|The Early Modern Colloquium||
A Graduate Student-Run Interest Group at the University of Michigan
Calendar of Events, 2016-17:
SHAKESPEARE QUARTERLY DISCUSSION, DATE TBD: At this reading group event, the EMC invites you for a discussion of a recent issue of Shakespeare Quarterly focused on rereading early modern race (vol. 67, no. 1). One of the contributors to the volume, our own Kyle Grady, will facilitate the conversation.
FRIDAY, NOV. 18th, 12pm: The EMC invites you to attend a panel and roundtable discussion on the writing process with Professors Peggy McCracken, Cathy Sanok, Mike Schoenfeldt, Terri Tinkle, and Valerie Traub.
FRIDAY, MARCH 10th and SATURDAY, MARCH 11th: The EMC invites you to attend its two-day annual conference, "Body Language, Bawdy Talk: Sex and Form in Medieval and Early Modern Culture," with keynotes by Jeffrey Masten (Northwestern University) and Zrinka Stahuljak (UCLA). Abstracts for panel presentations are being accepted now! To view the CFP, see the Annual Conference page.
Calendar of Events, 2015-16:
TUESDAY, APRIL 12th: Join us for a dissertation chapter workshop with Kyle Grady at 3pm in 3184 Angell Hall. Kyle's chapter is titled "Skin Folk and Kin Folk: Afterlives of Alcazar" and engages with George Peele's The Battle of Alcazar and scholarship on the text in order to assess the tension between what appears to be the text's intolerance and its concurrent tolerance, focusing especially on the criteria according to which scholars maintain the primacy of one or the other.
THURSDAY, MARCH 17th.The EMC invites you to attend a lecture by Reid Barbour, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Barbour will also hold a workshop with graduate students on the morning of Friday, March 18th. Specific times and locations tbd.
FRIDAY, MARCH 11th and SATURDAY, MARCH 12th: The EMC invites you to attend its two-day annual conference. This year's theme is "Performance and Materiality in Medieval and Early Modern Culture." Keynote addresses will be given by Andrew Sofer (Boston College) and Jill Stevenson (Marymount Manhattan College).
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9th: At 3pm in 3241 Angell Hall, we invite you to workshop a work-in-progress entitled "Towards a Poetics of the Secular in Middle English Literature" with Professor Cathy Sanok. This draft is a very early attempt to read Middle English poetry for what it might tell us about the medieval experience of secular time. Focusing especially on lyric poems, it analyzes the way that poetic form puts different kinds of time in relation to one another and then seeks to understand how this might serve to articulate the secular "present."
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8th: Join us at 3pm in 3241 Angell Hall for a dissertation chapter workshop with John Paul Hampstead. The Stuart Dynasty perpetuated a cult of Israelite kingship meant to justify their claims to divine right and absolutism. John Paul's chapter, "'I sing the Man who Judahs Scepter bore': Hebraists, Royalists, and Cowley's Davideis," reconsiders royalist Abraham Cowley's epic Davideis (1565), which has been read as part of this house style, by taking seriously Cowley's use of genuine Hebraic learning. It positions Cowley's epic at the intersection of royalist discourse and Judaic studies to show how what 17th century scholars were discovering about ancient Israel confirmed and complicated their ideas about Stuart rule.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8th: The EMC invites you to workshop a dissertation chapter by Amrita Dhar. The chapter comes for her dissertation, "Writing Sight and Blindness in Early Modern England," which scrutinizes a generically diverse range of canonical texts and primary materials to understand how language registers visual acuity and lack. Informed by disability theory, this work on the rhetorics of vision and its want in England from 1564 to 1674 exists within a growing intersection between early modern studeis and disability studies. The chapter discusses blindness and its relation to language in the work of John Milton.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23rd and SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24th. On Friday the 23rd, the EMC invites you to attend a roundtable with Dr. Paul Dingman, project manager for EMMO (Early Modern Manscripts Online) at the Folger Library. The following Saturday, Dr. Dingman and the EMC invite you take part in an all-day transcribathon! Anyone interested is encouraged to drop in for as short or as long as desired and help transcribe early modern manuscripts! More details to come!
Calendar of Events, 2014-15:
MONDAY, APRIL 13th. The EMC invites you to workshop a dissertation chapter by Cordelia Zukerman, "Faustus, Malvolio, and Failures of Reading." Cordelia's dissertation project asks how English attitudes about the relationship between reading and social identity developed over the course of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. This period witnessed the rapid expansion of the print marketplace, whose forces challenged traditional assumptions about who could access reading material, how they could engage with it, and how they could influence others. Cordelia argues that as writers sought to make sense of a changing system, the process of reading became a site for their exploration of social change. In this chapter, she analyzes early modern metaphors describing reading in order to elucidate the ways in which reading was understood to influence the body's place in the social world. She then examines two fictional depictions of readers, in Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus" and William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," analyzing how their failures of reading are scripted within the context of their social aspirations. She argues that analyzing their stories can reveal a new way of thinking about the social dynamics of textual production, circulation, and reception—a way of thinking based on new kinds of hierarchical difference in which boundaries of status and rank are remade as boundaries of intellectual ability and reading capacity. The workshop will take place at 3:00pm in 3241 Angell Hall.
Cordelia Zukerman is a graduate student in the department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25th. The EMC invites you to workshop a dissertation chapter by Cassie Muira, "John Donne's Voluptuous Laughter: From Skepticism to Holy Joy," at 4:00pm in 3241 Angell Hall. This chapter contributes to work on the cultural history of the emotions by considering the role of laughter in the poetry and prose of John Donne. Although Cassie's approach to laughter prioritizes affect before genre, she argues that Donne employs formal categories like paradox and satire in order to develop a skeptical attitude that transforms doubt into an occasion for introspection, artistic expression, and intellectual play. In both his erotic and his religious poetry, this skeptical laughter moves Donne to celebrate the immediate experiences of the material body while brazenly conflating sensual pleasures with spiritual ones. In later sermons, Donne attempts to reconcile the melancholy figure of Christ “who was never seen to laugh” with Biblical exhortations to rejoice. His surprising defense of laughter as an appropriate means of mitigating despair challenges more somber portrayals of post-reformation culture. Whether laughter accompanies the skepticism of early works like the Catalogus Librorum or declarations of holy joy as in the Sermons, its constant presence throughout Donne’s oeuvre enriches our understanding of early modern intellectual and devotional life.
Cassie Miura is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. This chapter is part of her larger dissertation project entitled "The Humor of Skepticism: Laughter in Early Modern Europe."
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20th and SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 21st.The EMC invites you to attend its two-day conference, "Mediating the Sacred and Secular in the Medieval and Early Modern Period." The keynote speakers for this event will be Professor Sara Poor (German, Princeton University) and Professor Nancy Warren (English, Texas A&M).
Registration is free but necessary, and starts at 2:30 p.m. on Friday in 3222 Angell Hall. For any questions, please contact Maia Farrar (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rebecca Huffman (email@example.com) or Charisse Willis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11th. The EMC invites you to workshop a book chapter by Professor Peggy McCracken entitled "Survival, Skin, and Sovereignty." In this chapter, Professor McCracken makes a claim for the biopolitical grounding of notions of human sovereignty as represented in a series of medieval narratives. She focuses on the use of animal skins, examining a set of medieval texts which represent the technology of human sovereignty in part through the slaughter and flaying of animals, but which also construct animals as actors that may resist the material and symbolic use of their skins in displays of human power. The workshop will take place at 4:00pm in 3222 Angell Hall.
Peggy McCracken in the Domna C. Stanton Collegiate Professor of French, Women's Studies, and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20th and FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21st. Dr. Peter Erickson, lecturer at Northwestern University will give a lecture entitled "The Significance of Shakespeare's Whiteness" on November 20th at 4:00pm in 3222 Angell Hall. The following Friday morning, at 9am in 3184 Angell Hall, Dr. Erickson will hold a workshop with graduate students of a work in progress entitled "Bending toward Justice: From Shakespeare's Black Mediterranean to August Wilson's Black Atlantic."
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th and FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 19th, 2014.A lecture and graduate student workshop with Professor Arthur Marotti. Professor marotti's lecture is entitlted "The Poetry Nobody Knows: Rare or Unique Verse in Early Modern English Manuscripts" and will be given on Thursday, September 18th, at 5:00 PM in Angell 3222. This lecture deals with a selection of (mostly anonymous) rare or unique poems found in surviving manuscript poetry collections of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in relation to the familial, collegial, and other coterie environments in which they were written. This includes verse composed by manuscript compilers, politically dangerous or obscene texts, and texts related to scandals and topical events of local interest. Among the examples chosen are a poem dealing with a case of mother-son incest and verse dealing with a cause célèbre in Oxford, the supposed providential revival of a hanged woman who was unjustly convicted of infanticide. Neglected texts such as these not only need to be acknowledged in literary history, but also studied for what they reveal about the social life of early modern literary texts.
The Q&A period after the lecture on Thursday will be followed by dinner in the English faculty lounge.
Professor Marotti will also conduct a paleography workshop for graduate students on Friday, September 19th, at 9:30 AM in Angell 3184. The materials for this session will be circulated at the workshop on Friday morning, but please RSVP to John Paul Hampstead (email@example.com) or Cordelia Zukerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to attend so that we can provide plenty of bagels and coffee.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27th and FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28th. The EMC invites you to attend a lecture by David Wood, "Recovering Disability in Early Modern England" on February 27th at 4:30pm in 3222 Angell Hall. In this lecture, Professor Wood will examine the ways in which early modern disability studies offers a theoretical lens that can spur scholarly dialogue about human variation and early modern selfhood even as it motivates more politically invested classroom pedagogies. In promoting his recent, co-edited essay collection, Recovering Disability in Early Modern England, he will discuss some of the methodological challenges involved in pursuing early modern disability, the canonical possibilities such study reveals, and some of the ways he sees this nascent field developing.Professor Wood will also hold a workshop of a pre-circulated paper "Stigma, Identity, and Difference in Fletcher and Massinger's A Very Woman" with graduate students on February 28th at 9:30am in 3184 Angell Hall.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21st-SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd, 2014. The EMC invites you to attend its two-day conference, "Representations of Race in the Early Modern Period." The keynote speakers for this event will be Professor Arthur Little (English, University of California-Los Angeles) and Professor Susan Parrish (English, University of Michigan).
This interdisciplinary conference will engage with the fruitful field of early modern critical race studies, examining the myriad ways in which racial ideologies were represented, deployed, and undermined in the period, and exploring the scholarly possibilities for discussing, theorizing, and historicizing race. Discourses of difference, seen through the art, literature, and historical records of the period, can be both strikingly familiar and entirely alien to a contemporary observer. Scholars of geo-humoral theory, for example, have demonstrated that to many in the period, physical ethnic difference was, to some extent, a mutable feature, changeable in relation to one’s latitudinal deviation from a central Mediterranean. Moreover, some early modern scholars contend that contemporary racist discourse was not yet available in the period, as a European notion of fixed and hierarchical racial categories was concomitantly undeveloped. Despite these arguments, a number of scholars cogently demonstrate the racialized aspect of moral and aesthetic discourse, examining the European, and particularly Elizabethan, privileging of “fairness” and the pejorative moral rhetoric concerning darkness. Such arguments are often also supported by European involvement in the slave trade and Renaissance colonial practices. Another complicating component to the conversation is, as Ania Loomba writes in her introduction to Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism, that “in early modern Europe the bitterest conflicts between European Christians and others had to do with religion.” Thus, we can see how a number of issues including knowledge production, artistic representation, and the construction of identities--national, ethnic, sexual, and religious-- intersect with and are shaped by debates surrounding race.
For detailed information about the conference, please see the SCHEDULE. Please contact Eliza Mathie (email@example.com) or Kyle Grady(firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions pertaining to the conference.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 23th, 2014, 4:00pm, 3241 ANGELL HALL. Please join us to workshop "'Do you believe in fairies?': Thresholds of Performance in the Age of Elizabethan Theatrical Production" by Steven Mullaney. The essay grew out of a talk initially presented at the Forty-first Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. Please contact Elizabeth Mathie (email@example.com) if you would like to receive a copy of it.
Essay Description: Don't worry, "Do you believe in fairies?" is not about short people with wings (except for a brief walk-on by Tinker Bell) or A Midsummer Night's Dream. Delivered at SAA in 2013, the talk/emergent essay is my initial, very much in-progress effort to understand theatrical performance in terms of its dimensionality and not merely its semiology. With some help from Deleuze and Castells, I frame the inquiry in terms of the virtual and actual spaces of production, in an economic as well as a theatrical sense of production. The phenomenology of the audience, considered as (co)producer of "the play" as well as its consumer, interests me as much as (even more than) the semiotics of representation or mimesis. At the end, I take a look (with ears) at the fifth act of The Changeling.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER, 18th, 5:00pm, 3154 ANGELL HALL: The EMC invites you to attend a lecture by Ramie Targoff, professor of English and director of the Mandel Center for the Humanities at Brandeis University. The lecture will be entitled "Posthumous Love in Renaissance England." Professor Targoff is the recipient of numerous awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship. Her past research focuses on topics such as the English poet John Donne and early modern devotional poetry's relation to the liturgical practice of common prayer. Her lecture will present work from her current book project, which explores early modern beliefs about why couples wanted to be buried together and whether they might reunite in heaven after their deaths. While poets like Petrarch and Dante depict lovers' heavenly reunions, post-Reformation English writers like William Shakespeare often reject the hope that dead lovers might meet again in heaven. Targoff's project traces religious discourse about what happened to erotic and spousal bonds after death, and how these beliefs produced certain formal possibilities in the poetry of early modern England. The following Friday morning (October 19th), Professor Targoff will hold a workshop with graduate students of a pre-circulated paper, "Limit Cases: Henry King and John Milton," at 9:30am in 3184 Angell Hall.
Calendar of Events, 2012-13: