maintained, perhaps even slightly expanded upon, in literary processionals. Among the questions my paper will ask are: in what ways is military pageantry adaptable for literary forms, especially for the early Italian long poem? How do Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch blur the boundaries between triumphator-poet and spectator-reader? How might their poetics reflect the very machinery itself of triumphal processions, such as the chariot and apparatuses for religious parades? And, finally, what kinds of mobility did representations of triumph generate both within and beyond the written page, insofar as questions of circulation and reception are concerned?

 

Sharon Khalifa-Gueta (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
“Raphael’s St. Margaret Paintings as a Reflection of their Recipient Patron – Marguerite de Navarre”

In 1518 Raphael painted two paintings of St. Margaret, both of which will be claimed in this lecture to have been intended to Marguerite – the Queen of Navarre. Documentation for the Louvre Saint Margaret painting are vague but earned a scholarly consensus: the painting was commissioned by Pope Leo X, to be sent to the absent Queen in the wedding of Lorenzo de’ Medici and Madeleine de la Tour d’Auvergne on August 10, 1518. For the Vienna St. Margaret there is almost no evidence. But why should the Pope go to so much trouble to satisfy the King’s sister – Queen of Navarre? And why did the second painting, painted by Renaissance’s busiest and most productive artist, ended up in the not so important collection of a Venetian ambassador Msser Zuanantonio Venier.

In my lecture I will contend both paintings were intended to Marguerite de Navarre, and both had layers of interpretation to satisfy both Raphael’s clients: the commissioning patron – Pope Leo X, and the recipient client – Marguerite de Navarre, conveying different massages to each. I will further demonstrate, by comparing Raphael’s St. Margaret paintings to his Archangel Michael painting, that the paintings were meant to reflect the personality and essence of their recipient patron, and also embedded the artist’s attitude and social conceptions toward women in unusual position of power. I will also suggest that the Vienna St. Margaret was a bit too explicit, and was altered with the Louvre one, which eventually reached France.

 

Ethan Krenzer (The Savannah College of Art and Design)
“More Than A Collection: Niclaes Jongelinck and What His Collection Said About His Identity”

The objects once a part of Niclaes Jongelinck’s (1517–1570) art collection showcase the changes in taste of collectors found in sixteenth–century Antwerp. Through the opportunity to sponsor artists Frans Floris (1519/20–1570) and Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525–1569) the patron commissioned works that addressed different subject matter popular in his region of northern Europe. These included an appreciation for the Labors of Hercules and moral ambiguities associated with the history recorded in the Old and New Testament. While never upfront with his opinions on the political and societal issues of his time, Jongelinck’s collection has given art historians indications on the kind of topics discussed in the privacy of his home when entertaining guests. By possessing the unique ability to change the interior of his estate known as Ter Beke, the patron’s tastes possibly represent other suburban spaces found outside of Antwerp. Alive when the identity of the area was at risk of losing what made it unique from the rest of Europe, the patron’s home possibly reveals the attitudes members of Antwerp’s elite were beginning to have towards the ruling nobility and the Catholic Church.

Rewarded by the rulers of the Hapsburg Empire for his family’s loyalty and hard-work, Jongelinck displayed the objects that made up his collection in a manner that honored noble officials while still analyzing the flaws found throughout northern European society. These included issues pertaining to religious freedom, surveillance, cultural identity, local versus international rule and compassion towards others. A Catholic, Jongelinck was likely aware of the problems caused by the Protestant Reformation at the beginning of the century but had no way to resolve the conflict. Through the ability to hire prominent northern European artists, the patron could express his interests in a safe environment while still staying loyal to the Hapsburg nobles responsible for his success and affluence.

 

Katy Krieger (The University of Oklahoma)
“The Contagion and Cure of Evil: Macbeth as Medical Treatise”

The use of contagion discourse in Macbeth triggers a period-specific anxiety about the characters’ and audiences’ susceptibility to the internal (humoral imbalances) and external (various forms of miasmic air) factors that put individual bodies and the much larger body politic at risk for contracting disease. Anxiety about bodily contagion, in Shakespeare’s time, was creeping into all aspects of life including art and drama (Carlin). Though actual disease, mainly the bubonic plague, was prevalent in the period, Shakespeare’s thematic and dramatic use of contagion in Macbeth becomes metaphorical for how evil is spread between characters and throughout the entire country of Scotland. The play begins with a tight focus on the internal susceptibility of Macbeth to the witches’ powerful prophetic suggestions of his potential evil doings. Then, Macbeth’s focus on contagion broadens as the play progresses and the plot is concerned with Scotland’s susceptibility to the evil that moves through the air or comes through porous boundaries in the shape of English soldiers. Like most plague narratives of the time, Macbeth structures itself around discussing the spread of evil, or its contraction, as well as the ridding of evil, or its cure (Totaro). With both contagion and cure present in this play, this paper will argue that Macbeth becomes a holistically useful (and visual) treatise of the time that instructs its “readers” on the workings of contagious disease and contagious evil as the physical body and the moral body become conflated in the plot. In addition, this paper blends period-specific theories of contagion with literary analysis techniques, and speaks to a larger goal of understanding Renaissance public health, religion, and drama.

 

Kerry Lambert (Northeastern State University)
“The Witches of Jacobean Dramas”

The witch characters of Jacobean dramas reflect early modern popular beliefs regarding the physicality of accused witches—both in bodily characteristics and geographical spaces. A comparison of these characters with their historical origins reveals how the playwrights choose to translate the past for their early modern audiences. From bawdy tavern ballads to the instructive words of King James I, early modern commentary regarding witches reflects common worldviews, revealing the stereotypes used by both the public and the country’s leadership to profile witches. After years of various documents indoctrinating the public, distinct patterns emerged regarding witches. Whether a skeptic or a firm believer, writers of this subject took note of these trends. A study of various texts reveals the predominate physical features of many accused witches often included the following: of female gender, an elderly, single or widowed, deformed or handicapped in some way, a community outcast or beggar, uses an unruly tongue, and a highly sexualized manner. The early modern “witch” plays considered in this paper include comparisons of the following: Shakespeare’s Macbeth with Holindshed’s Chronicles, Middleton’s The Witch with Greco-Roman literature, Marston’s The Tragedy of Sophonisba with Marcus Annaeus Lucanus’s first century work Pharsalia, and Rowley, Dekker, and Ford’s The Witch of Edmonton with the common tabloids of the day. A close examination reveals how the past instructs the present to perpetuate the future.

 

Christopher Lapeyre (Northern Illinois University)
“Mystery, Morality, and Tragedy: Doctor Faustus, Damnation, and the Social Network”

Traditionally, critics have seen Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus as either a straightforward morality play or as a defiant rejection of authority, whatever the cost. In both interpretations, the tension lies in whether Faustus will repent. More recently, many new historicists have seen Faustus as a soul on the rack of predestined damnation, a struggle which invokes the audience’s own latent Calvinist anxiety. Here the tension lies in that Faustus cannot repent. Certainly, anxiety over salvation was real enough in some quarters, as shown by robust sales of Calvinist works such as A Treatise tending unto a declaration whether a man be in the estate of damnation or in the estate of grace (1589) and A Case of Conscience, the Greatest that ever was: how a man may know whether he be the childe of God, or no (1592).  But critics who argue that the audience’s pervasive Calvinist anxiety was the dramatic engine of Faustus oversimplify Marlowe’s theological context. Given the range of views in the Elizabethan Protestant theological marketplace, there is, in fact, no compelling reason to believe that the audience would necessarily interpret the story in Calvinist categories. But if this Calvinist reading is not compelling, we are not necessarily thrown back upon the traditional choice between morality play and Marlovian defiance. Marlowe certainly invokes the Pre-Reformation morality play, which for him and his audience would have been a moribund genre. But Doctor Faustus synthesizes the morality play with Senecan tragedy and a second Pre-Reformation genre, the mystery play. The synthesis of these various tropes emphasizes not only Faustus’s active role in fashioning his fate through fashioning himself, but his role as a Satanic figure whose damnation affects not only himself but also infects and degrades larger social networks. The thematic resonances of these genres moralize the play on an individual, social, and cosmic level, linking Marlovian defiance with Satanic defiance and contextualizing both within a satire of social structures that are supposedly for everyone’s good, but in reality, shelter those who will feed their own appetite for sensuality, exploitation, and meanness.

 

Jane A. Lawson (Emory University / University of Sheffield)
“The Background and Origin of Mary’s Book of Household Ordinances”

Since its 1790 publication to the present time, A Collection of Ordinances and Regulations for the Government of the Royal Household, has served as the benchmark reference for the household ordinances of English sovereigns. This work includes ordinances details for the households of Edward III, Henry VIII and others, but it does not include details for the reign of England’s first regnant queen, Mary. However, there is an unstudied manuscript that provides this information and much more for Mary’s household. Prepared in her first regnal year, preserved by her master of the household, Michael Wentworth, and held by the Sheffield City Archives, this surviving manuscript provides important and exclusive information on the household regulations and the earliest corps of servants above and below stairs; a royal household that has received little attention in part for lack of relevant evidence. The study of Mary’s initial household ordinances and personnel will be of tremendous value to students of the Marian court and to those studying English queenship.

 

Carole Levin (University of Nebraska)
The Dangers of Being Close to the Throne: the Case of Margaret Clifford”

Since its 1790 publication to the present time, A Collection of Ordinances and Regulations for the Government of the Royal Household, has served as the benchmark reference for the household ordinances of English sovereigns. This work includes ordinances details for the households of Edward III, Henry VIII and others, but it does not include details for the reign of England’s first regnant queen, Mary. However, there is an unstudied manuscript that provides this information and much more for Mary’s household. Prepared in her first regnal year, preserved by her master of the household, Michael Wentworth, and held by the Sheffield City Archives, this surviving manuscript provides important and exclusive information on the household regulations and the earliest corps of servants above and below stairs; a royal household that has received little attention in part for lack of relevant evidence. The study of Mary’s initial household ordinances and personnel will be of tremendous value to students of the Marian court and to those studying English queenship.

 

Catherine Loomis (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Queen Elizabeth I Society Roundtable

 

Sally Luken (University of Cincinnati)
“’I, (State Your Name)’: Ritual Polyvocality of the First-Person in John Donne’s ‘Woman’s Constancy'”

In this paper, I engage with the problem of the first-person pronoun in poetics at large, as well as the particularities of John Donne’s lyric in an extended analysis of “Woman’s Constancy.” The poem lends itself well to this theoretical debate over pinpointing the status of this “I” because of its relation to the historical moment during the turn of the seventeenth century surrounding the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and subsequent Jacobean Oath of Allegiance as well as the actual language in the poem. Framed in this context, the language in the poem clearly intersects with other performative speech acts like oathing and prayer that illuminate a polyvocal quality of the “I.” Through this analysis, I illustrate that, at least in the turn-of-the-seventeenth-century, pronouncing the “I” in lyric, in an oath, in a memorized prayer, or in a dramatic monologue can never be a wholly individual experience. That is, though saying “I” can connect an individual real-time utterer to the meaning of words on an extremely personal or private level, voicing the “I” inescapably makes them a participant in a congregation of all those who have said that “I,” whether they fully intend or privately connect with the meaning of the following words or not. Saying “I” brings in your “I” and identifies yourself with the words and their referents, and it brings you into a community of fellow utterers. These communities, formed through ritual, serve to show our human propensity for group or social identification. Whether through sworn oaths, prayer, or lyric, the “I” in its polyvocality satisfies that desire. Theoretical influences on this paper include works from Jonathan Culler, J. L. Austin, and Margaret Fetzer among others.


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Theresa Marks (University of Oklahoma, Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts)
“Leonardo’s Saint Jerome: A New Perspective”

Historians universally accept Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of Saint Jerome in the Wilderness (Vatican Museum, Rome) to be of his own hand and one of his earliest panel paintings.  The painting’s provenance begins with Cardinal Joseph Fesch (1763-1839), the uncle of Napoleon Bonaparte, who later sold the work to Pope Pius IX, who placed the painting in the Vatican collections.  The Saint Jerome has traditionally been dated 1480-81 and chronologically linked to the Adoration of the Magi largely based on their unfinished status and similarities in underpainting and preparation. Yet, Leonardo’s use of sfumato, the intricate modeling of shadows, and sophisticated anatomical details, supports a later date.  Indeed, Syson and Billinge have more recently discovered underdrawings in the Virgin of Rocks (London version) that they assert are stylistically linked to the Saint Jerome, and therefore they have suggested a date of 1483, which would place the work in Leonardo’s first Milan period.

In this paper, I assert that Leonardo’s compositional approach, tonal relativity, and curvilinear perspective are the most distinctive aspects of his Saint Jerome and reflect his study of optics in Milan, which would confirm the later date for the painting.  Moreover, the Saint Jerome shows a complete break from Leonardo’s early use of the Albertian compositional grid, and further underscores the primacy of optics in his later approach to painting.  Through an exploration of relevant folios and notes from his manuscripts, I seek to align Leonardo’s Saint Jerome with his optical discoveries to support the notion that this painting traveled with him over the course of several years, during which time he laid in additional edits as he developed his mature pictorial ideas and optical observations.  Through this, Leonardo’s painting style began to develop towards the more naturalistic, three-dimensional visual experience characteristic of his later Milanese works, for which his painting of Saint Jerome was likely a reference.

 

Chelsea McKelvey (Auburn University)
“Queen Anne’s Body in Stuart Court Entertainments”

In 1605, a pregnant Queen Anne donned blackface and costume along with the ladies of her court to perform Ben Jonson’s Masque of Blackness before James VI and I’s court. In 1609, Lancelot Andrewes preached “Galatians 4.4-5,” at James’ court, a sermon minimizing the agency and authority of the pregnant woman’s body by contrasting Queen Anne to Mary, the mother of Christ. Both Jonson’s masque and Andrewes’ sermon fixate on the role of Anne’s body both as wife to James and queen to England, but they arrive at widely contrasting conclusions regarding the authority of Anne over her body. Recently, scholars have paid due attention to the ways in which Anne’s performance allowed her to claim a sense of authority and agency over her body. Given this similar subject matter of Anne’s authority via her body, it is surprising that these two texts (and the genres of court masques and court sermons) have yet to be considered alongside one another as political and theological commentaries. Like masques, sermons were another form of court entertainment that commented on the ongoing political and domestic situations of the Stuart court. New research on early modern sermons demonstrates that they were, like Shakespeare’s plays or Jonson’s masques, another form of entertainment and social commentary. What I add to these conversations is that court entertainments, both masques and sermons, present a clearer picture of the female body’s power and production as it was understood at the Stuart court. I argue that Andrewes’ patriarchal downplaying of the woman’s body in the Christ story (and more generally, in procreation) is actually a response to Jonson’s masques, rather than the normative touchstone of early modern understandings of gender and maternity. While Andrewes uses rhetorical performance to uphold James’ interest in patriarchal control, Jonson uses visual spectacle to demonstrate Queen Anne’s authority over her own body. Considering Andrewes’ view of the female body alongside Jonson’s display and celebration of the female body reveals multiple models for understanding maternity in the early modern period.

 

Timothy McKinney (Baylor University)
“Form and Function in Gioseffo Zarlino’s Musico-Theoretical Diagrams of the Senario”

One of the cornerstones upon which Gioseffo Zarlino built the influential music theory presented in his treatise Le istitutioni harmoniche of 1558 was his revision of the ancient Pythagorean definition of musical consonance.  The paper examines two floral or circular diagrams Zarlino constructs to illustrate this revamping and assesses the interplay between aesthetic and didactic considerations that shaped them.  The Pythagoreans defined the consonant musical intervals as those that could be represented by superparticular ratios among the tetrad formed by the first four integers:  the perfect octave 2:1, the perfect fifth 3:2, and the perfect fourth 4:3.  Zarlino expanded this definition of consonance in order to provide a theoretical rationale for the imperfect consonances used in the musical practice of his day.  He thus added the numbers 5 and 6, resulting in what he called the “senario.”  He asserts that all of the consonant intervals can be formed among the six members of the senario, as his floral diagram purports to show, and that certain necessary dissonant intervals can be obtained by multiplication of its members, as his circular diagram shows.  Zarlino has to stretch things to derive all of the imperfect consonances from the senario, yet he is willing to do so in pursuit of finding a theoretical justification for musical practice.  Thus, while Zarlino relies extensively on math to support his theorizing, the math is a means rather than the end, which is to unite music theory and practice in pursuit of the aesthetic goals of defining good and proper music and explaining music’s expressive power.  Similarly, his diagrams are not drawn to scale from a mathematical or musico-theoretical perspective.  While we should note that it was not Zarlino’s purpose in his diagrams to represent actual interval sizes, and while we should recognize the brilliance of the diagrams for illustrating his theoretical concepts in such a clear-cut and attractive way, at the same time we should recognize the significance of the disconnect between the musical and mathematical relationships the diagrams represent and his purpose in designing them as he did, which was for visual appeal and aesthetic value.

 

Jonathan Megerian (Johns Hopkins University)
“The Politics of Madness: The Case of King Henry VI”

King Henry VI of England (r.1422-61/70-71 ) is known to history for his deposition in the Wars of the Roses. Perhaps only slightly less notorious is his ‘madness,’ a prolonged period of catatonia that triggered the regency of the Duke of York, his ultimate nemesis. But, despite the extent to which it has captured our imaginations, his madness rarely comes up in contemporary sources. This has nudged some toward wild speculation and post facto diagnoses, while more sober historians breeze past it with studied circumspection.

I seek not to diagnose, but rather to offer a possible reconstruction of the social and political meanings of the king’s madness to people of his age. Since the sources themselves are few, we must position them in relation to discourses that survive in larger numbers. By putting the sources on Henry’s madness that we do have in dialogue with other sources about madness writ large, we can glimpse the range of ways his contemporaries would have understood his catatonia. My next task will be to compare this range of meanings with fifteenth-century political theory. In so doing, I demonstrate that madness’s defining features stood in absolute contradiction to those of the ideal king. I thereby aim to restore the king’s madness to a more central place in the Wars of the Roses. My paper should be of interest to specialists of the Wars as well as scholars of madness, political theory, and anyone trying to pull meaning out of recalcitrant texts.

 

Margaret Mendenhall (University of Texas at Austin)
“Black Will, Bosola, and Other Murderers in the Elizabethan Gig Economy”

In plays like Arden of Faversham, John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, characters—some minor, some major—are hired by those with greater social privilege to commit murder on the employer’s behalf, a phenomenon not very much unlike rideshare driving, adjunct professorships, and other iterations of today’s much-discussed “gig economy.” This paper will analyze a few scenes of hired murder in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, using parallels to the twenty-first century gig economy to draw out the social and ethical dimensions of this seemingly logistical dramatic relationship. What are the ethical and affective differences between paying for murder and committing one? What are the differences between the early modern criminal’s gig economy and that of the twenty-first century rideshare driver? In a system of exchange that functions around reputation and flexibility, otherwise oppressed workers might presumably gain autonomy or social mobility. In fact, both then and now, structures remain in place to prevent that autonomy from happening. In the plays examined here, that structure is primarily the playwrights’ class-based allocation of contrition, that humanizing affect and necessary first step toward spiritual salvation. The right to remorse is part of what gets exchanged in the murder trade, leaving privileged characters freer to repent and be redeemed (either spiritually or in the eyes of the audience) than the functionary assassins they employ. What’s more, depictions of payment for murder underscore the literal valuation of crime: how do you determine how much to pay your assassin? Does murder cost more or less than stealing, adultery, or treason? By hierarchizing transgression in terms of monetary value, and by highlighting the influence of social privilege on negative, morally inflected affects like contrition, the depiction of hiring a murderer can actually force more urgent ethical questions than the depiction of murder itself.

 

Andrea Mendoza Lespron (Washington University in St. Louis)
“The Sound of Milton’s Nativity Ode”

What does the nativity sound like? What sounds, if any, do we attach to this scene? If one had to eliminate all images of the Nativity, how could one remember this moment? “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity” offers an alternative way to experience the birth of Jesus by activating a different sense: hearing. Like a symphony, Milton’s poem creates an uncommon scene of the birth of Jesus through an elaborate combination of sounds. This essay suggests that Milton was experimenting with the quality of sounds to compose the “Hymn” as a form of verbal sacred music.

Even if the “Hymn” is not formally a symphony, it appears to experiment with various movements with different tempos. In underlining all the words that express sounds in the hymn, a very interesting pattern emerges: some stanzas contain a heavy load of sounds and others just lighter notes. The most emotionally charged stanzas (XIII-XIV) are not surprisingly the middle of the hymn and contain the only use of the word “symphony” in the poem. Then, the hymn moves away from high musical intensity and into another slow movement with a higher intensity of imagery for the grand finale. He slowed the momentum of his symphony to gradually, and with terrifying noises, bid farewell to the deities and beliefs that preceded the birth of Jesus. He circled back to the first stanza when everything was still and the baby lay in the manger. It is a more peaceful, but equally emotional, ending.

Milton, the director, bows to the audience, and his symphony ends. Dissonance gave way to harmony and to imagery as multiple deities stepped aside to relinquish their thrones to the one true son of God. From paganism to Christianity, and from images of the Nativity to a musical narration, the hymn explores another mean to remember and honor the birth of Jesus, to relive this moment in the hearts of the audience. Thus, one can notice that young Milton in 1629 was attempting his first reformation: the reformation of the Nativity.

 

Vincent Mennella (Southern Methodist University)
“Arthur’s Dream of the Faerie Queene”

One way the Tudor dynasty attempted to establish the legitimacy of its claim was to appeal to the legacy of Arthur, and scholars from Millican to Greenblatt often credit Edmund Spenser with popularizing the Arthurian myth of Tudor origins and celebrating the regime.  However, Arthur’s pursuit of Gloriana is inspired by Chaucer’s “Tale of Sir Thopas,” a satire of medieval romance heroes.  Anne Higgins claims that Spenser perfects the matter of “Sir Thopas” by transforming it into a founding myth of the English nation, but in the Letter to Raleigh, Spenser claims that The Faerie Queene is a “darke conceit.”  Because Spenser uses the language of “darke conceit” to refer to his work, FQ must not be a simple celebration of the dynasty but a sad and somber allegory.  Instead of elevating the matter of “Sir Thopas,” Spenser disguises the tale’s satirical nature as a way of expressing his sense of cynicism about the connection between the Tudors and Arthur. 

While Kenneth Hodges, Robert Lainer Reid, and John King argue that Spenser purifies his medieval source material to further the objective of fashioning a gentleman of perfect moral virtue, this does not apply to Arthur and Thopas.  As in the case of Sir Thopas, Arthur’s pursuit of the Faerie Queene is based on a dream vision, but Carole Levin shows that there was a growing sense of skepticism about the predictive power of dreams during the early-modern period.  Spenser could have purified the Thopas trope represented in Arthur’s dream of the Faerie Queene by appealing to the authority of Merlin as prophet as Arthurian mythographers since Geoffrey of Monmouth had done.  Spenser, however, reserves Merlin’s prophetic blessing only for Britomart and Artegall, so he must have understood the weight Merlin’s word would have carried and left the nature of Arthur’s pursuit of Gloriana as something uncertain and ambiguous.  While FQ could easily have degenerated into a piece of propaganda, Spenser adopts a variety of medieval sources to undermine the tenuous claim of the Tudors.

 

Mitchell Milam (Texas Tech University)
“Lawful Queerness: Analyzing Defiance and Complacency in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Scholars have analyzed the queer possibilities found within Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and how the characters find liberation by abandoning the court in favor of the lawless forest. However, despite the queer potential found within this work, I do not believe that Shakespeare is advocating for queer liberation in the face of patriarchal and heteronormative authority. While the central characters may find sexual liberation in the forest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream turns its characters’ newfound freedom on its head by having the lovers repeatedly suffer once outside of the Athenian court. Characters such as Lysander and Hermia claim to abandon Athens in order to find freedom, but instead the unrestrained space of the forest creates an inescapable rift between the central protagonists. Furthermore, the four lovers begin experiencing polyamorous desires and unrestrained lust, hatred, jealously, and preposterous behavior before rejecting the forest in favor of the space that they had initially abandoned. Considering this, I believe that the forest of A Midsummer Night’s Dream serves as a warning for the lovers of the play because it highlights the potential consequences of breaking free from convention and giving into unrestrained passions and desires. I ultimately assert that the forest in A Midsummer Night’s Dream highlights the devastating consequences from breaking away from conventional societal mores.  Furthermore, I argue that while Shakespeare does indeed highlight the nonnormative power that the forest gives to its occupants, he ultimately utilizes it to uphold conventional societal mores instead of undermining them. In other words, the forest is only used as a tool to underscore the potential dangers in giving individuals too much freedom. By looking at how early modern England viewed queer behaviors like same-sex affections and crossdressing, as well as scrutinizing the plays themselves, I believe that it is possible to see how Shakespeare utilizes his works as conservative tools to reinforce societal expectations instead of resisting them.

 

Angeline Morris (University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa)
“Strange (Wo)men Distributing Swords: Or, The Mystery of Arthur’s Sword”

Edmund Spenser’s 1590 Faerie Queene takes great pains to distance the poem from the previously existing legends of King Arthur. The most obvious of these is Spenser’s insistence on his Arthur being young and inexperienced, rather than a king. But the differences extend much deeper than just the character’s age and experience. Spenser delves deeply into Arthuriana in his poem, drawing upon multiple ideas and characters, such as Merlin, which appear in canonical portrayals of King Arthur. One key point of difference, however, is Arthur’s sword. In Le Morte d’Arthur, Thomas Malory names Arthur’s sword as Excalibur, and also details the existence of the sword in the stone, which Excalibur replaces. However, Spenser’s Arthur carries a sword named Morddure, which does not seem to be directly associated with Excalibur. Taking into account Malory’s two swords in Le Morte d’Arthur and Spenser’s legend of Morddure in the 1590 Faerie Queene, it seems clear that there is both a conflation and differentiation occurring. In this paper, I argue that Spenser, despite his desire to appear completely original in his portrayal of Arthur, ultimately conforms to the traditions laid out in Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Although Morddure and Excalibur are different swords and serve different purposes, ultimately both return to the home of the narratives’ feminine powers, Gloriana and the Lady of the Lake.

 

Daniel Moss (Southern Methodist University)
“Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me) Kate”

Petruchio’s three famous demands, “Kiss me, Kate,” offer modern actors and directors of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew a range of interpretations, from the borderline assault of Act 2 to the quieter coercion of the penultimate street scene to the apparent mutuality of the final scene. A metatheatrical approach to the Shrew, however, suggests that the sequence of kisses provided a much richer range of interpretations for the Chamberlain’s/King’s Men, making a correspondingly wide array of responses available to original audiences.

Essentially, the early modern Shrew featured six kisses, not three. To the extent that the period audience could follow the play’s metatheatrical identity as “The Training of the Boy,” each kiss onstage would correspond to a fictionalized backstage moment in the apprenticeship of the boy actor cast in the part of Katherine. When Petruchio demands a kiss from Kate in the street, for example, she performs it to his satisfaction, but only after expressing anxiety over such a public display of affection, corresponding to that doubtless uncomfortable moment in every boy actor’s training when his adult master required him to rehearse kissing. In metadramatic terms, Katherine’s fear of becoming a spectacle “in the midst of the street” has already been rehearsed backstage, when the boy first expressed trepidation at the prospect of kissing a man in the midst of the theater, packed with spectators eager to hoot, whistle, or applaud.

The kisses of The Taming of the Shrew are thus doubly playful and doubly painful. During each kiss, the Petruchio actor portrays both the onstage husband and the backstage master, while the Kate actor portrays both the onstage wife and the backstage apprentice. In each instance, provided the stage-illusion is successful and the audience gains access to the metadrama, a man kisses a woman and a man kisses a boy. Each kiss moreover takes place simultaneously in the fictional, onstage present of the play and in the metafictional, backstage past of rehearsal, hence at two different times and in two different conceptual locations.

 

Grant Moss (Utah Valley University)
#Notallqueens: Portrayals of Elizabeth I in Twenty-First-Century Popular Culture”

Elizabeth I continues to be a popular figure in television and film in the twenty-first century, ranging from Cate Blanchett’s performances in Shekhar Kapur’s films to Helen Mirren ’s TV miniseries to Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots to Emma Thompson’s comedic turn as Elizabeth in Upstart Crow. Given that most undergraduates (and perhaps some graduate students) are more likely to have seen a movie or television show about Elizabeth I than they are to have read a biography of her, it behooves us as educators to understand what kinds of preconceived ideas our students bring to courses dealing with Elizabethan history, culture and literature.

Yet all of these performances, even the comic ones, seem intent on two key points: first, presenting Elizabeth as a wise, all-knowing sage who can solve people’s problems, a la the Judi Dench Elizabeth in Shakespeare in Love; and second, presenting Elizabeth as a tragic figure who is incapable of a happy and fulfilled life due to the sacrifices she has made to become the iconic Virgin Queen. In this essay, I want to discuss why these archetypes/stereotypes still persist four hundred years after the queen’s death, with a particular focus on how such representations influence our students’ notions of the queen and the culture she lived in.

 

Tim Moylan (St. Louis College of Pharmacy)
“’A Storm of Recent Violence and Injury’: Roger Ascham and Elizabeth I”

In 1568 Roger Ascham, one time tutor of the young Princess Elizabeth (1558-1550) and her occasional “study-buddy” (1555 onward) died.  As an indicator of Elizabeth’s regard for him, she is reputed to have remarked on his passing that “I would rather have cast £10,000 in the sea than parted with my Ascham.”  A forward and gifted student, particularly in languages, Elizabeth appears to have thrived under Ascham’s tutelage, something he references with evident pride in The Scholemaster and in his correspondence.  He notes that she profited from the educational strategy of “double translation,” which involved translating works from Latin or Greek into English and then back again, as well as from her own diligence in daily study.  She no doubt appreciated his commitment to affirmation rather than punishment as a motivational device.  Something occurred in 1550, however, to upset this comfortable and successful relationship, and Ascham left the court.  No clear explanation of the cause of this separation appears in the general interest biographical accounts of Ascham.  He, for his part, simply characterizes it as “a storm of recent violence and injury.”  This paper examines the extant evidence for what precipitated his sudden departure and what facilitated his later return to Elizabeth’s service.


A-B / C / D / E-G / H-I / J-L / M / N-Q / R / S / T-U / V-Z

William Nowak (University of Houston-Downtown)
“A Reformist Homo Novus at Work in Mateo Aleman’s Ortografia Castellana (1609)”

Renaissance theorists of language were often surprisingly preoccupied with spelling, and many of Spain’s humanists following the example set by Antonio de Nebrija’s groundbreaking Gramática de lengua castellana (1492)  would return to this question during the 16th and 17th centuries. For intellectuals interested in the nature of language, good spelling was often understood as a foundation not only for good writing but also for effective and authentic discourse itself. Debates between champions of etymology and phonetics, between tradition and innovation, constituted an important site for the paradigmatic conflict between ancients and moderns that animated so much of Renaissance culture even as that tradition found itself increasingly marginalized and under attack in Spain starting with the reign of Philip II (1556-1598).  In this reading of Mateo Alemán’s Ortografía castellana (Mexico 1609), I argue that his discourse about phonetic orthographical reform is structured to reflect and offer a practical example of the humanistic Homo Novus as that figure was understood by the circle of middle-class (and sometimes Converso) social reformers with whom he had collaborated in Madrid. Working in the tradition of Renaissance humanist commonplaces about language and good spelling, Alemán consistently adapts that international discourse to a specifically Hispanic context and pointedly raises topics such as the redefinition of the ‘Castilian’ identity of Spanish due to its own imperialism, as well as the Spanish obsession with Semitic ancestry and inherited class privilege.  Also important to this reading is the fact that although he had written most of the text in Spain during the 1590s Aleman waited to publish the text until he had emigrated to New Spain. In his prologue to the treatise, he openly situates this bold attempt to reform Castilian orthography (and social values) from the periphery rather than the center of the Spanish Empire.

 

Martha Oberle (Independent Scholar)
“First Person Plural”

First person plural is the expected manner of address of the English sovereign; that has been the accepted usage since the late Middle Ages.

However, in matters of State, Shakespeare’s rulers use both singular and plural forms.  This paper examines what such usage indicates.

 

Kevin Ogunniyi (University of California, Berkeley)
“Spenser’s Ovidian Malbecco”

Scholars have often read Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene as a poem exemplifying or critiquing Tudor patriarchalism during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. This paper, rather than situating the poem in Spenser’s immediate socio-historical context, reads Spenser alongside Ovid to descry Spenser’s debt to Ovidian “metamorphic” thinking and to explore the limits of that debt, focusing on one episode from each work. The Malbecco episode, Faerie Queene 3.9-10, and the narrative of Pomona and Vertumnus (Metamorphoses XIV), both contrast metamorphosis with its ostensible opposite, chastity. The similarities and differences between the poets’ treatments of metamorphosis and chastity manifest along lines of genre-marking, structure, and theme. First, both stories reveal their authors’ concerns with genre-formation and the characters’ generic awareness or ignorance; second, the stories are situated as minor or peripheral ones within much larger arcs; third, these stories delineate good and bad models of chastity, which molds reader and poem for the triumph of the good chastity. Contrasting the Spenser excerpt with the Ovid, Spenser has his knight-characters enforce the stability of the poem’s genre with violence, emphasizes ethical closure over metamorphic openness, and expels bad or sterile Chastity from the story (by allegorizing Malbecco into Jealousy). These differences help to construe the Spenser narrative as a “return from exile,” with its greater emphasis on virtue and emphasis on courtierly acculturation. Thus, Spenser adds to the Ovid here an interest in courtly love, humanist diplomacy, a yoking of intellectual to ethical virtue and of ethical to poetic distinction, which implicates the attentive reader as a moral and ratiocinating actor in what he has read.

 

Joseph Ortiz (University of Texas at El Paso)
“Humanism’s Final Frontier: Villagrá’s Historia de la Nueva México and the Translation of America”

This paper considers Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s Spanish colonial epic, Historia de la Nueva México (1610), in the context of Renaissance humanism and early modern theories of language. The poem, when it has been studied at all, has typically been treated as a historical work that documents Oñate’s colonial campaign in New Spain. However, Villagrá carefully forms his account of the campaign as an imitation of Virgilian epic—in particular, as another Spanish translation of the Aeneid that follows Velasco’s influential and groundbreaking Eneyda de Virgilio traducido en verso castellano (1555). Even more innovatively, Villagrá frames the campaign itself as a humanist project. He represents Oñate’s northward movement as a retracing of Aztec origins, and in doing so he activates the humanist language of excavation and recuperation. In this way he represents the European attempt to communicate with indigenous Americans as a logical application of humanist philology—as a project that is different in degree, but not in kind, from the recuperation of classical Latin and Greek. Thus, on the one hand, Villagrá makes a compelling case for the importance of humanist learning for Spain’s colonial ambitions. On the other hand, to the extent that Oñate’s expedition fails, the Historia also documents the limits of humanism as a means for recovering, or comprehending, an alien culture.

 

Shelby Oubre (Texas Tech University)
“Milton’s Failed Nationalism: Cosmopolitanism, Intellectual Exchange, and Borders from Areopagitica to Paradise Lost

Milton’s prose work suggests that sequestering England from the rest of Europe would create an unstable nation. In Areopagitica, John Milton states that “To sequester out of the world into Atlantic and Utopian polities…will not mend our condition…” Areopagitica promotes an image of England as God’s elect nation, chosen to reform all of Europe, painting a very nationalist Milton. However, quotes like the one above suggest that Milton is disguising fears that England can only fulfill its elect role by not sequestering itself from Europe. For those like Milton, the image of a sufficient English nation is shattering. Milton’s resistance to censorship laws and his fear of a “sequestered” English nation raises questions that have yet to be answered in Early Modern studies. Does Milton truly believe that the English nation is sufficient? Or, can the English nation stand alone, isolated from the rest of Europe?

This paper analyzes anti-nationalist sentiments in John Milton’s Areopagitica, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, and Paradise Lost in an exploration of the author’s vision of the English nation. Taking inspiration from Kwame Anthony Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism, this paper explores how Milton remedies his anxieties over an insufficient English nation through cosmopolitan solutions. I map the development of Milton’s anxieties of insufficient English nationhood chronologically. In doing so, this paper provides a glimpse into how Milton saw the English nation developing and reveals some of his earliest solutions to his anxieties that the nation is failing. I address the veiled inclination towards cosmopolitanism in Miltonic works. suggesting that the early modern nation is failing for John Milton.

 Merging the separate discourses of cosmopolitanism and Early Modern nationalism allows scholars to explore the anti-nationalist sentiments present in John Milton’s works. This paper applies a new lens to Milton’s nationalism, allowing for a reimagining of the Early Modern nationalism that spans beyond national borders. It also opens the gate towards the full extent of Milton’s global influence. By bringing cosmopolitan lenses to early modern nationalist studies, Milton’s nationalism is more clearly identifiable as part of early shifts towards cosmopolitan nationhood.

 

Daniel Bennett Page (Independent Scholar)
“Magnificence, Order, and Orthodoxy: Music of Tallis and Sheppard under Mary I”

The public reconstruction of Catholicism under Mary I challenged her Chapel Royal to create sung rituals that embodied a return to civil order, Catholic orthodoxy, and Tudor courtly magnificence. Accounts from the 1550s illuminate the central importance of principal liturgical days in projecting Mary’s royal image; unfortunately, they report nothing about specific works sung then by the Chapel, England’s most exalted musical ensemble. Yet, we have a sizeable collection of large-scale polyphony that meets these demands in both its musical style and compositional structure. This cycle of music for the Divine Office by Thomas Tallis and John Sheppard uses matching vocal scorings and corresponds exactly with the calendar of major feasts in Queen Mary’s Chapel, where both musicians worked. But while recent scholarship has accepted this cycle as Marian, these works have not been closely examined either musically or as cultural artefacts.   

The luxuriant Office cycle’s scoring for six voices—including two treble parts only possible in the Chapel—would have created a massive ‘wall of sound’ in the high profile but relatively small chapels of the principal Tudor royal residences. While stylistically up-to-date, these Responsories and Office Hymns also hearken back to the magnificent festal music of the early Henrician court. 

Even more evocatively, the structure of these works exemplifies both order and orthodoxy. Each part of the cycle is built around its proper Gregorian chant melody, with a highly audible contrast between the long, equal notes of the chant and the other, faster moving voices. This sets up the chant as a rhetorical dispositio, a sound- emblem of Catholic orthodoxy, and a symbol of a fundamental order. The creation of complex aural forms parallels both Mary’s particular enthusiasm for ‘good’ orthodox preaching that would counter ‘evil’ evangelical preaching as well as the continued centrality of aural culture in the acoustic world of Renaissance Britain.

Thus, from a time of religious upheaval when sacred oratory assumed enlarged importance, we can see how Tallis and Sheppard created a proto-Counter Reformation repertory in parallel with the ecclesiastical and administrative achievements of Mary’s reign detailed by scholars such as Eamon Duffy.

 

Nathan Pensky (Carnegie Mellon University)
Divine Thoughts and the Corruption of the Will in Doctor Faustus

Scene v of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus presents its audience with a perplexing moment when the title character professes that “hell is a fable” (v.204). The line seems to question how Faustus could possibly not believe in hell, standing in the presence of a devil that he himself had conjured, and to whom he, only minutes before, had sworn his soul. What is the philosophical difference, dramatized here by Marlowe, between “experience,” as Mephistopheles describes it, and Faustus’s lack of understanding? The distinction figures prominently in the action of the play, referring to one of the most important philosophical controversies of the early modern period, the question of human will and causality. The voluntarist position, as originating in the work of William of Ockham, comes into conflict with the Thomist, or intellectualist, worldview. In the play, diabolical characters go to great lengths to distract Faustus from the importance of the intellect’s role within his decision-making process, while vocally reinforcing the weakness and corruption of his will. In the process, Marlowe dramatizes the importance of intellect to repentance, showing how Faustus has lost the ability to meditate on God’s grace while guttering in academic formalities or spectacular distractions of the mind. In short, the devils pantomime a voluntarist universe before Faustus for their own benefit, distracting away from their Thomist-inflected reality. My paper explores the epistemological implications of this reality, placing Faustus within early modern debates concerning the status of knowledge and its effect on the soul’s search for God.

 

Brendan Prawdzik (Pennsylvania State University)
“Luxury Commodities and Seasonal Change in Robert Herrick’s Hesperides

Religious and political literature of the 1640s voiced the rhetoric of seasonal change. 

For instance,, in its 1642 order to close the theaters, Parliament bewails that England is “threatened with a Cloud of Blood” and that these are “Seasons of Humiliation” that require “seasonable considerations of Repentance, Reconciliation, and Peace with God.” 

Robert Herrick frames Hesperides (1648) as a book of poems about a lost springtime: “I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds and bowers, / Of April, May, of June and July-flowers …”  His book is a garden that is destined at once to fall, to be restored, and to stay the same,

This paper reads Herrick’s representation of aesthetic objects — those that represent nature commodified — as interventions in the “times-trans-shifting” of his historical (religious, political, cultural).  Herrick’s objects violate temporal continuity: they are contradictory, impossible, pointing always at once backward and forward while resisting the flux of the present.  A lily in a crystal, a pomander bracelet, a strawberry dipped in cream: if Ecclesiastean time insists upon the ceaseless recursion of seasons, Herrick seizes nature into his poetics by making it dead and by making it art. 

In resisting the logic of seasonal change, Herrick’s aesthetics of nature adheres to the Caroline agenda of hereditary royalty, appeals to Counterreformation aesthetics, and historicizes the commodity-form’s allure and dominion.

 

Ryan Prendergast (University of Rochester)
“Values in Cervantes’s Entremes del rufián viudo llamado Trampagos (1615)”

Critics have long recognized how Miguel de Cervantes engages with the material realities and economic challenges of early modern Spain and the ties to its New World colonies. However, analytical focus has been primarily on his narrative texts. His Entremes del rufián viudo llamado Trampagos [“The Widowed Pimp Named Trampagos”](1615) has not been sufficiently mined for the wealth of interpretative possibilities it offers regarding themes of economics and value. Within the picaresque context of the underworld established in this theatrical piece, marked in part by the struggle to sustain oneself financially, Cervantes trots out a number of morally bankrupt pimps and prostitutes who discuss, both directly and indirectly, income, monetary tokens, and precious metals.

I propose to read these motifs as situated within a broader meditation on value and how it is determined and represented in the context of the ever-evolving entanglements between early modern Spain and its New World sources of income and cultural influence. In doing so, we find that Cervantes recognizes and problematizes the two-way nature of cultural and economic influence between metropolis and colony. The characters discuss value in economic and non-economic terms and recognize the often-illusory nature of a person or object’s worth. I suggest that these reflections are an outgrowth of how the economy and all those affected by it responded to changes brought about by the massive influx of commodities from Spain’s New World possessions. These imports spurred rapid changes in both labor practices as well as how people appraised value. The poor and morally questionable characters represent and exaggerate the value of themselves or others within the frame of the interlude, revealing the protean and anxiety-producing quality of value in this new and unfamiliar financial context. Cervantes makes the New World present, but he does so in ways that emphasizes the degree to which its wonder and economic promise, touted so hyperbolically by Christopher Columbus and others, have now manifested in a variety of fiscal issues and moral considerations in the seventeenth century.

 

Dale Priest (Lamar University)
“Toward the Ideal Courtier: Versions of Himself in Sir Philip Sidney’s ‘Armed Horseman’ Topos”

In the brief career of Sir Philip Sidney, one may find ample evidence to degrade persuasively his legendary reputation as the perfect Renaissance courtier. He earns high honors, however, when judged against the courtier’s essential attributes established in Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier (1528), widely read at Elizabeth’s court in Hoby’s English translation (1561). Castiglione’s interlocutors all agree that the ideal courtier is first and foremost a man-of-arms, highly skilled in horsemanship. Sidney’s own fervent aspirations to serve militarily in the Netherlands against Spanish hegemony were thwarted repeatedly by the queen from 1578 to 1585. During that interim, he performed often and impressively in jousting tournaments at court, competition which itself was intense representation of actual, armed combat. By 1585, Sidney was widely recognized as one of the most accomplished horsemen in the realm. In early 1586, he was at last granted a military command in the Netherlands, where he served passionately until he was mortally wounded on 22 September, at age 31.

In each of his three major works, Sidney features a central character who speaks for or illustrates the courtly values epitomized by Sidney himself, thereby fashioning himself implicitly as an ideal courtier. In The Defence of Poesy, he serves as his own narrator, who begins his treatise by recalling a happy time when he, just turned nineteen, was visiting on his grand tour the court of the Emperor in Vienna. There he studied horsemanship under the Italian master of the stables, Pietro Pugliano, who taught him that “the soldier is the noblest estate of mankind, and horsemen the noblest of soldiers.” In The Arcadia, Sidney’s values are exemplified in the person of Philisides, the young Samothean shepherd from the “Old” Arcadia who grows into the Iberian man-of-arms in the “New” Arcadia. The details of his performance in the lists recall the particulars of Sidney’s own impressive appearance in the tiltyard before the queen at Whitehall on her Accession Day in 1577. In Astrophil and Stella, sonnet 41 centers on Astrophil’s triumph in a tournament at court, grandly clad in “Mars’s livery.” Other details in the sonnet parallel Sidney’s highly-celebrated performance before the queen and a party of visiting French dignitaries in 1581.

No discussion of Sidney as armed horseman could have a more poignant conclusion than a remarkable quote from Fulke Greville, Sidney’s life-long best friend and first biographer. Greville reports that when Sidney was wounded by a Spanish musketeer, his horse was “choleric” and “forced him to abandon the field, but not his (horse’s) back, as the noblest and fittest bier to carry a martial commander to his grave.”


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Andrew Rasmussen (Baylor University)
“Rhetorical Conflict: The Aphthonian Structure of Paradise Lost‘s War in Heaven”

In Book 6 of Paradise Lost, Raphael is given the unenviable task of translating the War in Heaven into terms that can be grasped by the newly made Adam and Eve. To portray this process, Milton structures his angel’s account upon the Aphthonian progymnasmata–the rhetorical forms of the English public school. The War in Heaven is specifically structured upon the Aphthonian thesis, the form used to display debate and disagreement. Thus the four central duels of Book 6 correspond to the four key stages of the Aphthonian thesis. Demonstrating this underlying structure helps reveal Milton’s understanding of the relationship between revelation and human reason, the reader’s culpability for sin and hope of redemption, as well as Son’s centrality to human understanding.

 

William Robison (Southeastern Louisiana University)
Imperial Meddler/Marian Mentor: Eustace Chapuys and Mary Tudor in Fiction and Film”

Mary Tudor’s relationship with Eustace Chapuys (c.1490-1556) was important. During his embassy she was successively heir apparent, statutory bastard, and second in line to the throne, her father Henry VIII divorced her mother Catherine of Aragon and dismantled the Catholic Church, she suffered internal exile, poor health, and emotional distress, and remained unmarried until age thirty-eight. Chapuys, a Savoyard cleric, became Charles V’s ambassador to England in 1529, offered Mary comfort while persuading her to submit to Henry, covertly encouraged dissent on her behalf, and remained her mentor until his departure in 1545. Despite all this drama, until recently neither has figured prominently in plays, novels, and filmic adaptations that have shaped popular perceptions of Henry, Elizabeth I, and Mary, Queen of Scots, and often they do not appear together. Chapuys (Capucius) is in William Shakespeare’s The Famous Life of King Henry the Eighth and Robert Bolt’s radio play A Man for All Seasons (1950) but not Robert Zinnemann’s film (1966) or Charlton Heston’s teleplay (1988), none of which include Mary. Most works featuring Mary are set after 1545, neither individual is in Maxwell Anderson’s play Anne of the Thousand Days (1948) though Mary is in the film (1969), the two figure sparingly in the miniseries The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970) and film Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972), only Mary is in the miniseries Henry VIII (2004) and Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl (novel 2001, TV 2004, film 2008) and few novels involve both. But they are major characters and receive more sympathetic treatment in Showtime’s The Tudors (2007-10), Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012), and the mini-series Wolf Hall (2015). This essay will examine changes in historiography and political, social, and cultural attitudes to explain why.

 

Lina Maria Rodríguez Perico (The Warburg Institute)
Felicitas in Italian Renaissance Visual Culture: The Role of Sixteenth-Century Printed Sources in the Re-appropriation of Classical Motifs”

The image of Felicitas, the Roman goddess of Happiness, originally circulated on the reverse of Imperial coinage from the time of Galba up to the late Empire. Commonly represented as a woman holding a cornucopia and a caduceus, symbols of abundance and peace, Felicitas ceased to be represented after the fall of the Empire, resurging only almost eleven centuries later in the work of sixteenth-century Italian artists, such as Agnolo Bronzino’s Allegory of Happiness (1564) and Annibale Carracci’s Allegory of Truth and Time (1584).

It would be plausible to state that the resurgence of Felicitas in Renaissance imagery resulted directly from the circulation of Imperial coins bearing her image. However, a mystery remains unsolved: if coinage started to be collected and circulated in Italy from the fourteenth- century on, why did it take two centuries for this personification to reappear in Italian art? 

In order to approach this question, it is pertinent to consider the primary role that sixteenth-century printed sources had in the diffusion of classical motifs. Accordingly, this paper studies the presence, and absence, of Felicitas in sources that served as vehicles for the diffusion of images from Antiquity: illustrated numismatic works (Vico, Erizzo, Agustin, etc), books of hieroglyphics (Valeriano), and mythographic compendia (Giraldi, Cartari). The analysis of this material reveals the journey undergone by Felicitas from the realm of private numismatic collections to printed sources that were accessible to a wider audience and which were often used by artists.

This study concludes with a review of the presence of Felicitas in Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia, which draws from the sources mentioned before. Given the importance of the Iconologia in the artistic production of the following centuries, the inclusion of Felicitas in this compendium represents the survival of this motif further from its numismatic source and later specialized literature, as well as a definitive step in the re-introduction of this iconography in Early Modern visual culture.

Interestingly, although the ideas developed in this paper pertain specifically to the iconographical tradition associated to Felicitas, certainly they are not exclusive to it. An analysis of other minor personifications or deified qualities surviving only on Imperial coinage might reveal a similar trajectory. Thus, this paper aims to offer a new perspective for re-thinking how classical visual ideas circulated in the Renaissance: obvious answers are not necessarily correct ones.

 

Shelley Roff (University of Texas at San Antonio)
“Women ‘Amateur’ Architects of Early Modern Europe”

It has been assumed by academics and architectural practitioners that there were no women architects before the mid-19th century.  Yet, if one carefully investigates who was designing and building architecture in Europe before the Industrial Revolution, one will find that it was not entirely and exclusively a male endeavor.  In the early modern period, the patronage of architecture by elite men and women increased substantially, as did the interest and personal involvement of many patrons in their commissions.  This flourishing of patronage was stimulated by the re-birth of classicism in the context of an increasingly prosperous and relatively stable economy.  The new interpretation of the architect’s role that emerged with the Italian Renaissance made it possible for those without a technical or practical background to design works of architecture.  A patron with the proper education in the humanities and mathematics had the potential to be as well-versed in classical design as any artist-architect of the time. 

These patrons, who would be later referred to as “amateur” architects, were wealthy “lovers of the art,” often men and women of noble birth with a passion for antiquities.  In this paper, I will debate the use of the term “amateur” in the early modern context, since it does not appear in reference to the architect until the late eighteenth century.  Alternative terminology for addressing the different genres of the early modern architect can clarify our understanding of the role.  This analysis of the “amateur” architect, provides a context from which to understand how women also took on the role of patron-architect.  I will present a few case studies to demonstrate that some women patrons were engaged in architectural commissions to the same extent as their male counterparts who were considered by their contemporaries to be the architects of the work.  These queens, noblewomen and aristocratic widows, who had control of their fortunes and had access to humanist literature, architectural treatises and drawings, used this knowledge to create new designs for their personal residences and other architectural works.

 

Tim Rosendale (Southern Methodist University)
“Letter and Spirit in Augustine, Shakespeare, and Herbert”

In this paper I hope to shed new light on some old texts by William Shakespeare and George Herbert, and to do so by applying an even older conceptual and hermeneutic distinction.  The differentiation between letter and spirit saturates our thinking about law, but it originates with Paul, who wrote in 2 Cor. 3:1-6 that “the letter (γράμμα, gramma) killeth, but the spirit (πνεῦμα, pneuma) giveth life.”  Origen understood this distinction hermeneutically, as a mandate for biblical allegoresis, and his reading prevailed through the medieval era.  But Augustine construed letter and spirit primarily as law and grace, and his reading has been dominant since the Reformation: in De spiritu et littera, he expanded Paul’s distinction into a robust theological account of soteriology, agency, motive, and desire.  The Augustinian movement from gramma to pneuma, letter to spirit, law to grace, fear to love, is also a movement from external prohibition to internal affirmation, from hard stone to soft hearts.

The second half of my paper will briefly examine works by William Shakespeare and George Herbert in light of these early modern (and mainly Augustinian) problematics of letter and spirit.  Measure for Measure probes its characters’ relations to law, and the different valences of fear and love in those relations; such an analysis offers a useful way of understanding this notoriously problematic play, and clarifying what makes it so troubling.  Herbert’s situation is different: as a Christian relatively assured of his salvation, he meditates repeatedly on letter and spirit in terms of the two forms (and media) of writing highlighted by Paul and Augustine.  Both writers, along with Augustine and many others, wrestle with the profound implications of Paul’s seminal distinction between letter and spirit, and its corollary hierarchical tensions between body and soul, earth and heaven, human and divine, justice and mercy, law and love.

 

Valerio Rossi (University of Texas at Austin
“Places as Signifiers: The Spatial Organization of Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso

This research aims to examine the spatial organization and the role of places in Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. One of the central themes of the Orlando Furioso is the inquiry, the uninterrupted search by the characters of the poem, for what their heart most eagerly craves. Furthermore, because of this incessant movement, the spatial component assumes an essential function within the narrative structure of the work. In fact, “now right, now left, […], far and wide” Ariosto leads his characters, and the pages of the poem now become a dense, intricate forest that hides enchanted castles, now a deep sea that is home to exotic islands and fairytales, now a dark sky furrowed by the silver of the moon. Thus, Ariosto’s space appears to be an imaginary environment that exists beyond geographical reality and creates new horizons and evanescent landscapes. However, this paper proposes a closer look, which reveals that the poet did not merely intend to create a pleasant game of escape. Rather, he composes a cosmos closely related to the real, complementary, and symmetrical, and, in doing so, he is able to highlight and analyze, albeit always in an implicit and veiled way, vices and virtues. Moreover, a peculiar characteristic of Ariosto’s space is its ability to create contemporaneity. Within the pages of the labyrinthine poem, Ariosto succeeds to make the different and innumerable narrative threads proceed together, thanks to the presence of places, fixed reference points in the incessant flow of the story. Furthermore, through the analysis of several passages, this study shows how the places reveal the psychology of the characters that act and move in them. The poet dresses the landscape with a further value, creating a harmony between environment and character’s feelings. The objective of this research is to show that Ariosto literally builds a figurative space and he places it within the events, in the temporal succession of the story, not only as contextualization, but as signifier that gives meaning to the whole narrative structure.

 

William Roudabush (Southern Methodist University)
“‘I Wished Myself a Man’: The Vulnerability of Cressida and the Elizabethan Boy Actor”

When Shakespeare adapts the story of Criseyde for the stage in Troilus and Cressida, he not only retains the essential vulnerability of her Chaucerian precursor, but he also draws attention to the boy actor playing her in order to express the victimization of boy actors on both public and private stages during the so-called “War of the Theaters” at the turn of the seventeenth-century. By observing how Shakespeare encourages a metatheatrical double-vision, inviting audiences to engage with his play in both the fictional world of his characters as well as the contemporary world of his theater, I argue that Shakespeare represents the complex economic, social, and gendered status of boy actors within the patriarchal guild system of early modern London. Composed around 1601–2, Troilus and Cressida intervenes in the “throwing about of brains,” as Shakespeare’s Guildenstern puts it, between the public theaters and adult companies, on the one hand, and the indoor theaters and the children’s companies, on the other. I propose that Troilus and Cressida microcosmically stages this War of the Theaters, pitting the professional players in Shakespeare’s company against their apprenticed boys. But whereas in Hamlet Rosencrantz confirms that “the boys carry it away,” emerging as victors over the professional players, in Troilus and Cressida boy actors are instead almost invariably abused by their wards in the company. After Patroclus satirically “pageants” the public figures of Agamemnon, Nestor, and Ulysses in his private tent and “infect[s]” their reputations, he is eventually slain by the “boy-queller” Hector. Cressida, moreover, is exchanged by the adults, subjected to silence, and “kissed in general.” Ultimately this presentation seeks to demonstrate Shakespeare’s deeper, more explicit intervention in the War of the Theaters, and that, in Chaucer’s Criseyde, Shakespeare found not an emblem of falsehood, but a character by which he could dramatize issues of his own cultural moment.

 

Kelsey Rozema (Southern Methodist Univeristy, Department of Art History)
“Magdalena Ruiz, the Favored Companion: The Dwarf Body as Informed by the Spanish Pet”

With last year’s special exhibition at the Museo de América in Madrid, Spanish paintings of dwarf courtiers have gained new scholarly attention.  Scholars like Laura Bass and Fernando Bouza Alvarez argue for a reimagining of the role of the court dwarf, especially in the field of art history.  Instead of the traditional view that the body of the dwarf was used as the ugly foil to highlight the royal body’s beauty, Bass argues that the portraits that feature court dwarfs in Renaissance Spain position the dwarf as an intermediate figure that was able to have close, personal access to the royal family.  But still, when the dwarf body is featured so prominently in portraits alongside animals, one has to consider their role as a pet. No scholar to date has studied the way in which the animal body informs the dwarf one. My paper aims to address this gap in research.

My paper will analyze the ways in which the animal, specifically the roles of dogs and birds, offered liminality to the court dwarf during Philip II’s reign. Such animals were not only tools to promote Spain’s international identity but also loved as pets at court. I will pay particular attention to issues of gender and the role of the infantas when discussing the dual position of both the court dwarf and pets.  I argue that court pets allowed the dwarf to be both a possession, but also have a usefulness that helps to grant him a unique form of agency.

 

Jesse Russell (Georgia Southwestern State University)
“Edmund Spenser as Promethean Poet Magus”

In his recent work Visionary Spenser and the Poetics of Early Modern Platonism, Kenneth Borris has drawn attention to the influence of Platonic poetics upon Edmund Spenser. In his manuscript, Borris not only is building upon his own research, but is complimenting a reinvigorated interested in Plato and Spenser. Borris’s work draws from other recent books such as Jon Quitslund’s Spenser’s Supreme Fiction: Platonic Natural Philosophy in “The Faerie Queene”. However, in Visionary Spenser, Borris does not continue a thread that Quitslund had developed: namely, the depiction of Edmund Spenser as what Quitslund calls a “poet magus.” Throughout the proems of the Faerie Queene, Spenser, in fact, does depict himself as having powers analogous to that of a magician. Moreover, examining Spenser’s proems in light of the poet’s depiction of Prometheus, the creator of the elfin kind in the Antiquitee of Faery lond in Book II, canto x, we see that Spenser depicts himself as a Promethean figure. This Promethean poet magus is ultimately drawn from Spenser’s selective and eclectic readings of Platonic depictions of the demiurge in the writings of Marsilio Ficino and in the works of Plato himself.  Ultimately, this reading of Spenser as a Promethean poet magus will help to deepen recent discussions of the influence of Platonic thought on Edmund Spenser.


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Donna Sadler (Agnes Scott College)
“A Closer Look at the Measure of Pathos in Carved Passion Retables from the 15th and 16th centuries in France”

The altars of parish churches throughout France were ornamented with large altarpieces representing the Passion and post-Passion of Christ. Carved of wood or stone, polychromed and gilded, and often concealed behind painted wings whose opening and closing constituted part of the worshipper’s epiphanic experience, these works embodied the spectacle of the holy. This paper will consider the effect of both the small scale of the figures and the pictorial strategies employed to enhance the devotional impact of these objects.

 

Julianne Sandberg (Samford University)
“The Sermons of Richard Sibbes and the Enlarging of Scripture”

This presentation centers on the sermons of Richard Sibbes (1577-1635), a Puritan-leaning but Anglican-conforming priest whose interpretation of Scripture reflects the ecclesiastical divides of seventeenth-century England. Sibbes’ sermons remain an under-interrogated object of seventeenth-century religious and devotional life. As a priest in the Church of England, Sibbes preached during the rise of Laudian reform, negotiating the often-competing pressures of Puritan and Anglo-Catholic devotion. While Sibbes is frequently (but inaccurately) labeled a Puritan, he remained loyal to the Church of England, calling for reform from within, even as his more radical Puritan contemporaries refused to conform. Not only are Sibbes’ sermons valuable artifacts that speak to this contentious and divisive history, but they also illustrate how biblical interpretation intersected and shaped these ecclesiastical pressures.

Sibbes relies heavily on a hermeneutic built on the figurative, non-literal reading of Scripture. While he often begins his sermons with a literal interpretation of the passage, he frequently moves toward a figurative explication. For Sibbes, the people, stories, images, and language of the Bible speak directly to the events of his own day, and thus must be interpreted figuratively. As he puts it, “[W]hen we read the Scriptures we may enlarge them, and apply them to ourselves in particular.” The figures he reads in Scripture are not always explicit in the text, but nor are they arbitrary. Rather, Sibbes’ figurative reading of Scripture is often fueled by the competing pressures facing the Church of England, from radical separatism to Catholic resurgence. Thus, Sibbes interprets the Bible in light of these religious divides, reading Scripture figuratively to promote unity and moderation. Tracing the figurative resonance in Sibbes’ sermons does more than illuminate the preaching patterns of the seventeenth-century English Church: it also illustrates the wider emphasis on non-literal reading that not only defined mainline English Protestantism but also fueled its distinct moderating impulses.

 

Cassandra Schultz (Angelo State University)
Monism and Gendered Hierarchy in Paradise Lost

 

Felicity Sheehy (Cambridge University)
“Marvell’s Vegetable Love”

This paper will offer a close examination of one of the most perplexing phrases in Andrew Marvell’s poetry: the “vegetable love” of “To His Coy Mistress.” Though the phrase has been discussed for decades, critics have generally recycled the same arguments, reading the phrase as a philosophical witticism, rather than a phallic pun. This paper will suggest that a material reading of the line – the “vegetable” as a real vegetable – should not be so readily dismissed. In fact, the “vegetable love” of “To His Coy Mistress” is the product of a culture that related human sexuality to plants. Through a study of botanical texts, theories of the vegetable soul, and unusual usages of the word “vegetable”, it will argue that Marvell, like other seventeenth century writers, understood plants to be dynamic, animate, and ever-growing. As such, early moderns found in plants an apt analogy for human behaviour. Based on this claim, the paper will then consider the wider role of plants in Marvell’s work, arguing that Marvell valued plants as an asexual remnant of Eden. In an ideal world, Marvell at last suggests, men would indeed enjoy a “vegetable love”: curiously abstinent, anticipatory, and even asexual.

 

Srivastava Sonakshi (University of Delhi, India)
“Renaissance Gone Wilde”

“When he saw the portrait, he drew back, and his cheeks flushed for a moment with pleasure. A look of joy came into his eyes, as if he had recognised himself for the first time.”

Patricia Simons in her acclaimed essay, “Portraiture: Portrayal and Idealization” reads portraits as “a medium of exchange between art and society, object and viewer, sitter and artist…. in a rich conversation of overlaid, even competing and conflicting voices, rather than as singularised objects with one universalised and static, authoritative interpreter.” Cultural exploits were a necessity in Burckhardtian interpretation of the Renaissance, one that necessarily placed “image” and “reality” as congruent. 

Walter Pater’s The Renaissance evacuated the urgency of another Renaissance-esque revival in an age that was bordering on the puritanical, and his study of popular Renaissance figures including Sandro Botticelli, who had mastered the art of portraitures, and had acquired a belated popularity as a popular cultural icon for his androgynous paintings, including “Salome” who was heralded as the “icon of the ideology of the decadents” catalysed the “Decadent and the Aesthetic Movement” in Victorian England, its chief plank being Oscar Wilde, who was unsurprisingly a student of Ruskin and Pater.

The paper seeks to understand the influence of Renaissance aesthetics upon Oscar Wilde with particular reference to his work, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” negotiating and understanding the “fashioning of human identity as a manipulative, artful process” (Greenblatt), a process that seeks to transcend Time eventually to be crushed by Reality.

 

Brian Steele (Texas Tech University)
“Beyond Naturalism:  Light, Shadow, & Reflection in Italian Paintings ca. 1450-1520″

Reflective surfaces and light effects in Flemish painting have received considerable scholarly attention, while those in Italian Renaissance paintings have often been passed over as jokes or as demonstrations of virtuosity appealing, perhaps, to sophisticated collectors and potential patrons.  A consensus view in previous scholarship holds that the quest for naturalistic representation in the two geographic regions during the Early Modern era is marked by similarity of aims achieved by differing approaches; thus I think it less fruitful to search for specific ‘influences’ than to identify points of inspiration which, in this case, impelled Italian artists to rival Flemish effects of verisimilitude that, on closer examination, prompted viewers to question the reality of the physical appearances depicted.  My investigation, then, omits consideration of naturalistic objects used as emblematic symbols, such as in Lorenzo Lotto’s “Lucina Brembati,” and light denoted as supernal by represented point of emanation or by gilded rays in such examples as Filippo Lippi’s “Adoration of the Child in the Woods.”  Instead I examine conceptual similarities that inform naturalistic anomalies in works by painters including the Italians Giovanni Bellini, Piero della Francesca, and Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora, and the Flemings Robert Campin, Petrus Christus, and Hans Memling.  Effects that these artists create comprise the following:  situating a viewer tangent to transcendental reality, presenting a reflective window onto metaphysical experience, or evoking numinous drama by means of light and shadow.  Such devices effectively augmented the narratives depicted and characterized pictures intended for prolonged contemplation during devotional meditations or scrutiny within domestic environs; recourse to moralizing maxims, devotional literature, and scripture establishes themes by which viewers probably interpreted apparently mundane details that, on inspection, required non-material explanation.

 

Dorothy Stegman (Ball State University)
“An Invitation to Dinner: Early Modern Versified Menus and Enticing Textual Memories”

In his work on memory and intertextuality, Raphael Lyne analyses Ben Jonson’s invitation menu in Epigram 101, “Inviting a Friend to Supper” and studies not only its debt to Martial and Juvenal, but also the interplay of memory and the alimentary event. In like manner, William Hutchings presents this epigram as an instance of anticipatory poetry, and he notes the detailed menu and the host’s proposed literary accompaniment as a part of the meal. Such elements are characteristic of versified menus, many of which served the purpose of actual invitations to engagements. In the present paper, I propose to examine first the tradition and practice of composing and sending versified menus in the Early Modern period, and then to analyze certain literary expressions such as La salade by Ronsard and Montaigne’s self-denigrating inducements in “Du démentir” and “Des noms” within the Essays. Through close reading of these examples, I intend to elucidate the coincidence of alimentary and memory and expose how the authors evoke past, present and future as they create an enticement to indulge in the textual substance and recollection.

 

Adam Strombergsson-DeNorav (University of Ottawa)
“The House of Fairfax and Marvell’s Early Politics”

Attention to family heraldry and the Fairfax family’s interest in local antiquarianism, specifically with reference to the Analecta Fairfaxiana, sheds new light on the House of Fairfax and its influence on Andrew Marvell’s politics. Reading the Analecta alongside Marvell’s Fairfax poems shows the poet framing Thomas Fairfax as a mirror for gentry at a time when princes were out of favour. In so doing, Marvell extends a Neoplatonic view of love first seen in his mower sequence and in “The Definition of Love”. Marvell’s knowledge of the Fairfaxes allows him to represent love within the family and local communities, thus creating an aesthetic to which local governors might aspire.

 

Arya Sureshbabu (University of California, Berkeley)
“Aural and Visual Modes in Marvellian Lyric”

In this paper, I offer readings of “The Fair Singer” and “The Definition of Love” as case studies to explore the interaction of self-reflexive moves in Marvell’s poetry with the suspended status of the lyric in between aural and visual modes. These two concerns are intimately linked; at moments when the poem becomes self-aware and the breakdown of the line between the diegetic and extradiegetic seems imminent, the text forces readers to consider the potential fracturing of the poem itself into its aural and visual dimensions. In “The Fair Singer,” the structure of the poem imitates its content in presenting a lethal interweaving of the aural and the visual. I argue that the word “trammel,” which appears in the middle of the poem, provides the key to understanding its tripartite structure. More radically, Marvell’s play on the literal and metaphorical meanings of “trammel” ultimately enacts the combined visibility and invisibility of the lyric form itself. While “The Fair Singer” charts this confluence of sound and sight, “The Definition of Love” charts the impossibility of their complete convergence. Through a move that is more broadly metaliterary than simply self-reflexive, Marvell’s meditation on parallel geometrical “lines” maps suggestively onto a theory of lyric composition and reading, as the concretizing force of definition becomes a metaphor for thinking through the fixing of aurally apprehended lyric in writing. At the same time, the fixed poem is susceptible to dissemination through aural recitation, taking on the status of score as embodied readers can replicate it through voicing the lines aloud. I place this complex interplay in the context of Marvell’s status in between scribal and print cultures, suggesting that his self-conscious engagement with the two modes of lyric cues into the concerns of the early modern media revolution even as it creates a forward-looking poetics obsessed with the status of its own replication and integration.


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Michelle Toscano (Independent Scholar)
Science, Magic and Alchemy in Marlowe and Shakespeare”

The Renaissance is often viewed as a bridge between the ancient and the modern world, a steppingstone between the superstition of the Dark Ages and the logic of the Enlightenment. It is like a Venn diagram in that it is a mingling of two viewpoints, a time and place where magic freely coexisted alongside the structured reasoning of St. Thomas Aquinas, where healers and doctors were associated with witchcraft, and where scholars could be no different than soothsayers, alchemists or wizards. What we would call science today was at that time liberally mixed with what they called the higher arts – or magic and alchemy.   

 

Matthew Turnbull (Baylor University)
“Martin Luther’s Anfechtungen and George Herbert’s ‘Conscience'”

In 1519, Martin Luther called the human conscience a “devil,” a “monster,” and a “terror” (Commentary 26:26, 5). Why would the Reformation theologian so disparage this critical moral faculty? Luther believed that when the conscience fixes its gaze on the righteous demands embodied in the Old Testament (OT) Mosaic Law, it not only assimilates those demands, but becomes “troubled, confounded, and frightened” by them (26:5). Through fear, it is enslaved. A conscience thus manacled to the OT Law menaces the soul of which it is a part; the element intended as a corrective becomes a tyrannizing accuser (26:26). In well-chronicled anguish (Preface 336-337), Luther questioned how a Christian could respond to the tyranny of the Law-informed conscience. Like the soul, so Luther ultimately asserted the conscience, too, must be reborn.

 

Erin Turner (Southern Methodist University)
“‘This Sublime Performance’: Paradise Lost, the Eighteenth-Century Reader, and Early Modern Canon Formation”

After reading Milton’s Paradise Lost in the late 1770s, James Forbes writes in his commonplace book, “On this sublime performance I attempt not to criticize: the passages I am most pleased with are inserted in a poetical miscellany.” Forbes kept a two-volume commonplace book during his seventeen-year tenure in India. Volume II, the “Prose” volume in which he records his review of Paradise Lost, becomes a casual record of the books he acquires, a kind of eighteenth-century Goodreads account. Each entry contains a brief review and, occasionally, copied selections from the texts he reads, which are almost always contemporary works. Paradise Lost is one of the few included early modern texts.

The impression one receives of Forbes through his commonplace books is that he was an eminently average reader. He reads popular writers of his day—Alexander Pope and William Shenstone, Laurence Sterne and Oliver Goldsmith—and engages with his texts primarily on an affective level. But it is Forbes’s very average qualities as a reader which make his commonplace book so valuable, because those early modern texts which are included show what might have been culturally considered a “must-read classic” that was worth the cost of shipping it to India. Forbes copied passages of these texts into Volume I, the “poetical miscellany,” passages which illustrate why he considered Paradise Lost “sublime,” and why he considered other early modern texts worth procuring and copying into his book. Thus, Forbes’s commonplace book illustrates the way that a very average eighteenth century reader might have engaged with these early modern texts.

Contemporary literary scholars have rightly begun to advocate for the inclusion of forgotten writers, particularly women and people of color, into the English literature canon, a move which leads us to interrogate the methods of canon formation. Understanding the appeal that a text like Paradise Lost had for average readers during the early stages of its entry into the English literature canon helps us better comprehend why texts attain popularity and thus helps us better understand how canons form organically, by means of an interconnected relationship between reader, scholar, and text.


A-B / C / D / E-G / H-I / J-L / M / N-Q / R / S / T-U / V-Z

Cristina Vallaro (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart – Milano)
“Sir Francis Drake in the Spanish Literature of the Armada”

This paper is about Sir Francis Drake, Elizabeth I’s most famous pirate, and his role in Spanish texts composed throughout the Armada campaign. Arrogant and ambitious as he was, Drake was the key-man in the Anglo-Spanish war in 1588. A well-known seaman both in the New World and in Europe, Drake was said to be a violent and ambitious man determined to serve his country to death.

 

Emma Annette Wilson (Southern Methodist University)
“Digital Revivals: Teaching Seventeenth-Century Literature with the Text Encoding Initiative” (Roundtable)

I propose to lead a panel session alongside students and our librarian consultants working in my upper-level undergraduate course in seventeenth-century literature and digital humanities at Southern Methodist University to share the ways in which combining traditional, hands-on archival scholarship with cutting-edge digital editing technologies can enable whole new readerships for early modern texts which have largely been forgotten to us today. In this course, students go to the archives at SMU to study seventeenth-century poetic and dramatic texts which enjoyed popularity in their own day, but which have not received new editions in over 150 years, such as * and *. Simultaneously, students are studying the Text Encoding Initiative, a digital humanities approach commonly used in online editing. Each student “adopts” a seventeenth-century text and encodes it as a digital edition using TEI. Encoding an edition draws on the same principles as conventional editing as students research scholarly annotations and elaborations to make upon their texts to help to make these more accessible to a modern readership – indeed, to themselves. The course takes students through two parallel processes of book production, learning about both early printing with moveable type and also modern digital editing. As student edit their texts, they can leverage the digital capabilities of TEI to annotate both contextual information and also stylistic details within the text itself to reanimate it as a living work of literature in their own vernacular. Librarian consultants are collaborating closely with the class to enhance sessions working with rare books and with both primary and secondary research to allow for the production of ambitious work even in the confines of a 15-week semester. How do you make seventeenth-century texts speak to a modern student audience? This class is finding out on the frontlines, led by that very audience who are participating in this digital revival.

 

Michael Winkelman (Newman Central Catholic High School)
“‘He is a person’: Thomas Cromwell, Mantel’s Wolf Hall, and Living History”

Thomas Cromwell’s emergence in the 21st century as the captivating hero of a historical saga seems almost as unlikely as that poor lad from Putney’s rise to become Henry VIII’s leading minister in the 1500s. Yet in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, that is exactly what happens. The first two books, Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012), both won the Man Booker prize, and have been successfully adapted for the stage and for a BBC miniseries featuring Mark Rylance in the lead. (The third, The Mirror and the Light, is scheduled for publication in March 2020.) The two novels already in print span the years when Henry’s first two Queens fell (1527-36). They recount Cromwell’s ascension, from Cardinal Wolsey’s underling to foremost royal counselor. My talk offers an appreciative analysis of what makes Wolf Hall so great, and what makes Crumb so unexpectedly compelling a protagonist.

Wolf Hall’s success depends in part on Mantel’s positive, revisionist portrayal of her subject. He is loving and loyal, and is imagined as a new kind of ambitious, talented Renaissance man. He also overcomes a Dickensian, quasi-orphaned childhood and loses his beloved wife and daughters to fatal illnesses, contributing to readerly sympathy for his subsequent course of action. Furthermore, he exhibits altruistic kindness to dogs and children. This “person,” as his fearful, intimidated opponents deem him, turns out to be a great good friend to those within his affinity.

Additionally, the author has crafted a literary tour de force. She uses free indirect discourse, in which the narrator’s third person “he” focuses on Cromwell’s first-person subjective experiences. Sometimes we are privy to his innermost thoughts, in a style resembling modernist stream of consciousness. Yet Cromwell’s motives often remain opaque or underindicated, all of which makes him, in different ways, quite intriguing. (The large cast of major and minor characters in his orbit, from Sir Thomas More to his servant Christophe, are also depicted in lively and well detailed ways.) Besides that, the books are absolutely embedded in their historical moment, while remaining largely free of anachronism, pedantry, and excessive ironic foreshadowing. Moreover, they are brilliantly textured. Motifs such as theatricality, the arts of memory, and ghosts; and richly pointed descriptions of daily experiences, clothes, and hands; are all deployed to create an almost multisensory early Tudor world.

In the conclusion, I broaden my scope to briefly offer some ideas about why literary fiction is so invaluable—especially in times marked by the breakdown of traditional order, rampant and cynical Machiavellianism throughout society, and tyranny.

 

Diane Wolfthal (Rice University)
“The Color of Money and Other Temporary, Natural Alterations in Silver-Stained Windows”

This paper focuses on Northern Renaissance roundels in the Cloisters, and explores how they are affected by the natural, temporary changes caused by variations in weather, time of day, and seasons.  These changes do not harm the object, but cause momentary – and sometimes quite dramatic – transformations in its appearance. 

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