Bernadette Andrea (University of Texas at San Antonio):
“Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, French Turks, and the Elizabethan Queen of Sheba”
Abstract not available.
Matthew Knox Averett (Creighton University):
“Architecture and the Politics of Utility in Barberini Rome”
In 1634, the Senate commissioned a commemorative inscription to be erected in Santa Maria Aracoeli that celebrated Pope Urban VIII’s “vigilant care for the benefits of the people of Rome.” As it turns out, these benefits today seem rather mundane projects: drains and sewers, walls and streets, a granary and foundry. Santa Maria Aracoeli is one of the most significant churches in Rome; why celebrate these achievements there? This paper considers a number of Urban’s utilitarian projects within their larger political context and argues that they helped advance the image of the pope as munificent lord and caring shepherd.
Edward Baenziger (University of St. Thomas-Houston):
“French Saints and Sanctity”
A listing the top ten French saints from the Renaissance shows both the history of France and the vagaries of hagiography. Politics plays an important role, as well as theological reform in these lives of extraordinary people. We shall examine these from a semiotic stance, that they act as signs as well as effective agents for change in their society and beyond.
Debra Barrett-Graves (California State University, East Bay):
“Witchcraft and Magic in Jacobean Drama”
Jacobean playwrights included witches as participants in their dramas, drawing upon as source materials classical antecedents and common stereotypes of witches to provide cautionary tales. The darkly comedic dramatization of Syphax’s defeated desire in The Wonder of Women; or, The Tragedy of Sophonisba (1606) by John Marston, and the poignant tragicomic characterization of the witch Elizabeth Sawyer’s plight after the Devil-dog’s desertion in The Witch of Edmonton (1621), by William Rowley, Thomas Dekker, and John Ford, provided the playwrights with opportunities to create ironic reversals for characters who discover that the promised agency is both illusory and temporary.
Charles Beem (University of North Carolina at Pembroke):
“William Fleetwood and the Itinerarium ad Windsor”
Abstract not available.
Ilona Bell (Williams College):
“Wroth and Shakespeare—Sugared Sonnets among Their Private Friends”
Mary Wroth’s "Pamphilia to Amphilanthus," illuminates the textual habits of the period since it survives in two distinct versions: Folger Ms V.a.104, an earlier autograph text with multi-stage revisions and the well-known, expurgated, revised, reorganized sequence printed with Urania. The two versions illuminate the ways in which Shakespeare’s sonnets would have been read in manuscript and then reconceived and reworked for print. Writing love poems to another man and writing poems about a love triangle were as unconventional and potentially scandalous for Shakespeare as writing poems of clandestine love was for Wroth. Wroth’s strategies of concealment help explain the evasions, omissions, and disjunctions of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.
Lindsey Bennett (Northeastern State University):
“Portia’s Agency: Modes of Cross Dressing”
Shakespeare's treatment of women is debated: do women in his plays have agency or are they merely molded to gender roles of the Renaissance? Portia's role in The Merchant of Venice suggests that Shakespeare supports assertive, intelligent women; however, this is often portrayed through cross dressing. Shakespeare grants Portia the privilege of autonomy by disguising her as a man when she leaves to liberate Antonio from his contract with Shylock and enacts the subsequent ring trick on her husband, Bassanio. Shakespeare refutes the conventional roles of women during the Renaissance by allowing Portia to establish authority in her relationship by utilizing her ability to cross dress, illustrating her independence and intellect.
Sean Benson (University of Dubuque):
“Zombies and the Shakespearean Undead”
While little has been written concerning Shakespeare's engagement with the phenomenon of zombieism, the reanimation of the soulless dead, I submit that he anticipates and employs the conventions of zombieism well before the genre’s formal emergence in 1968 with George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. With particular attention to The Winter's Tale and King Lear, I will examine characters who imagine corpses--usually loved ones--reanimating, coming out of their graves, and haunting the living. Such fictive moments are uncannily associated with a number of the conventions of zombie literature and film, including the use of horror, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic settings, and the active (if slow) pursuit of the living by the dead.
Greg Bentley (Mississippi State University):
“Reading Titus Writing Lavinia: Hermeneutics and the Homo-Social Order in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus”
I argue in this essay that Lavinia functions as the objet petit a by means of which others try to fill up the hole in their own subjectivities as well as the hole in the Symboic Order (the Other).From this perspective, Lavinia "must" die in Act 5, and Titus "must" kill her, so that he, and the surviving members of the political world, may ensure the closed circuit of the conventionally masculinized libidinal and social economy.
Michael Berntsen (University of Louisiana at Lafayette):
“The Blues Aesthetic in Shakespeare’s Othello”
Looking at Othello, I will examine how various elements run parallel to blues conventions: Othello faces racism and alienation; he fears his woman is unfaithful; Desdemona suffers male cruelty; the handkerchief functions as a charm symbol; Iago embodies the trickster; Cassio encounters the vice of liquor, and each character endures the dehumanizing effects of servitude. All these textual occurrences invite an investigation into the blues aesthetic apparatus in order to add new contexts that elaborate on Shakespeare’s intricate characters, images, and themes.
Tina Bizzaro (Rosemont College):
“Canines and Felines: Holy Dogs”
Legends of saints and martyrs provide us with many examples of man and beast acting out, in union, the sacred drama of redemption. I will address only two, which have prompted ongoing performative rituals: the Lyonnais dog-saint, St.-Guignefort, who figured prominently in pilgrimage cults throughout France and Italy, from the early Renaissance through the early twentieth century; and the dog-headed Saint Christopher, now “disappeared” from the canon.
Renee Bricker (North Georgia College and University):
“Tortured Bodies, Racked Souls”
Abstract not available.
Francis Bright (University of Redlands, California):
“A Continuum of Events: Corrozet’s Topographies”
In Ton Conley's characterization of writing and reading in Renaissance texts as "a continuum of events," perception and sensation “are of the same order”; the text-body forms and reforms in endless signification. Montaigne's writing/written self can only appear through synecdoche and syllepsis: "Mon esprit ne va, si les jambes ne l'agitent." The text-body exceeds its space. Corrozet, responding to an overly literal dévoilement in the 1536 Blasons anatomiques, cannily designs the self architecturally in his Blasons domestiques (1539) and Tableau de Cèbes (1543). Under the conceit of a seamless Erasmian enargeia, the equivalence between subject and object in these proto- or quasi-emblem books falls productively out of stasis: the gesture of creating/reading is deliberately broken into a mise en abyme of discreet scenes. The self emerges from a motion in and out of narrative.
Brian Brooks (Northeastern State University):
“Feminist Ambivalence in The Taming of the Shrew”
Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is difficult to interpret due to the offensiveness of its treatment of women to modern audiences. Other Renaissance texts show that the anxiety caused is not purely a modern development; there was anxiety about the status of women in Shakespeare’s time as seen in the variety of ways women are depicted. Critics have sought to apologize for the perceived anti-feminist tone of the play. This is unnecessary because a comparison of Shakespeare’s play alongside other Renaissance texts reveals that this play reflects the ongoing controversy about women.
Barbara Brumbaugh (Auburn University):
“Prophecy and History in Reformation and Counter-Reformation Epic”
My talk would examine prophetic sections of several Reformation-era epics by both Protestant and Catholic poets, focusing on sections that imitate the passage from Book 6 of Virgil’s Aeneid in which Anchises displays before Aeneas a pageant of his future descendants and describes the city and empire they are destined to inherit. My talk would compare the “prophecies” in epics by Protestant and Catholic poets, examining factors such as their use of Scripture, the nature of the historical events “prophesied,” the relationships between history and prophecy in the passages, etc. I would look for any telling differences, as well as similarities, and attempt to account for each. Epics that I may examine include those by Tasso, Ariosto, Camões, Sidney, Spenser, and Milton.
Brad Campbell (Mississippi State University):
“The Dramatization of Identity and Desire: A Textual Analysis of Holinshed’s Chronicles and Shakespeare’s Macbeth”
Most critics agree that Holinshed’s Chonicles is the primary source from which Shakespeare derives Macbeth; however, Shakespeare makes substantive alterations that both enhance and complicate Holinshed’s original plot structure. In this essay, I investigate the rhetorical ramifications of Shakespeare’s choices, focusing specifically on how those choices provide a more comprehensive understanding of Macbeth’s construction of identity. Having thoroughly discussed the effects of textual and rhetorical manipulation as relative to our understanding of Macbeth’s psychological complexity, I hope to provide a reasonable explanation for the propensity of critics to embrace psychoanalytic readings of Shakespeare's play.
Catherine Campbell (Cottey College):
“Queen Elizabeth as Seen in France”
Abstract not available.
Jill Carrington (Stephen F. Austin State University):
“The Paired Altar Tombs of Bartolomeo Sanvito and Bartolomeo Urbino in San Francesco Grande in Padua and the Effigy in Tombs of the Veneto”
The funerary effigies of Bartolomeo Sanvito and Bartolomeo Urbino are joined with altars that occupy similar aedicule. Both works were also made in the 1520s and flank the entrance to the high altar chapel of the church of San Francesco Grande in Padua. Such parallels encourage a consideration of the monuments together, though heretofore they have received separate treatment, likely because the images of the deceased and those on the altar are quite different. The under life-size statue of the kneeling Sanvito is unprecedented in sculpture of the time, while the Urbino bust is highly significant as an early instance of a bust employed in a funerary context in the Veneto, a form that becomes ubiquitous as the century progresses.
Jim Casey (High Point University):
“Dying Like a Man: Masculinity and Violence in Macbeth”
In Macbeth, when Old Siward learns that his son has been killed by a wound “on the front, he does not lament the death of his son, but rather expresses his pleasure that his son died, as Rosse says, “like a man.” This essay examines the construction of masculinity in the play with particular attention to the intersection of manhood and the voluntary entrance of the characters into the milieu of masculine violence. Throughout, certain physical and biological attributes define individuals “in the catalogue” as men; when challenged, however, a man can only “prove” his manhood by submitting his body to significant danger and potential destruction.
Liana De Girolami Cheney (University of Massachusetts Lowell):
“Francesco Colonna and Edward Burne-Jones: Love Among the Ruins”
Edward Burne-Jones’ affinity for the Italian Renaissance assimilation of classical thought, particularly as embodied in Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499) is evident in his painting Love Among the Ruins (1870).
Deborah Cibelli (Nicholls State University):
“Regarding Women at the Casa Vasari”
This study will refer to Giorgio Vasari’s Le Vite dei più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architetti as an interpretive text for the fresco cycles the artist created in his house in Arezzo, the town where Vasari was born, where he married, and where he returned periodically to paint. The program for his house shows he accorded great power to art not only to preserve the memory of noteworthy artists celebrated in the Vite but also to commemorate his wife, Nicolosa Bacci, and thereby comment on the role of women in art and society.
Judith Coleman (University of Iowa):
“Powerless Tamburlaine: Customes, Oracles, and the Antinomian Question”
This paper addresses the antinomian question with regard to Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, Parts One and Two through two important scenes—the slaughter of the Virgins of Damascus and Tamburlaine’s own death—to ultimately contend that Tamburlaine, while seemingly very much in control, is actually slave to a greater power that originates within himself but which is not truly within his purview. Instead of his conscience/God as a referent for action, Tamburlaine takes his own words to be “oracles” that determine a fixed course of action he cannot escape, even when he expresses a desire to do otherwise, thus disarming a sense that he is either a positive or stereotypically libertine antinomian.
Steven Cowser (Queen Mary, University of London):
“‘Witness . . . that night / In Gibeah’ (PL I.503-504): Lucan, Belial, and the Lessons of History”
Unlike most critics who continue to assert that the epic catalogue in book I of Paradise Lost is ‘Homeric’ or ‘Virgillian,’ this paper will argue that the content and structure of the Miltonic epic catalogue more closely resembles Lucan’s Pharsalia especially in its ability to express central thematic concerns of the wider poem. It will be argued that criticism of Belial as ineffectual is insensitive to the conventions of epic genre and the biblical material that underpins Bk I.376-50. Finally, an examination of some aspects of the cultural significance of Belial to Milton’s contemporaries will seek to further integrate the passage into the poem as a whole.
Catherine Cox (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi):
“Plague-time Anger and the Run-away Maker: Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller”
For Thomas Nashe, writing in 1593, a year recording 10,675 London plague burials, the pestilence was a cruel destroyer, so invasive and relentless that it seemed an almost human character. In his most experimental narrative The Unfortunate Traveler, a work derived in part from the picaresque tale and anticipating the modern novel, plague provides the backdrop for pitiless violence, offering opportunities for villains to exploit and terrorize the weak and innocent. Nashe’s style imitates the contagious fury and seeming hubris and antics of infection, expressing a zeal more corrosive than holy and a conviction of life’s absurdity. The anger of Tom Nashe towards the pestilence that had forced him from London, making him, not unlike Jack, a prisoner, shifting from country house to country house, feeling cold and uncomfortable, endangered, and alienated, wanes towards the narrative’s end as Jack returns from his dangerous sojourn in a diseased land.
Sandra Cox (Shawnee State University):
“The Black Arts Movement Colonizes Early Modern Drama: Shakespearean Antecedents in LeRoi Jones’ The Slave and Dutchman”
LeRoi Jones’ Dutchman and The Slave revisit portrayals of relationships between men of African descent and women of European descent in ways that respond to Shakespearean treatments of similar relationships. Jones challenges the Anglo-American canon, but he also participates in a strategic mimesis of scenes from Othello, The Tempest and Titus Andronicus. Jones’ strategies for taking up and putting down the racial discourse transmitted by Shakespeare provides a mechanism for further understanding how the Bard remains an important progenitor of identity politics. Jones uses Shakespeare’s texts as antecedents to show that “Western aesthetics” is both recapitulated and overturned as a means of speaking back to the dominant culture.
Jasmin Cyril (Benedict College):
“Carlo Crivelli’s Madonna of the Cucumber: Sacred Image and Morphology”
For Crivelli, the form and symbol merge in his visual lexicon liberating them from associative meaning and introducing them as causative elements within the context of the image.
Carlo Crivelli's use of the isolated images of cucumbers and specific fruits was developed from the trompe l'oeil conceits such as garlands and flies, that indicated receding spatial planes in the image.
Francis DeStefano (Independent Scholar):
“Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love”
This paper interprets the subject of Titian’s "Sacred and Profane Love" as the "Conversion of Mary Magdalen". The finely dressed Woman is Mary Magdalen in the guise of a Venetian courtesan. The nude Woman is the converted Magdalen in the process of throwing off her worldly finery. In her hand she holds the jar of ointment that is found in practically every depiction of the great sinner/saint. The antique relief on the sarcophagus-like fountain, which so far has eluded explanation, can now be seen to depict three great sinners: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and St. Paul falling from his horse.
Phillip Donnelly (Baylor University):
“Homer Writes Back: Reconfiguring Justice in Paradise Lost, Books 1-2”
The treatment of justice in the opening books of Paradise Lost is, in effect, part of a larger attempt to “justify the ways of Homer to Plato.” The argument first draws on the work of Bruce Louden, Neil Forsyth, and Peter Mack to establish Milton’s relation to reception contexts for Homeric and Platonic texts. The second part of the argument shows how the first two books of Paradise Lost include nine points of direct engagement with parallel claims in Plato’s Republic that follow the same sequence. This reconfiguration of the Republic’s opening treatment of justice embodies a poetic vindication of Homer and implies that a union of narrative and dialectic offers the best elucidation of justice.
Douglas Dow (Kansas State University):
“Penitential Prototypes: The Frescoes of the Martyrdoms of the Apostles at the Oratory of the Florentine Flagellant Confraternity of Santissima Annunziata”
In the 1580s, the Florentine flagellant confraternity of Santissima Annunziata commissioned Bernardino Poccetti and others to paint a fresco cycle of the martyrdoms of the apostles for its small cloister. These paintings are frequently discussed in terms of the contemporary interest in martyrdom iconography; this paper, however, argues that the martyrdoms are presented as prototypes for the self-mortification of the disciplinati. By highlighting the suffering of the apostles, the program made a case for the importance of confraternal penitence, and, by presenting the apostles as a proto-confraternity, the frescoes also argued for the continued role of lay companies at a time of increased ecclesiastical oversight.
Elizabeth Downs (University of Delaware):
“John Aylmer’s Harbor for the Monarchy”
John Aylmer’s An Harborowe for Faithfull and Trewe Subjects has been viewed by scholars as a work that defends queenship only to weaken it again by promoting proto-constitutionalism. However, this interpretation ignores the way Aylmer's text engages in church-state relations. In this paper, I will argue Aylmer aims to strengthen the queen against seditious and biblically-based attacks by calling for a greater separation of the government from the ecclesiastical sphere, for the people’s obedience to the sovereign and ultimately for secular oversight of the church. Aylmer defends these convictions with what a two-kingdoms hermeneutic for approaching scripture.
Kerry Delaney Doyle (University of Iowa):
“Reformed and Recusant: Henry VIII’s Defense of the Faith”
Though staged as a celebration of the Church of England in recognition of its rule by James I, Shakespeare’s Henry VIII (1613) troubles the history of its founding. The Catholic and Protestant hierarchies are equally corrupt, self-serving, and ultimately doomed to the fickle faith of the court-system they promote. The play sanctifies Catherine for her individual faith and devotion. It also condemns the bad faith of the Catholic hierarchy, dramatizing the mistrust English Catholics and Protestants felt towards the Roman Church. This paper considers how the play celebrates both Catholic and Reformed, and questions how the fifth act emphasis on the latter suggests a hesitation in lauding the process enacted by the English Reformation.
Amy Drake (Ohio State University):
“From Acclaim to Arcane: Ducis’s Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth”
French playwright Jean-François Ducis revised Shakespeare’s Macbeth in order to make it more accessible to a late eighteenth-century French audience. Ducis’s approach to staging Shakespearean works was unique and highly imaginative, as Ducis did not read English or speak the language. His work was a fantastical retelling of the Macbeth story, molded to suit the expectations of traditional French theater. I will seek to explore Ducis’s approach to Macbeth in the context of other popular French productions of its day. I will explore Ducis’s theatrical success by examining his original script, published in 1790, and reaction to this work by audiences and critics.
Sarah Duncan (Spring Hill College):
“Heirs Apparent: Mary I and Elizabeth I as Princesses and Queens”
Before each became a ruling queen of England, both Mary I and Elizabeth I were presumptive heirs to the throne. As next in line during the reign of Edward VI, Mary frequently found herself in conflict with the regime, and also faced considerable danger at the end of her brother’s life when she successfully upheld her own right to the throne. After Mary became queen her experience as a princess would inform her treatment of the next heir apparent, her sister. Although Elizabeth famously resented her treatment at Mary’s hands, she would employ similar tactics against those who stood in the line of succession. Like Mary before her Elizabeth, as heir apparent, withstood the threats to her survival while learning valuable lessons about the nature of sixteenth century queenship.
Susan Dunn-Hensley (Wheaton College):
“Reigning in a New Generation: Elizabeth I in Adolescent Literature”
Abstract not available.
Martin Dzelzainis (University of Leicester):
“Marvell and the Dutch in 1665”
This paper engages with the place of ‘The Character of Holland’ in Marvell's oeuvre. Dated by most scholars to the early months of 1653, and even, according to one, ‘probably written to commemorate a day of thanksgiving on April 12 1653’ (Norbook), there is no trace at all of the poem in the archive until 1665 when a truncated version was printed in support of renewed hostilities with the Dutch. This version omitted lines 101-52, which referred to the Commonwealth, and added a new 8-line conclusion (the full version first appeared in 1681 in Miscellaneous Poems). However, there is no evidence of the poem having left Marvell’s control in 1653 other than the existence of the 1665 version. And even that does not necessarily count as evidence that the poem had been languishing in the state papers for twelve years until it was unearthed and reworked for propaganda purposes by an unknown hand. This is because of the real possibility (never properly canvassed before) that the 1665 printing was in fact authorized by Marvell himself.
Hillary Eklund (Loyola University New Orleans):
“The Politics of Surfeit and Loss in Coriolanus”
William Shakespeare’s Coriolanus (1608) participates in an early modern debate about the promise of colonial abundance as an antidote to material privation in the metropole. This paper shows how the play’s indignant plebeians challenge an ideology that at once accommodates abundance as healthful and systematically deprives commoners of a sustainable livelihood. The empty stomachs of the dispossessed not only particularize the greed of the higher ranks but also expose the moral consequences of their non-circulating material and territorial surfeit. Through public protest these citizens demand alternative frameworks for obtaining, moving, and consuming resources.
Daniel Ellis (St. Bonaventure):
“Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Language of Estate Management, and the Foundations of English Rhetoric”
Abstract not available.
Sharon Emmerichs (University of Missouri):
“Shakespeare and the Transgendered Landscape”
When Shakespeare’s men and women breach the scripted and gendered meanings of landscape and enter a space not meant to contain them--whether through exile, rebellion, or carelessness--or treat a space in a manner inappropriate to its definition, both landscape and characters suffer a loss of identity that ultimately results in defamation and death. Shakespeare not only acknowledges the gendered meanings of landscapes, but he manipulates them to highlight the flaws of his characters and to make their tragic fates even more effective and affecting.
Sean Erwin (Barry University):
“The Metabolism of the State: Machiavelli’s Treatment of the Theme of Auxiliaries at Discorsi II.20”
For many commentators, Machiavelli’s analyses of kinds of armies are only meant to furnish ‘practical’ solutions to a variety of historical problems and not to be seriously considered beyond their Renaissance context. However, my contention in this paper is that Machiavelli’s criticism of princes and republics that make use of the arms of others deserves more careful attention than it generally receives. I argue that Machiavelli’s interpretation of the Capuan episode in Livy’s History of Rome (Book VII, chapters 38 to 42) decisively re-interprets the theme of auxiliary arms in ways that go far beyond historical considerations alone.
Yael Even (University of Missouri-St. Louis):
“The ‘Flea Hunt’ Reconsidered”
In 17th-century English and French literature as well as in 17th and 18th Dutch and Italian Painting, the flea hunt is often viewed as a sexually motivated quest. A recent but little known essay on the flea hunt in Hungarian poetry indicates that the few, extant studies on the subject should be reviewed, reconsidered, and expanded.
The present paper reconsiders the flea hunt, reintroducing little-known Italian paintings such as Giuseppe Crespiís image in the Louvre. In addition, it reconsiders the flea itself as an attribute of two kinds of women: the seductive maiden and the devoted mother.
Ryan Farrar (University of Louisiana at Lafayette):
“‘A Foul and Pestilent Congregation’: Hamlet as an Ambiguous Dystopia”
Dystopia is not usually asscoiated with Shakespeare's Hamlet. Yet, the constant recurrence of Shakespeare’s influence on twentieth century dystopian works remains undoubtable. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1937) derives its title from The Tempest (1611), and Winston in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) mutters the word “Shakespeare” upon waking from a dream. Positing Prince Hamlet as the play's antihero, this study strives to link the play’s treatment of deceptive appearances to the subgenre of dystopian literature. To illustrate the court’s dystopian qualities, I focus on the acts of the primary villains: Claudius, Polonius, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Joan Faust (Southeastern Louisiana University):
“Andrew Marvell’s ‘Gallery’ of Reflections”
“The Gallery” is one of several Marvellian poems noted for their ekphrastic qualities. In guiding the reader through five different portraits of a beloved, “The Gallery” falls into the group of ekphrastic poems that place the reader in the cabinet of some fictitious collector. Instead, however, Marvell displays five poses of one woman, stressing the notion of the beloved imaged in the speaker’s heart, soul, or mind as in a group of so-called “mirror poems” that describe a woman viewing herself in a mirror, then directing her gaze into the lover or into some part of his anatomy that then becomes that mirror. In Marvell’s skillful use of the liminal power of the mirror, “The Gallery” keeps the reader in-between a self-perpetuating tangle of reflections.
Laura Flaspohler (Central Methodist University):
“Monstrous Isabella in Marlowe’s Edward II”
Although some scholars have noted inconsistencies in the character of Isabella in Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, a careful consideration of the contemporary conventions of feminine virtue reveals that Isabella uses these conventions to disguise her monstrous nature, a nature which drives her to manipulate the situations and the men involved in an attempt to expand her own political power. By successfully manipulating the nobles, Edward II, and Mortimer, Isabella advances her political position. When she is unable to manipulate her own son, he sends her to the Tower and death. Although Isabella uses feminine conventions to appear virtuous, Marlowe portrays her as a manipulative, monstrous woman throughout the play.
Maureen Fox (California State University, Fullerton):
“‘Italophobia’: The Fear of Italy’s Influence as Portrayed in Ben Jonson’s Volpone”
Despite Italy’s significant influence in Renaissance literature, many Early Modern writers treat Italy negatively in their texts. In The Schoolmaster (1570), Roger Ascham explains this animosity by stating, “Inglese italianato è un diavolo incarnato”: the Englishman who becomes Italian is the devil made flesh. England feared Italy’s influence would pollute and obliterate their own culture, and this view is especially apparent in Ben Jonson’s Volpone (1612), a play where Englishmen suffer for becoming Italianized and where Italians are wicked. Jonson’s antagonistic depiction of Italy reveals England’s fear, or “italophobia,” by exposing and cautioning against Italy’s harmful nature.
Raymond-Jean Frontain (University of Central Arkansas):
“‘When First and Last Concur: Closure in John Donne’s ‘The Annunciation and Passion’”
Faith determines closure in John Donne's devotional lyrics. "The Annunciation and Passion" exemplifies one of most characteristic acts of closure, in which the poem's end is revealed to have been written in its beginning. The poem, thus, is indicative of a radically different kind of faith than "Goodfriday 1613," in which the speaker is surprised to discover only at the end of the poem that his perversity may lead him to sanctification.
Alex Garganigo (Austin College):
“Marvell vs. Butler in The Last Instructions to a Painter”
The relationship between Marvell and Samuel Butler after 1660, in texts such as the garden poems, Hudibras, The Last Instructions, The Rehearsal Transpros’d, and The Transproser Rehearsed, deserves more attention, in part because it involves both men’s complicated relationship to the mercurial Duke of Buckingham. My paper will examine the first of this series of exchanges and crossfertilizations between the two poets, reading parts of The Last Instructions to a Painter as both repudiation and cooptation of tropes and strategies from Hudibras.
Katherine Gillen (University of New Hampshire):
“Commodifying the Human in The Merchant of Venice: Homo-Social Bonds, Chaste Rings, and Anxieties of International Trade”
This paper considers Merchant of Venice in light of travel narratives about the East. English travelers often invoked the condition of harem women to critique the Turks’ inappropriate commodification of people. Merchant addresses similar concerns, exploring the effects of international trade on human bodies and identities. Merchant interrogates commercial practices that reduce human value to the level of commodity exchange. I argue that Portia addresses these anxieties by enforcing a domestic realm in which human qualities–particularly the chastity represented by her ring–are uniquely valued and cannot be exchanged. Portia’s actions, however, ultimately restrict access to the domestic sphere along racial lines.
Kristen Gipson (University of Louisiana at Lafayette):
“Lost in the Gaze: Paralyzing Female Power in Spenser’s The Faerie Queene”
The female characters of Edmund Spenser often find their power in the gaze—the ability to ensnare and paralyze men either through their beauty or their monstrosity. This Medusa-like power to create stasis through the visual entrapment of the gaze creates problems for positive female characters, like Una and Britomart, as well as negative characters, like Acrasia and Duessa. Medusa’s paralyzing gaze in The Faerie Queene demonstrates the dangerous effects of sight to directly cause stasis.
Daniel Gonzalez (University of New Orleans):
“Nashe & the Novel: The Fortunate Fate of The Unfortunate Traveller”
Thomas Nashe’s early prose piece of 1594, The Unfortunate Traveller, remains an unconventional work that defies easy categorization. This paper attempts to account for The Unfortunate Traveller by highlighting its contribution to the development of the English novel, specifically through its influence on the burgeoning genre of the criminal narrative. The Unfortunate Traveller experiments vigorously with many of the narrative devices and formulas that were later popularized by early English novelists as Defoe and Fielding. As heavy on realistic detail and bloody incident as on romantic journey, The Unfortunate Traveller is one of the earliest examples of the innovative, bold prose style that would be influential in the rise of the novel.
Gabriella Gruder-Poni (Independent Scholar):
“The Nymph’s Fawn and the Hewel: Transformations in Two Forests”
My paper explores the forest as a place of transformation in two of Marvell’s poems, “Upon Appleton House” and “The Nymph Complaining for the Death of her Fawn.” The paper uses an analogic method that brings to bear stories (one from Ovid, the other a fairy tale) that inform the figure of the woodpecker in “Upon Appleton House” and the figure of the fawn in “The Nymph Complaining.” I end each analysis by re-interpreting the forests and the central figures of the two poems in the light of their antecedents.
Erica Gruenewald (University of Delaware):
“Before the Black Legend: Gascoigne, Sir Bruse, and Elizabeth in the Princely Pleasures at Kenilworth Castle”
Abstract not available.
Daniel Gullo (Columbus State University):
“Translating the Rule of St. Benedict for Female Religious Communities in late Medieval Catalonia”
Scholars of gender history have studied the importance of vernacular spiritual treatises for women’s religious communities at the end of the Middle Ages. In particular, scholars have focused on the problems of gender and language as male authors translated Latin monastic rules, especially the Rule of Saint Benedict, originally written for male monasteries into the vernacular for religious women. In this paper, I will explore the fifteenth-century vernacular translation of the Rule of Saint Benedict into Catalan by Joan Reig in 1519, placing the translation within the late medieval Observantine reform movement begun at Montserrat, where the reformers of the Congregation of Valladolid emphasized a bilingual culture as part of the general reform of women’s and men’s communities at the end of the Middle Ages.
Sharon Hampel (University of Denver for Judaic Studies):
“Milton’s Marital Monism”
Recently, an erotic poem written by Lady Elizabeth Dacre to Sir Anthony Cooke was found in a 1561 edition of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales . The twice-married Lady Elizabeth addressed Sir Cooke, a widower,and longed for "swelling" and "narrow" girdles, bespeaking the repression of the age. A good woman was never sexual and a sexual woman was never good. Only John Milton, when he envisioned the marital pair leaving Eden, put goodness and sexuality together. The source of this synthesis was the Hebrew law of ritual purification, which Milton alluded to in Sonnet 23. This Hebraist/Legalist topos of a redeemed woman was developed in the Divorce Tracts and became, in the poetry, an enthymeme that healed the gulf between body and mind.
Michael Hays (Independent Scholar):
“Another Source of the ‘Other’ in Othello: From Textual Crux to Critical Conundrum”
A textual crux prompts an answer to a critical conundrum about Othello’s jealousy. Without explanation, all modern editors emend their copy text, from Folio’s “he” to Quarto’s “you” in “Did Michael Cassio / When [someone] woo’d my Lady, know of your love?” Lacking relevant cultural knowledge, editors and critics remain incurious how the Folio made sense to Shakespeare and company. Its sense reflects contemporaries’ and characters’ knowledge of the disparity between an intermediary’s presumed and practiced conduct in courtships. Insinuations of betrayal alter Othello’s perceptions of Cassio and Desdemona, and their relationships; and explain the sudden onset of his jealousy.
Brenna Heffner (University of Louisiana at Lafayette):
“‘That substance is Eterne’: Female Sexuality in Book III of Spenser’s The Faerie Queene”
In Book III of The Faerie Queene , Edmund Spenser specifically considers the issue of female sexuality and the balance between chastity and love. By refashioning tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses in cantos one, six, ten, and eleven, Spenser creates a guide for aristocratic women on how to properly express sexuality within the social and religious confines of sixteenth-century Protestant England, while simultaneously critiquing Queen Elizabeth and her views of chastity and celibacy, especially her lack of an heir. Through the characters in Book III of The Faerie Queene , Spenser champions physical love for women in a spiritual context that allows for mutual love and not mere procreation.
Caroline Hillard (Wright State University):
“Vasari and the Etruscan Manner”
The expansive scholarly literature on Giorgio Vasari (1511–74) has paid little notice to his views on the ancient Etruscans. Vasari was, however, the first Renaissance author to establish a canon of Etruscan style, and to apply his criteria to the analysis of an Etruscan object. This paper considers Vasari’s notion of Etruscan style as developed in the Vite (1550 and 1568) and the Ragionamenti (1557) and its significance in Florentine archaeological and literary culture under Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici (r. 1537–74). I argue that Vasari’s achievement depended less on an impartial analysis of Etruscan objects than on his agenda to promote Tuscan artists and his Tuscan patron.
Christine Hoffmann (Georgia Institute of Technology):
“Nothing to See Here, Folks: Milton’s Art of Disappearance”
This presentation will examine Milton's art of disappearance in Paradise Lost, exploring several of the ways in which absence figures as presence in the poem, dismissal turns to invitation, and disappearance gives the impression of vitality. Milton broadly and memorably realizes the possibilities of fallibility, failure and fallenness through his own illegible posture as the poet vainly presuming to write Eden, and he instantiates for later presumptive reformers the potential for activism within similarly impossible poses.
Caitlin Holmes (Clemson University):
“‘That which makes all sounds music’: Donne’s Devotions and the Godly Community”
Part of a larger study, this paper considers John Donne’s Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions in light of his 1623 quarantine, arguing that Donne’s anxieties during his confinement represent larger concerns about the relationship between the self and spiritual community in early modern England. Extending recent scholarship examining early modern interest in the body’s permeability, this paper suggests that Donne’s representation of his room is a spatial allegory for these concerns. Through analyzing the aural experiences that transform confinement into a spiritual haven, this essay reconstructs Donne’s conceptualization of Christian community and the auditory mechanisms that allow him access to it.
Benjamin Howard (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi):
“Ex Nihilo, nihil fit: Nihilism in Shakespeare’s King Lear”
This essay shows how Shakespeare’s King Lear treats chaos and order as arbitrary social constructs in an effort to make light out of ‘nothing.’ In the case of this argument, nothing refers not so much creating order out of the plays chaos, but rather stripping order down to its barest form in order to find basic and true meaning. The plays treatments of constancy, religion, death, and arbitrary social construction, viewed through a lens of nihilism and death as total annihilation, serve to offer a social commentary about a society’s increasing need to make ‘something’ out of ‘nothing.’
Susan Hrach (Columbus State University):
“Teaching the Target Text: Marlowe’s All Ovid’s Elegies and the English Renaissance Audience”
My paper will address the usefulness of teaching Marlowe’s little-read translation to undergraduate students. Of special value for students of English literature is the opportunity to evaluate choices of form and language in a target text, particularly when they are not readers of Latin. What factors make Marlowe’s text a touchstone treatment of the Amores in English? “All Ovid’s Elegies” heightens students’ sensitivity to the text’s original Renaissance audience. The text serves as a microcosm of classical forms, figures and themes widely reproduced in Renaissance culture. As an artifact of the period, it provides an interesting illustration of textual production in manuscript and in print, including a censorship controversy.
Melissa Hudler (Lamar University and Anglia Ruskin University):
“Feats and Feet of Rhetoric in Ben Jonson’s ‘Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue’”
Dance can be perceived as a visual art with a communicative power analogous to that of the verbal arts. In Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue, Jonson proclaims this rhetorical truth when he partners Mercury (personified language) and Daedalus (personified dance) to aid Hercules in reconciling pleasure to virtue. Through two songs, in which image, movement, communication, and audience interact to form a rhetorical performance, Jonson links dancing and rhetoric primarily through Daedalus. This dancing master choreographs and directs a nimble argument for balancing pleasure and virtue in one’s life, through which Jonson illustrates the parallel between dancer and orator and thus between dancing and rhetoric.
Brett Hudson (Middle Tennessee State University):
“Promiscuous Publishing and Diseased Polemic: Andrew Marvell’s Depiction of Lycanthropy in The Rehearsal Transpros’d”
This paper examines Andrew Marvell's depiction of Samuel Parkerís printing practices as they are presented in The Rehearsal Transprosíd. Marvell presents Parker as a participant in an illicit sexual affair with his ìmistressîóthe publishing industry. By creating the analogue of author and bookseller to lover and mistress, Marvell develops the metaphor to characterize the social diseases that are the results of such ìillicitî affairs. Alluding to what was occasionally seen as a result of venereal disease, Marvell describes Parkerís railing against nonconformists as a form of lycanthropy, presenting Parkerís ideology as a contagious ìdiseaseî threatening English nonconformists.
Carlton Hughes (University of South Carolina):
This paper analyses the motto which, according to Vasari, Michelangelo used to accompany the three interlocking rings of his personal emblem: "They (the arts) lift our intellect to the stars." It suggests that the motto (and Dante's image of God as tre giri) have antecedents in another source, Ptolemy as quoted in the Greek Anthology: "When I search into the multitudinous revolving spirals of the stars my feet no longer rest on the earth, but, standing by Zeus himself, I take my fill of ambrosia, the food of the Gods." Looking at other related texts and images, including the artist's own funeral decorations, this paper discusses the ways Michelangelo's motto and emblem reflected his sense of artmaking as a spiritual vocation.
Elena Kazakova (Johns Hopkins University):
“Blood-Drinking Sucklings in Les Tragiques by Agrippa d’Aubigné”
This paper analyzes images of the mother nourishing her child in Les Tragiques by Agrippa d’Aubigné. It adopts a scientific perspective on the physiology of breastfeeding in the Renaissance and argues that the author radically reverses the process in order to illustrate the denaturalization of human relations in the time of French religious wars. As an expression of this unnatural order of things, not only is milk converted back into blood that now serves as a nourishing substance, but instead of the mother, it is the child who is the source of this substance.
Sarah Kelley (California State University, Fullerton):
“Wielding a Woman’s Power: Queen Elizabeth I’s Masterful Manipulation of Admiration”
Abstract not available.
Yvonne Kendall (University of Houston-Downtown):
“Dancing with Queen Elizabeth”
Queen Elizabeth was well-known for her vigorous daily regimen of dancing. A surviving painting even shows her flying through the air in the hands of royal favorite Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. With choreographies taken from sources as diverse as published volumes and law student crib notes, dance history scholar Dr. G. Yvonne Kendall will lead participants through a lively session of learning dances that were common in Queen Elizabeth's era.
Susan Kendrick (Emporia State University):
“‘ . . . that strange out-landish word Change’: The Death and Resurrection of Elizabeth I”
The last years of Elizabeth's reign did not maintain the shining allure of previous years, and the English victory over the Spanish Armada was probably its zenith. The Queen had reigned forty-five years, outliving nearly all her ministers, courtiers, and friends. As the reign wound down to its nadir, popular opinion of the Queen also waned. Christopher Haigh comments that during this time "the political misogynism of the early years of the reign re-emerged. The ills of the times were ascribed to the rule of a woman" (166). Unable to create a new role, Elizabeth remained constant while everything (and everyone) around her changed; problems of the reign were attributed to her sex, "for it held out the expectation that all would be well once the old lady died" (Haigh 166). Her subjects wanted a king, thinking that a male ruler would be inherently able to overcome the weaknesses of "female indecision" attributed to Elizabeth. People throughout court and country saw their salvation in James VI of Scotland ñ male, married, and the father of two sons, Henry and Charles. The gender stereotypes so firmly in place supported the assumption that as a man, James would be able to overcome the economic and political ills that the late Queen could not. This relieved response to Elizabeth's death on the national level is probably the main reason why the transition to Jacobean rule occurred without incident. Yet what survived from the Elizabethan age was spectacular imagery and a queen's reputation, soon to be resurrected after English exposure to Stuart rule.
Flo Keyes (Castleton State College):
“Would Renaissance Women Agree Middleton’s Bianca Was Not Raped?”
This paper lays out the plan for a larger work which will require travel to England to investigate primary sources, particularly diaries and journals of Renaissance theatergoers. In this paper, I contend that the women of the time would have seen the coerced sex in Women Beware Women as rape rather than as Bianca’s willing participation in a form of social climbing, a claim made by a male scholar several years ago. Since there are few sources available on performances of this play itself, I would be formulating my assessment based on contemporary accounts of the attitudes of women toward similar scenes in other plays.
George Klawitter (St. Edward’s University):
“Andrew Marvell’s ‘The Gallery’: Cora Comes Home”
When we tackle the "Clora" of "The Gallery," we find the woman is no longer noble, nor is she double-faced, because she is no longer a woman: she has become an allegorical figure. The fifty-six line poem, in seven octavo stanzas of iambic tetrameter, presents a series of Clora portraits as if the woman is being seen in various metamorphoses of temperament. There are five specific portraits in the poem, although some readers may disagree, opting rather to fuse the portrait in stanza two with that in stanza four and to fuse the portrait in stanza three with that in stanza five, effecting just two portraits where there had been four. The final portrait, the shepherdess of stanza seven, is unquestionably unique. There are two problems with reading three portraits instead of five. First of all, if Marvell had intended the heart of the poem to be describing a single double-faced painting, he probably would have adjoined stanza four to stanza two and stanza five to stanza three, not forcing a reader to imagine the narrator turning the painting around twice instead of once each. Secondly, the kindly goddess (Aurora) described in stanza three and the lovely goddess (Venus) described in stanza five are sufficiently different to let readers conclude that the two portraits are really distinct. The same conclusion cannot, however, be drawn for the "inhuman murderess" (l. 10) of stanza two and the "enchantress" (l. 25) of stanza four, but if the sunny portraits are distinct, their dark flip-sides must also be distinct.
Ken Kurihara (Fordham University):
“Angels or the Dead?: The Stories of ‘The Three Ghosts’ in Early Modern Germany”
The paper focus on is the popular image of the “Three Ghosts” in early modern German literature. I shall discuss what the possible origins of this image are and how it was transformed by the Reformation. The most likely origin is “The Legend of the Three Living and the Three Dead,” which emphasizes the vanity of worldly life. Later the "Three Ghosts" were regarded as angels who came to warn people of the coming of eschatological divine judgment. This shows the transformation of ghost beliefs and the influence of the eschatological worldview prevailing among the Lutherans. These ghost stories show the dynamic interactions between folklore, theology, and contemporary political events in early modern Germany.
Kevin Laam (Oakland University):
“Time, Place, and Politics in Marvell’s Verse Epitaphs”
This paper looks to reconsider how Marvell’s verse epitaphs engage the uncomfortable political realities of Restoration England. Drawing from recent work on epitaphic poetics, I want to suggest that that Marvell’s epitaphs be understood not as a retreat from the public stage but instead as a radically portable vehicle of critique and dissent, one that trades on the form’s gestural immediacy and textual agility. For Marvell, the optimal use of epitaph rests in its insistent focus on the present, which allows him to impart an ethic of activity and engagement to the besieged godly community on Earth.
Alexander Lee (University of Luxemborg and University of Warwick):
“Coluccio Salutati, Dante Alighieri and the Praise of Monarchy”
The De tyranno is the most puzzling of Coluccio Salutati’s political works. A staunch defence of monarchy designed to defend Dante’s condemnation of Brutus and Cassius, it has been viewed as an unusually ‘medieval’ text that is in tension with the republicanism of Salutati’s other writings. As this paper demonstrates, however, Salutati sought to vindicate his forebear by mounting a defence of monarchy that was alien to Dante’s thought. Based on a notion of consent that blurred the boundary between monarchism and republicanism, the De tyranno was an extension of – rather than an aberration from – Salutati’s political concerns. Drawing comparisons with Petrarch, Cola di Rienzo, and Bartolus of Sassoferrato, this paper demonstrates that, far from being ‘medieval’ in character, Salutati’s treatise was entirely consonant with early humanistic political thought.
Carole Levin (University of Nebraska at Lincoln):
“The Witches of Macbeth: Dreams and Reality”
In this paper I examine dreams in earlier sources of Macbeth, especially in how Macbeth met the witches, and analyze the parallels and confluences between earlier depictions of Macbeth and the witches and Shakespeare’s. For example, in some rather than Macbeth – with Banquo – meeting the witches, Macbeth instead dreams of them, and in Shakespeare there is something dream-like too about the witches.
Katlyn Lewicke (Smith College):
“The Forgotten Heiress: Elizabeth Tudor’s Exclusion from the Mid-Tudor Succession Crisis”
Abstract not available.
Ellen Longsworth (Merrimack College):
“Style and Context: The Sculptures in the Choir of the Milanese Church of Santo Sepolcro”
By the early sixteenth century the medieval church of Santo Sepolcro had become the site of special veneration of the Passion, Death, and Body of Christ.In 1564 Carlo Borromeo was appointed Archbishop of Milan, where he organized an Order of preaching fiars to carry out his agenda of post-Tridentine reform. Obsessed with the suffering and death of Christ as the new Archbishop was, it is no coincidence that he chose the church of Santo Sepolcro as his own. Two groups of life-size terracotta sculptures located in the the choir of the church, whose subjects focus upon Christ's Passion, may date from Carlo's occupancy. Problems of style and authorship, and the probable reasons behind the creation of these figures, are the focus of this paper.
Daniel Mangiavellano (Tulane University):
“‘I dare not, for I cannot: I cannot, for I dare not’: Coleridge, Hamlet, and Dramatizing Habit”
I sketch out the early nineteenth century’s turn to Hamlet (in general) and the “To be, or not to be” soliloquy (in particular) in conceptualizing habit’s influence over the mind and body. In short, while the “To be, or not to be” soliloquy does not necessarily unlock the psychological secrets of habit, it provides early nineteenth-century psychology a set of behaviors, questions, and contexts to theorize the gauzy limits of habit in the mind. I read Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s anxiety about habit in private journal entries in 1803 as a dramatization of this Hamletian dilemmas of abstraction and paralysis.
Louis Maraj (Texas Tech University):
“Re-historicizing and Rethinking Surrey’s ‘Love that doth raine’”
My article presents the first accurate transcription of Surrey’s creatively translated sonnet from a manuscript source with close historical ties to the poet in order to clear up mistranscriptions in past editing. It investigates why the errors might have occurred based on a lack of attention given to Surrey due to his association with Wyatt (who wrote a version of the poem as well) and provides an overview of the critical reception of the poem with a focus on the effects of mistranscriptions. Finally, I freshly analyze the poem, giving a political reading based on Surrey’s biography. This argument seeks to place more critical emphasis on Surrey’s art in its own right, including new perspectives on this particular poem’s manuscript text.
Leonard Marsh (La Salle University):
“Significant Counsel: Reading Rabelais's Silent Sibyl”
The narrative of Rabelais’s Tiers Livre is driven by Panurge’s quest to know whether or not he would become a cuckold if he were to marry. His quest takes the form of a journey involving a consultation with the Sibyl of Panzoust (TL 16-18), a most unlikely and uncomely seer marking the text with a singularity that points to more than just an answer to Panurge’s question.
The supreme eccentricity of this sibyl as one who does not speak but rather gesticulates and engages in bewitching, arcane rituals overdetermines her in this text replete with signs of absence and loss. Both the structure of the episode and its textual signs point to the nascent loss of an oral culture in favor of a written culture during the Renaissance.
Nathan Martin (Charleston Southern University):
“Shakespeare, the Death of a Queen, and Late ElizabethanCultural Attitudes from the Diary of John Manningham, 1602-1603”
This work looks at the diary of a law student at the Middle Temple, John Manningham, whose preserved writings detail several different events in London from 1602-1603. Of particular importance in these writings are accounts of the death of Queen Elizabeth, an account of a Shakespearean performance, and an assortment of different items including sermon notes, observations of political changes, and poetry. John Manningham would later have a successful and long legal career, but his most enduring legacy would be his diary
Sonja Mayrhofer (University of Iowa):
“‘What Relish Is in This?’: Interrogating Madness in Twelfth Night”
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night features a plethora of references to Elizabethan notions of madness. Several characters are either described by others as “mad” or question their own sanity because they are confronted with unfamiliar occurrences. This paper employs Todorov’s framework for analyzing moments of the “fantastic” to interrogate concepts of madness in Twelfth Night, particularly as they are colored by Early Modern medical discourses involving humoral psychology. This Galenic concept allows us to envision Elizabethan bodies as a nexus in which the external “reality” of the universe collides with and produces the internal physiological, sensory, and emotional states of characters.
Russell McConnell (Louisiana State University):
“‘I stand here for law’: Reading The Merchant of Venice in Sequential Art”
This paper examines law in Faye Yong’s Manga Shakespeare edition of The Merchant of Venice, using a method that combines the traditional literary-critical technique of close reading with an understanding of the formal devices peculiar to the visual medium of sequential art. By investigating how the key scenes are visualized, I hope to demonstrate how this mode of graphic drama can adapt and interpret Shakespeare and thus open up a new field of inquiry for the further study of Shakespeare and visual culture.
Mitchell McCoy (Baylor University):
“Dialogues in Art and Literature in Renaissance Spain: Velasco’s Painting of La santa cena and Fray Luisa’s De los nombres de Cristo”
Visual art and literary dialogue, though distinctly different disciplines, are cultural productions that became highly developed during the Renaissance in Spain. The present study in addition to evaluating the influence of classical sources considers the possibility of dialogues between painting and literary dialogue in La santa cena by Esteban Márquez de Velasco and the references to the last supper in the better known religious literary dialogue, De los nombres de Cristo, by Fray Luis de León. In this paper, it will be shown how Spanish Renaissance painters and writers generated literary dialogues about Christian faith and visual representations of that faith through painting that aimed to negotiate the complexities of Christian faith and belief that encouraged rather than squelched dialogue.
Sean McDowell (Seattle University):
“Catholicism at the Turning Point: Richard Crashaw and Andrew Marvell”
This paper will offer a comparative analysis of how, during the turbulent civil, social, and religious upheavals of the 1640s, Catholicism engaged the imaginations of both Crashaw and Marvell in mutually defining ways. After Crashaw went into exile in 1644, Catholicism became the clearest means by which Crashaw could preserve in his life the essential dimensions of the spirituality he developed while a priest in the Laudian Church. Crashaw’s revisions often entailed overt discussions of affective processes in the complex negotiations between corporal and divine. I suggest this focus was in some measure compensation for the terrible losses of friendship and community Crashaw suffered as a result of his conversion.
Although “Eyes and Tears” was directly influenced by Crashaw’s “The Weeper,” this poem represents less a search for an essence than a trying on of a point of view. A more defining moment, at least in foreshadowing the development of Marvell’s poetic sensibility, is “Flecknoe, an English Priest at Rome,” in which Catholicism is rendered within the personal foibles of the poet-priest Richard Flecknoe. In these poems, the younger Marvell appears more malleable to his circumstances and to his subject matter in ways the later Marvell was not. By contrast, by the time he was in exile in Leiden, Crashaw was already committed to sharply defined spiritual course and spent the rest of his life working that commitment into final aesthetic form in his poetry.
Caitlin McHugh (University of Minnesota):
“‘Perswasion must be joyn’d to Force’: Spectacular Morality and The Witches in William Davenant’s Macbeth”
The popularity of William Davenant’s Macbeth (1664) is usually discussed as a consequence of Davenant’s spectacular additions, namely the flying witches who have extended song and dance numbers. Many critics interpret this use of spectacle as comedic. However, I explore the historical context of Davenant’s adaptation and his theories of drama evidenced in his Interregnum writing, namely A Discourse Upon Gondibert (1650) and A Proposition for Advancement of Moralite (1654), with his treatment of spectacle to show that his use of it was not contrary to but necessary for a morality play at this time.
Timothy McKinney (Baylor University):
“Zarlino on Variety and Counterpoint”
An unusual rule of counterpoint that discourages consecutive imperfect consonances of identical size and quality appeared in significant treatises on music by Nicola Vicentino (1555) and Gioseffo Zarlino (1558). Their arguments for the new rule appear strained, and the rule lacks widespread substantiation in contemporaneous compositional practice. In the present study I examine the origins and motivations for Zarlino’s theoretical underpinnings for the rule. These prove to be a mixture of strictly musical concerns with the broader aesthetic concern with varietas that pervaded the Venetian cultural climate in which Zarlino worked under the influence of his composition teacher, Adrian Willaert.
Alexander McNair (University of Wisconsin-Parkside):
“Doré, Longfellow, iDante: A Nineteenth-Century Vision for Touch-Screen Technology”
Dante meets Adam in the heavenly sphere of the fixed stars. The first man reads the mind of our pilgrim and answers his questions about, among other things, the first language spoken--it "was long extinct" before the tower of Babel was even begun. Language, according to Dante's Adam, is mutable like all things human: "Because the use of men is like a leaf / On bough, which goeth and another cometh" as Longfellow translated it almost a century and a half ago. Though its language was archaic in its own day, the Longfellow translation (usually accompanied by the illustrations of his contemporary, Doré) has had an exceedingly long life in print. This paper will examine recent appropriations of this nineteenth-century vision of Dante, in particular the 2010 iDante app for touch-screen mobile devices. Ironically, with the technology for reading changing as quickly as the leaves on branches, contemporary understanding of Dante is suffering a kind of fossilization.
Catherine Medici-Thiemann (University of Nebraska at Lincoln):
“‘On Her Word Alone’: Mary Dudley Sidney’s Political Agency in Elizabeth I’s Marriage Negotiations with the Spanish Ambassador”
The most famous action of Mary Sidney’s career at court was her discussions with the Spanish Ambassador about Elizabeth’s marriage. By only skimming the surface of the Ambassador’s letters and avoiding a discussion of the results of Elizabeth’s use of Mary Sidney in the marriage negotiations with the Spanish Ambassador, scholars have missed the depth of Mary Sidney’s political agency and the significant role she played in international politics. Mary Sidney’s involvement with the marriage negotiations show she played a part in the politics of Elizabeth’s reign. More widely, Mary Sidney’s guidance of the Spanish Ambassador on the marriage negotiations between Elizabeth and Archduke Charles shows that women were political actors and politically significant in Elizabethan England.
John Mercer (Northeastern State University):
“The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2011 Julius Caesar: A Timeless Parable of the Violent Legacy of Assassination”
The critically acclaimed 2011 production of Julius Caesar at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Amanda Dehnert, transcended Roman history to create a timeless parable about how acts of political violence inevitably lead to more bloodshed. International banners outside the theater, the bare stage in the black-box theater, the modern “grunge”/military costumes, the casting of Julius Caesar as a woman, the ethnic diversity of the cast, and the use of symbolic choreography all established the story’s universality. Caesar’s Ghost remained on stage throughout the second half of the play to mark those who deaths were the result of Caesar’s.
Constantina Michalos (University of St. Thomas):
“Desdemona and Brabantio—Honor Thy Father”
Brabantio’s initial response to Iago’s lurid descriptions of sex between Desdemona and Othello is confusion not revulsion. He is more concerned with Desdemona’s rebellion against his authority than her marriage to a Moor. To deflect attention from his loss of control over her to Othello, he reverts to stereotypes of witchcraft to suggest that Desdemona would not have disobeyed him otherwise. His death is a manifestation of the figurative death of his authority.
A close reading of Brabantio’s scenes, coupled with a study of Renaissance courtship and marriage customs, will reveal that his opposition to the marriage between Othello and Desdemona is based more in patriarchy than in race.
Greg Miller (Millsapps College):
“God’s Tended British Gardens: ‘The Coronet’ and ‘Upon Appleton House’”
Andrew Marvell’s pastoral vision in “The Coronet” and “Upon Appleton House” shares with George Herbert and John Donne a particularly British vision of reformed Christianity that draws heavily from and simultaneously comments upon in order to displace and supplant older Catholic devotional and poetic forms. Chastely married or marriageable women consistently appear to supplant the chaste virgin as the presiding genius of Marvell’s British garden. The poems are engaged in a rhetorical struggle with Spanish Catholicism, and in their engagement interweave Herbert and Donne.
Grant Moss (Utah Valley University):
“Bardolatry and Elizabeth’s Body: Roland Emmerich’s Anonymous”
Abstract not available.
Tim Moylan (St. Louis College of Pharmacy):
“When the Political Intersects the Personal: Elizabeth, Montague, and the Recusant Problem”
Elizabeth’s visit to the Anthony Browne, First Viscount Montague, in the summer of 1591 poses something of an interpretive puzzle. Montague, an unapologetic recusant, was nevertheless connected at court and on good terms with the Queen. This personal connection stood in uneasy contrast to the persistent fear of Catholic intrigue and the endemic religious intolerance on both sides. This paper examines how Montague figured his relationship with Elizabeth in his hospitality during her visit and considers what that reveals about how both he and Elizabeth negotiated his problematic Catholicism.
Natalie Nations (Mississippi State University):
“The Politics of Desire: Phineas Fletcher’s ‘Venus and Anchises: Brittain’s Ida’”
In “The Politics of Desire: Phineas Fletcher’s ‘Venus and Anchises: Brittain’s Ida,’” I explore the themes of human nature and the development of subjectivity in Fletcher’s long neglected work. Although censorship laws banned and threatened to eradicate epyllia due to its sensuous context, Fletcher’s “Venus and Anchises,” like much of the epyllia,, explores the erotic as an attainment of self-knowledge. Fletcher’s Anchises seeks self fulfillment through a sexual encounter with the goddess, Venus. By seeking wholeness in the other, Anchises loses his subjectivity and fails to attain the self-knowledge that will satisfy his need for integrity. A psychoanalytic reading of Fletcher’s “Venus and Anchises” reveals the profound literary wealth of the epyllia, which if often cast off as licentious verse
Ryan Netzley (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale):
“‘She, having killed, no more does search’: Praise, Force, and Events in ‘An Horatian Ode’”
What does it mean to praise decisive events, instead of weighing their outcomes retroactively? This paper argues that “An Horatian Ode” requires that we abandon allegiance and consent as political concepts and acknowledge Marvell’s disturbing praise for force as such. The ode’s falcon simile ultimately shows that allegiance to a force or an event is something decidedly different than allegiance to a person or a belief. If the ode is unsettling, it is not because Marvell praises the virtue of his tribe’s chosen leader, but because he celebrates transformative force, with all of the proto-fascistic danger that that term implies.
Margaret Oakes (Furman University):
“‘Their Scepters Stretcht from East to Western Shore’: Imagining a Global Queenship”
Abstract not available.
Martha Oberle (Frederick [MD] Community College):
“A War of Words: Shakespeare’s Tetralogy”
Bitter verbal fireworks, not the engaging battle of wit of Beatrice and Benedick or the fun of the comedies, mark the three plays of Henry VI and the play of Richard III .
This paper wishes to examine the series of exchanges in the plays and to suggest that, by design, these speeches culminate in the exchanges between Richard III and Queen Margaret
Scott Oldenburg (Tulane University):
“A View of the Early English Stage by Way of Japan”
Head of the East India Company’s failed trading post in Japan, Richard Cocks provides us with a unique view of early modern Japan. Cocks left nearly a thousand pages of letters and diaries detailing his ten years attempting to understand the nuances of Japanese economic and cultural practices. Along the way, he relates several anecdotes about Japanese theater. Invaluable as documents of audience experience of early modern Japanese drama, Cocks cross-cultural experiences also deepen our understanding of English drama, at least one merchant’s view of the English stage. Careful analysis of these episodes in Cocks’ diaries offer an idiosyncratic intervention in debates about the theater in London, its status as a site of moral depravity, and the political problems of representation.
James Ortego (Troy University-Dothan):
“Ovid, Chaucer, or Shakespeare: Which Author is ‘Hang’d in Thisby’s Garter’”
Bottom in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream demonstrates the proper and improper methods for delivering lines and the most fitting emphasis on speech patterns, yet he absolutely bungles his own lines and frequently corrupts his own linguistic expressions, much to the delight of audiences. As the play concludes, Theseus not surprisingly refuses Bottom's offer to perform an encore, then says, “Marry, if he that writ it [Pyramus and Thisbe] had play’d Pyramus and hang’d himself in Thisby’s garter, it would have been a fine tragedy (5.1. 357-360).” The “he that writ it” refers to three significant authors: Ovid, Chaucer, Shakespeare. The question to ask is then, “Does Shakespeare poke fun at himself or two highly revered authors of the past?” I propose that Shakespeare’s re-imagining of the Pyramus and Thisbe love story emphasizes the elasticity of tragic and comic literary forms when these are played upon the stage.
Jennifer Page (University of Louisiana at Lafayette):
“Gender Performativity in the Revenge Plays of Kyd and Shakespeare”
"Gender Performativity in the Revenge Plays of Kyd and Shakespeare" investigates the malleable nature of gender exhibited by female characters in The Spanish Tragedy and Titus Andronicus. Bel-imperia and Tamora both shift in behavior traits from stereotypically feminine to more overtly masculine as the plays progress. This paper contends that such a behavioral change is necessary in order for these female characters to achieve successful vengeance; moreover, that revenge itself is a masculine act. This literary context suggests, then, the complexities in Renaissance thinking about acceptable male and female social behaviors.
A. Scott Pearson (Vanderbilt University):
“Anatomy and the Discipline of Art during the Renaissance”
The Renaissance was a time of transformation in the study of human anatomy. However, the desire for anatomical understanding pre-dated the subsequent knowledge provided by surgeon-anatomists of that era. Thus, early Renaissance artists, who wished to create accurate and proportional renderings of the human form, assumed the role of artist-anatomists. Ultimately, their goals proved to be synergistic, both artist and physician benefiting from the others work. This paper will examine how the Renaissance artist gained anatomical understanding convergent with the surgeon-anatomist and will propose an ever increasing reliance on anatomical art in today’s medicine.
Maureen Pelta (Moore College of Art and Design):
“Of Sacred Stags and Harrying Hounds”
Hunting narratives abound in Renaissance art and literature. In actual hunting practice, the stag was considered among the most noble of quarry and its pursuit was reserved for social elites, with severe penalties imposed on those who infringed upon those rights. During the course of the 15th century, representations of the hunt correlating with chivalric literature increasingly gave way to symbolic and allegorical scenes; this is particularly evident in Northern Italy, where French literary traditions penetrated courtly life. This paper examines both metaphoric and allegorical aspects of hunting narratives of both the stags and hounds in early sixteenth-century Italian art.
Patrick Perkins (Nicholls State University):
“Graveyard Meditations: On George Herbert’s ‘Church Monuments’”
With the Protestant dismantling of purgatory comes a new understanding of the dead and their final resting places. Praying to or for the dead is expressly prohibited in Protestant theologies, and memorials are overturned during repeated iconoclastic outbreaks during the 16th and 17th centuries. What, one may ask, is the Anglican priest George Herbert doing praying in the graveyard in his poem “Church Monuments”? This essay reads Herbert’s poem as a pointed apology for such acts of devotion, one that takes aim at Reformation iconoclasts.
Timothy Raylor (Carleton College):
“Waller, Tasso, and Marvell’s ‘Last Instructions to a Painter’”
Although it is well known that Waller's Instructions to a Painter (1665) furnishes the generic model and parodic touchstone for Marvell's Last Instructions, it has not, I think, been registered that the Last Instructions engages more widely with Waller's work. It is, in fact, in Waller's protectoral poetry that we find the immediate source for Marvell's bizarre presentation of Archibald Douglas's death. Marvell's appeal to this earlier work summons the ghost of protectoral naval might to indict Caroline incompetence. And his treatment of Douglas's death criticises the panegyric modes and politics of the later Stuart court.
Helaine Razovsky (Northwestern State University of Louisiana):
“Similitudes in English Reformation Spiritual Conduct Books”
This paper focuses on the evolving function of similitudes, figures of speech depicting resemblances, in English Reformation spiritual conduct books. As Michel Foucault, among others, has noted, the primary figure of speech during the English Reformation was the similitude. While many writers of this period use similitudes, writers of spiritual conduct books are often more obviously conscious of and explicit about their choice of device and the reasoning behind it. Mirroring the growth of Protestant divisions and sects, some authors produced spiritual conduct books that are exclusive rather than inclusive, addressed to specialized audiences and therefore more focused in their use of similitudes. The changing use of similitude suggests the growing disconnection between the spiritual and the secular.
Raychel Reiff (University of Wisconsin-Superior):
“‘With as Little a Web as This’: Iago’s Web of Evil”
Iago, watching Cassio and Desdemona, brags, "With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio." The way this evil genius is able to spin his web of evil shows Shakespeare's recognition of four truths about the nature of evil: evil is real; evil cannot be destroyed by love; evil flourishes when good people are manipulated by evil-doers; evil must be opposed by powerful people or governments. Although no one recognizes the reality of evil in the character of Iago, some ineffectively try to counteract his evil through love. Many, however, are Iago's accomplices, some willingly and some unwittingly. Only when powerful leaders recognize the existence of evil and dare to combat it can evil be held in check.
Jesse Russell (Louisiana State University):
“Edmund Spenser’s Uses of Virgil’s Imperial Vision”
Mimicking the work of Virgil, Edmund Spenser presents an imperial vision in The Faerie Queene. Working the model inherited by Virgil into a Christian framework, Spenser presents his characters as exempla for the reader. Spenser further buttresses his empire with a number of prophecies in the poem that establish God’s support of England. Moreover, Spenser depicts England’s enemies as being monstrous, ugly, irrational, and associated with evil forces. Ultimately, Spenser’s position is less friendly than Virgil’s; in The Faerie Queene, the English empire must exterminate the others and not reform them through law and order as in Virgil’s Aeneid.
David Sabrio (Texas A&M University-Kingsville):
“Sex, Sonnets, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Students”
This presentation analyzes three Renaissance sonnets and shows how analysis of several short lyric poems with a common theme can be expanded into a longer writing activity that helps students develop their skills in explicating Renaissance lyrics. The presenter explicates three sonnets that share a common theme ("love as desire/lust"): one by Sidney, one by Spenser, and one by Shakespeare. Attendees will receive a detailed guide for a multi-step writing activity (culminating in an out-of-class essay) in which students analyze similarly themed Renaissance lyrics.
Amy Sattler (Washington University-St. Louis):
“The Masque in ‘Upon Appleton House, To My Lord Fairfax”
Glimmers of the masque appear in poems across Marvell’s career and most strikingly in “Upon Appleton House.” While the choice to turn to a royalist genre to celebrate a parliamentary general may seem strange, I argue that Marvell deploys the masque in “Upon Appleton House” to examine the difficulties of heroic action in history. In his representation of Fairfax, Marvell adopts the masque’s model of passive heroism, but not its ordered cosmos. This conjunction of a passive hero and a disordered scene allows Marvell to meditate on the ethics of retirement.
Abigail Scherer (Nicholls State University):
“Margaret Cavendish’s Poetic Discoveries”
Long before Margaret Cavendish’s historic visit to the Royal Society (1667), during which a host of engines and experiments were presented, Cavendish published a volume of poetry that seemed to anticipate this new world of mechanical devices, and to wisely distrust it. In Poems and Fancies (1653), Cavendish verifies poetic sight as a rare tool, which allows us to peer both at an object and into this object. The mechanical eye, such as the magnifying lens, will ultimately displace the poetic eye as a relevant or serious reader of the natural world. Yet the sights that Cavendish’s poems have us see argue that the poet’s eye is the mightier lens, as through it we see thoughtfully. While several critics have acknowledged Cavendish’s later works as parodies of contemporary scientific experimentation, my paper contemplates an earlier author who in all earnestness regarded her stanzas as laboratories, and her mind her microscope.
Mira Sengupta (City College of New York):
“Grafting the Texts: An Intertextual Reading of Marvell’s Mower and Garden Poems”
Sengupta's paper argues that “The Garden” is a critical component to understanding Marvell’s Mower poems. In her essay, the garden in "Mower Against Gardens" is not simply a metonym for all of nature, but a metaphor for humankind’s original human nature, the innocence that existed in Eden before the Fall. The Mower, on the other hand, represents humankind’s fallen self—the sinful, licentious nature that emerged with the Fall. The metaphysical Eden of “The Garden” thus translates to an allegorical Eden in “Mower against Gardens,” representing humankind’s original or “Edenic” self. The paper performs an intertextual analysis of Marvell's Mower and Garden poems to discover the perhaps sub-textual implications regarding human nature.
Nicholas Sheffield (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi):
“‘Those Wicked Creatures’: Gender and Family in William Shakespeare’s King Lear”
My paper considers the topics of family and gender in William Shakespeare’s King Lear, paying specific attention to the characterization of the three daughters, Cordelia, Goneril and Regan. By analyzing the text through a feminist lens, one is struck with extreme examples of abhorrent sexuality and misogyny, rendering the play’s female characters helpless pawns in a patriarchal tragedy which condemns its characters based upon their gendered performances. Because of this, the three women in King Lear constitute a patriarchal construction of Elizabethan-era conceptions of woman, hopelessly split into an impossible duality of nubile sexuality or virginal purity, and continuously damned to fatal ends.
Lindsay Sherrier (Tulane University):
“Religious Criticism in Robin Hood and the Bishop”
In the ballad Robin Hood and the Bishop (1660), there is a revival of Protestant Reformation criticism of the Catholic faith in response to the religious turmoil brought on by the English Civil Wars and following Restoration. The use of humiliation as a form of anti-clericalism serves as specific criticisms of the Catholic faith. However, the ballad makes a bolder claim: the use of a cross-dressing outlaw for the hero forces the reader (Protestant and Catholic alike) to shift its gaze away from flawed man and back onto the true defender of the faith: Christ.
Brandie Siegfried (Brigham Young University):
“Memory and Mechanical Magic: Elizabeth I in Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World”
This paper briefly reviews the relevant scholarship on particular strands shared by alchemical, hermetical, and mechanical philosophies developed in the 16th century; these strands were taken up and further developed in the 17th century by natural philosophers such as Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, and others. Of those publishing on natural philosophy in England, Margaret Cavendish is especially interesting as one who harks back to Elizabeth I as the iconic figure behind the new developments in mechanical philosophies of nature—this despite the Royal Society’s insistence that Francis Bacon was their founding father. Cavendish’s Blazing World—a science fiction novel appended to her serious scientific treatise, Observations upon Natural Philosophy—resurrects Elizabeth as the Empress of the New World. Here, the English monarch’s famous strategies of prevarication are bolstered by a mechanics of metadrama. As one weary of religious strife, political factions, recent exile, and the new court’s lack of decorum, Cavendish explicitly frames successful sovereignty in terms of alchemy and the new mechanics. Elizabeth I—the Queen of what was already being referred to as England’s Golden Age— becomes the dramatic bearer of both memory and possibility as Cavendish advances her own ideas regarding the “magic” of mechanical philosophy and sovereign power.
Horacio Sierra (Saint Joseph College):
“A Thrift in Blessing, if Men Steal It Not: Usury and Cuckoldry in The Merchant of Venice”
This essay proposes one more motivation for Shylock’s cruelty: his anxieties about having been cuckolded. The scholarly silence on cuckoldry in Merchant belies the numerous references to it in the play. Shylock is cuckolded through verbal innuendo, rumor, imagery, double entendre, and subtext. My intention with this paper is not to force a handful of lines into a narrow interpretation of the play. Rather, I want to open the door for a discussion about yet another way for coming to terms with the problematic character of Shylock.
Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler (Texas State University-San Marcos):
“Dangling Conversations: Adam and Eve Before the Fall”
The relationship that God intended Adam and Eve to have already existed within them, and could have been actualized in time through the process of speaking and listening (as defined and developed by the tenets of Ramist logic) that we witness after the fall, but this process was cut short by the intervention of Satan. Thus, there were no flaws inherent in either Adam or Eve, or their conversation. Their fall, as Milton asserted from the beginning of the poem, was a consequence of their free choice to disobey God. They achieve their redemption through their free choice to continue their conversation and bring forth the relationship that already existed, and continues to exist, within.
Rebekah Smick (University of Toronto):
“‘Which pierces so’: Enargeia and Compassion in Shakespeare’s Tempest and Sixteenth-Century Art Theory”
This paper will contextualize in the art theoretical literature of the sixteenth century the relationship Shakespeare draws between rhetorical enargeia and the theme of compassion in his Tempest. In doing so, it will pay particular attention to the rhetorical and poetic narrative possibilities within the ut pictura poesis tradition. It will also explore sixteenth-century understandings of the mitigating role of the imagination and the internal senses in the experience and production of art.
Maria Stampino (University of Miami):
“Translating the Other Voice: Issues of Audience”
This paper addresses the many issues pertaining to the implied and the 21st-century audience in translating works written by women in early modern Italy. On the basis of my experience as translator in "The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe" series, I will draw examples of strategies I used on different textual and cultural levels and I will explain how I imagined the readers of my translation and how I adapted Lucrezia Marinella’s Enrico to their cultural habits and backgrounds as well as linguistic customs.
Paul Stapleton (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill):
“The Pseudonym in Catullus and Sidney”
In Astrophel and Stella Sidney’s employment of the Catullan-style pseudonym, a trope invented by Catullus in its application to Latin erotic poetry and one that early-modern readers believed to be invested with intentional clues to an historical personage, is part of Sidney’s poetic strategy to critique Petrarchan convention. In making my argument, I will call attention to the often overlooked Italian scholar Piero Vettori, who in his collection of essays titled Variarum Lectionum Libri XXV (1553) was the first in the early-modern period to argue that Catullus’s Lesbia was the historical figure Clodia Metelli (276).
Dorothy Stegman (Ball State University):
“Perfection and the Coincidence of Opposites in Scève’s Délie”
Scholars have underscored the importance of paradox in Scève’s text and its sources. The condensed dizains are a suspension expressing an enduring duality and intense physical, emotional and spiritual desire. Often thought to be a search for poetic perfection and the impossibility of that perfection, the poems achieve imperfection in the sense that they are not complete. Scève creates correlations between the movement and stasis which underscore the persistence of the poet’s search for an ideal expression. The constant rewriting and the frustration with the creative process are often contained in the same word as the desired poetic achievement. I examine the elements in Scève’s poetic stasis within the concentrated form of the dizain which reinforce the overarching condition of a poet’s frustration.
Donald Stump (St. Louis University):
“Sidney’s Great Turn: The 1580 Letters on Education and the Revised Arcadia”
For most modern readers, Sidney’s additions to the revised Arcadia are not entirely successful. One wonders why an artist of Sidney’s sensitivity and skill embarked on such a Byzantine tangle of complex and brutal episodes in the first place. Clues appear in letters that he wrote to his brother Robert and his friend Edward Denny in 1580, just as he was finishing the Old Arcadia. In suggesting to them works for serious study, Sidney dismisses his own romance as “toyfull,” suggesting that it was too light to put on such a list. I argue that, in his revisions, he set out to make it a work suitable for study by men preparing to serve the state in a complex and dangerous world.
Marguerite Tassi (Martin Distinguished Professor in English at the University of Nebraska at Kearney):
“Avenging Daughter, Invading Queen: Cordelia’s Political Agency in King Lear”
Abstract not available.
Joshua Thompson (University of Texas-Brownsville):
“‘I fear we shall outsleep the coming morn’: The Horror of Waking in A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
When Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream suggests that "Things base and vile, holding no quantity, / Love can transpose to form and dignity" (1.1.232-33), she romantically describes how Love takes “Things,” banal objects existing in dumb reality, and elevates them to the “dignity” of the sublime. Helena identifies Love with a fantasy that supports her imaginary world-view while her over-determination in Love inverts the fantasy, rendering herself a “base and vile” object in the eyes of her beloved. Helena’s conflict is born from a split inherent to Love itself, generating not only the sublime but an obscene redoubling of it. Through its self-conscious theatricality, the play masquerades as a comedy while never ridding itself of this obscene other-side: the waking horror that lurks beneath the dream.
Jessica Tooker (Indiana University-Bloomington):
“Oscillations of Human Agency and Divine Grace in Book VI, Canto X of The Faerie Queene”
This paper will examine Calidore's vision of the Graces on Mount Acidale in canto x, Book vi of Spenser's Faerie Queene. It will seek to answer three central questions: What is the relationship of the natural world to processes of human agency and divine will? What do we make of the "surprise factor" in this canto (ex. the insertion of the poet and the nameless shepherdess into the center of the vision)? How is the vision related to its troubling aftermath in the remainder of the canto?
Beverly Van Note (St. Edward’s University):
“Tongues, Tombs, and Echoes of Agency in Cary’s Tragedy of Mariam”
This paper explores the relationship between tongues and tombs in Cary’s Tragedy of Mariam in order to shed new light on the interpretive role which critics argue readers are placed in with regard to Mariam’s fate. Drawing on the play’s literal and figurative associations between women’s speech and death, its use of Christian iconography, and the decapitating discourse of its final act, I argue that Cary affords Mariam increased agency while at the same time empowering female readers by ironically replicating and interrogating the interpretive stance in which they were placed in the early modern theater with respect to boy actors playing women’s speaking parts.
Kora Vidnovic (Independent Scholar):
“Marvell’s Intellectualized Nymphs: A Reconsideration of Mary Fairfax and ‘The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn’”
This paper reexamines the female personae in Marvell’s poetry to argue that their success or failure within his pastorals depends primarily upon their intellectual acuity and ability to master their poetic environment, either via their own discourse, or via Marvell’s descriptions showing the landscape moving into discursive harmony with them. While critics have built their arguments around sexuality, specifically the power of the virginal young girl and Marvell’s alleged fear of adult women, they frequently overlook or chronically underestimate the intellectual force of Marvell’s female characters. I argue on behalf of the “intellectualized nymph”— a powerful and highly aware young woman who, displaying a remarkable connection to nature and often a direct influence over it, succeeds as a poetic portrait because she is reconcilable within the pastoral scheme.
Kyle Vitale (University of Delaware):
“Material Text as Tudor Actor: Modeling Reverence in Mulcaster’s Passage”
Abstract not available.
Nicholas von Maltzahn (University of Ottawa):
“Marvell’s ‘Maniban’ in a New Manuscript”
The discovery of a manuscript of Marvell's Latin poem on the abbé Maniban sheds new light on the text and context of that work. In addition to offering separate witness to the text of Marvell's poem, the manuscript "Grammatomantis" proves a rare example of the circulation of his poetry (other than his satires on affairs of state). The poem reveals habits of voice and imagination characteristic of Marvell. His lasting concern about inquisitorial persecution finds expression here and is in keeping with other of Marvell's writings in the 1670s. The shifting perspectives of "Grammatomantis" suggest the shift in his works from Baroque to Enlightenment.
Spencer K. Wall (University of Utah):
“More’s Artificial Island”
When Raphael Hythloday argues that his unconventional counsels would never be accepted in a political court, in the first book of Thomas More’s Utopia, More’s persona responds with a generic analysis and analogy. He argues that a heterogenous mixture of Hythloday’s most radical ideas with the conventional wisdom of courts would be like a “tragical comedy or gallimaufry”(41). More turns a philosophical question into an aesthetic, generic problem. In Utopia, More demonstrates his essential point about genre, that presentation matters and that art works. However, it is difficult to say upon finishing the book exactly what the difference is between a court, a stage and a story.
Nicole Wankel (University of St. Thomas-St. Paul, MN):
“Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto: A New Reading of Caravaggio’s Only Ceiling Painting”
Caravaggio created between seventy and ninety known paintings in his short lifetime, but only one ceiling painting: Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune (c. 1599-1600), which is still in situ in Rome. Commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte for his casino, this painting depicts these gods with their attributes, surrounding a semi-transparent sphere with a zodiacal band crossing it and the sun, earth within it. I propose a new reading of the painting that draws upon not only its location in the casino, but also the Cardinal’s interest in the natural sciences. I suggest that this painting is a visual representation of the four elements of alchemy and that their arrangement refers to the ultimate pursuit - the Philosopher’s Stone.
Miranda Wilson (University of Delaware):
“The Poisoned Conscience: Catherine de Médici, Royal Suitors, and Political Upstarts”
Traditionally, critics have read the 1576 English translation, A Mervaylous Discourse vpon the lyfe, deedes, and behauiours of Katherine de Medicis as foundational to readings of Catherine as the “Black Queen.” In this paper, I wish to complicate A Mervaylous Discourse by exploring the ways the text resonated for an English audience struggling with its own particular, national concerns regarding queenship and the marriage question. Reading A Mervaylous Discourse in terms of debates over the proposed French marriage and in terms of anti-Leicestrian tracts, I argue that A Mervaylous Discourse offers English readers both a nightmare vision of religiously-torn France and a lesson in the cost of allowing those of non-royal blood to aspire to the heights of political power.
Emma Annette Wilson (University of Western Ontario):
“Dialectic Between the Resolved Matter and Created Form: The Ramifications Of Marvell’s Education in Logic for his Dialogue Poems”
I propose to explore the relationship between Andrew Marvell’s education in early modern logic at Trinity College, Cambridge, and his poetic output, drawing on my new manuscript evidence of seventeenth-century university exercises and disputations to argue that Marvell uses their discursive method to create both his philosophical and also his pastoral dialogue poems. Historicist approaches to Marvell have focused understandably on his political career, yet in this paper I propose the benefits of expanding the remit of historicist Marvellian scholarship to argue for the importance of this training in logic in his formative years because of its ramifications for both his philosophical and pastoral verse.