Renaissance Literature 2012-2013

Seminar Leaders:
Heather James, University of Southern California
Heidi Brayman Hackel, University of California, Riverside

Year in Review

Together, our speakers engaged a strong set of scholarly concerns and themes: the centrality of print, reception, and the public sphere in our conceptions of early modern literature. Douglas Bruster (UT Austin) opened the series with a talk on “Shakespeare’s Brand,” tracing printers’ decorative ornaments from French Calvinist texts through to Shakespeare’s playbooks and arguing for scholarly attention to these visual markers.  In “Hamlet Q1 and its Audience,” Tiffany Stern (Oxford) built the case that the brevity and inconsistencies of the 1603 Hamlet result from its origins as notes taken in the audience.  Coppélia Kahn (Brown) provided a wise and generous personal retrospective of the past 35 years of Shakespeare criticism in her “Feminist Criticism, Queer Theory, and Shakespeare in the 21st Century,” focusing on the relationship between gender criticism and queer theory.  Rebecca Lemon (USC) drew the series to a perfect close with “Incapacitated Will,” an examination of the role of agency in understandings of drunkenness.  Shakespeare’s plays, Lemon demonstrated, depict sympathetic drunks with little personal agency, thereby challenging early modern law and anticipating modern legal views of drunkenness.  In a talk co-sponsored with the British History Seminar, Jenny Andersen (CSU San Bernardino) departed from the Shakespeare-centric focus of the other talks in her “Red Herrings in Nashe Criticism” to present Thomas Nashe as a savvy negotiator of his patrons and the print marketplace.  One indicator of the prominence and synergy of the speakers was the NY Times front-page feature article (August 12, 2013) on Doug Bruster’s work with a scholarly assessment by Tiffany Stern.

Douglas Bruster, UT Austin

"Shakespeare's Brand"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Huntington Library, Seaver Classroom 3

Tiffany Stern, University of Oxford

"'In their Tables': Hamlet Q1 and its Audience"

Saturday, January 19, 2013
Huntington Library, Seaver 1 & 2

Jennifer Andersen, CSU San Bernardino

"Red herrings in Nashe criticism:  patronage, copia and generic play"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Huntington Library, Seaver 1 & 2

This event is co-sponsored by the Early Modern British History Seminar Series.

Coppélia Kahn, Brown University

"Feminist criticism, queer theory, and Shakespeare in the 21st Century"

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Huntington Library, Seaver 3

Rebecca Lemon, USC

"Incapacitated Will: Shakespeare, law, and the dilemma of drunkenness"

Saturday, May 4, 2013
Huntington Library, Seaver 3

Afternoon panel of EMSI Dissertation Fellows:
Penelope Geng, Meghan Davis Mercer, and Matthew Smith
1:30-3:00 pm

All Renaissance Literature Seminar sessions are held from 10am-12noon at the Huntington Library.  Coffee and scones are available at 9:30am.

Past Events