WEDNESDAY, March 20th, Lorna Hutson, “How England Became an Island: The Faerie Queene”

Please join the Renaissance Workshop
WEDNESDAY, March 20th,
for a talk given by
Lorna Hutson
Merton Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford
on
“How England Became an Island: The Faerie Queene” from England’s Insular Imagining: The Elizabethan Erasure of Scotland
WEDNESDAY, March 20th
5:00-6:30pm
Rosenwald 405
*please note the different room*
The book chapter, to be read in advance, has been distributed to the Renaissance Workshop mailing list and is available on our website under the password “chorography.” Light refreshments will be served.
If you would like to join our mailing list, please click here. We are committed to making our workshop accessible to all persons. Questions, requests, and concerns should be directed to Andrés Irigoyen (airigoyen@uchicago.edu) or Alyssa Mulé (amule@uchicago.edu).

MONDAY, January 22nd, Joseph Torres, “The Worldmaking of the Parasite in John Donne’s Metempsychosis”

Please join the Renaissance Workshop

MONDAY, January 22nd, when

Joseph Torres

PhD Candidate, University of California Los Angeles

presents the paper

“The Worldmaking of the Parasite in John Donne’s Metempsychosis

MONDAY, January 22nd

5:00-6:30pm

Cobb Hall 430
*please note the different room*

The paper, to be read in advance, has been distributed to the Renaissance Workshop mailing list and is available on our website under the password “posthumanism.” Light refreshments will be served.

Abstract:

John Donne’s Metempsychosis (1601) is a thought-experiment that satirizes the Pythagorean system of metempsychosis as depicted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.1 This system serves as a legacy for Donne’s poem, but the poem depicts it as a post facto, synthetic, mental operation to make sense of the accidental array of circumstances that constitute the past. The “great Soul,” as Donne calls his protagonist, perpetually dies and reincarnates in multiple forms—vegetable, animal, and human (11).2 Throughout the text, the great soul becomes an effective parasite because she moves through different permutations of parasitic logic, learning how to locate weaknesses and take advantage of inherent flaws in new situations. Thus I draw on Michel Serres’s The Parasite, which argues that the asymmetrical relation of taking without giving is the basis for a model of parasitism that applies to a variety of contexts, including literary works.3 Parasitic logic provides linkages between the senses of failure and the posthumanist intuitions circulating throughout Metempsychosis. The poem capitalizes on weaknesses in traditional discourses and converts these flaws or failures into opportunities for remaking worlds. Virtually any form (perhaps all forms) of intertextuality can entail a species of parasitism, but the parasitic position of Metempsychosis subverts the older, universal sense of “the world” from within. In turn, the tactical, unfinished dimension of this worldmaking operation sets the stage for the dislocating effects associated with the text’s emergent, posthumanist insights. Donne’s poem shows the affinity between parasitic logic and posthumanist investments in thinking about the tenuous link between intentional agency and contingent processes.

If you would like to join our mailing list, please click here. We are committed to making our workshop accessible to all persons. Questions, requests, and concerns should be directed to Andrés Irigoyen (airigoyen@uchicago.edu) or Alyssa Mulé (amule@uchicago.edu).

MONDAY, November 27th, Elisha Hamlin, “‘Cruel, Irreligious Piety’: Eucharistic Tropes and Witnessing Whiteness in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus”

Please join the Renaissance Workshop

Monday, November 27th, when

Elisha Hamlin

Graduate of the MAPH program, University of Chicago
presents the paper

“‘Cruel, Irreligious Piety’: Eucharistic Tropes and Witnessing Whiteness in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus
MONDAY, November 27th

5:00-6:30pm

Rosenwald 301
*please note the different room*

The paper, to be read in advance, has been distributed to the Renaissance Workshop mailing list and is available on our website under the password “eucharist.” Light refreshments will be served.

Abstract:

While the excessive and chaotic violence of Titus Andronicus may distinguish it from Shakespeare’s broader body of work, this thesis examines how that violence echoes the presentations of the Eucharist in medieval mystery plays. These sacramental tropes are not passive elements of the story, but rather rituals activated by the Andronici in their struggle to assert a dominant picture of Roman identity. While largely removed from its theological significance, the Eucharist as trope offers a specific pattern of presentation that the characters draw upon to display a version of Roman piety tied to performative whiteness in contrast to the black characters of the play, witnessed to by both the other characters in the play and Shakespeare’s early modern audience.

If you would like to join our mailing list, please click here. We are committed to making our workshop accessible to all persons. Questions, requests, and concerns should be directed to Andrés Irigoyen (airigoyen@uchicago.edu) or Alyssa Mulé (amule@uchicago.edu).

MONDAY, October 23rd, Jenny Birkett, “Shakespeare’s Possessive Pet Names”

Please join the Renaissance Workshop

Monday, October 23rd, when

Jenny Birkett

Postdoctoral Fellow with Shakespeare, University of Notre Dame
presents the paper

“Shakespeare’s Possessive Pet Names”
MONDAY, October 23rd

5:00-6:30pm

Rosenwald 301
*please note the different room*

The paper, to be read in advance, has been distributed to the Renaissance Workshop mailing list and is available on our website under the password “endearment.” Light refreshments will be served.

Abstract:

In this paper, I contest the claim that Shakespeare’s most used form of endearment is animal terminology (such as duck), by highlighting that the most common affectionate vocative construction in Shakespeare’s plays is actually the combination of a genitive possessive (such as my, thy, your, our) with either a proper name (such as “my Hermia”), a title (such as “my lord”), or an endearing term (such as “my love”, or “my sweet”). Using A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a case study, I analyze the ways in which possessive endearments enact early modern marriage by portraying a relationship tangled in issues of dominance, submission, and mutual affection. This paper acts as the first of five chapters in my current book project on terms of endearment in early modern drama.

If you would like to join our mailing list, please click here. We are committed to making our workshop accessible to all persons. Questions, requests, and concerns should be directed to Andrés Irigoyen (airigoyen@uchicago.edu) or Alyssa Mulé (amule@uchicago.edu).