Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Closing Discussion: Monday, December 2

I realize that I'll see most of you on Wednesday, November 27, for our final conversation about Milton's Paradise Lost, but I want to go ahead and post about our last class, on Monday, now.

What kind of conclusion can we possibly reach for a course that's brought together such a wide variety of poetry and prose written during a time period as politically and culturally diverse as the seventeenth century is? I think the best way to go about this is not to look for a single dominant theme or idea, but instead to think about key conflicts.

This is what I'd like you to do for our last class. At some point during the Thanksgiving Break, go back over your notes and flip back through the anthology; revisit some poems we read earlier in the course. Ask yourself this: what seems to be the defining conceptual conflict of seventeenth-century literary culture. Think hard and think creatively. A conflict of this sort can take many forms. It could be a conflict between body and soul, for example, or individuality and collectivity, or freedom and obedience, or tradition and innovation. You get the point. Come to class with a conceptual conflict in mind, and be able to talk about how that conflict manifest itself or gets treated in the work of a few different writers. This will form the substance of our Closing Discussion.

I'm really looking forward to this! (Even if it also makes me sad to think the end is nigh.)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Our Next Class: Returning to Paradise Lost

Hi, everyone. As you know, there is no class this week because of Garrett Sullivan's visit. When we meet again, next Monday (November 25), you'll have read through book 10 of Paradise Lost and completed David Norbrook's chapter in the Course Reader. (Remember to keep up! Don't leave all this stuff to the last minute!)

Here's what I'd like you to do for our next class meeting:

Please come in with one other author from our course who you think can be usefully read alongside, or put into conversation with, Paradise Lost. Be prepared to say a bit about why you thnk this is so. What theme of preoccupation, for example, makes it interesting to look at these two authors together.

This is an important exercise for two reasons. First, and most pragmatically, it will keep us in touch with seventeenth-century writing as a whole as we barrel towards the end of the course. Second, it serves our ongoing mission of understanding Milton as a writer who, while certainly possessing a singular imagination and sense of vocation, nevertheless was part of a larger literary and intellectual culture.

Looking forward to talking to you guys about this!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Garrett Sullivan at UNT: It's Coming! Don't Forget!

Don't forget about this awesome talk coming up in a couple weeks! Sullivan will also be offering a Master Class for graduate students the morning after his talk, on Friday, November 22, at 9:30 a.m. in Auditorium 103 (the conference room).  I'd like you all to be there for these events. I'll circulate some cool readings by Garrett Sullivan soon!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Research Paper and Research Paper Prosepectus

Due: Wednesday, November 6 [Email. Follow guidelines on syllabus.]
Length: 2-3 pages

The Research Paper Prospectus should describe the topic of your paper and give a tentative title. State clearly what the aims and scope of the paper are. That is, what question or questions are you trying to answer, and how are you going about the business of answering them (i.e. what materials--literary, historical, theoretical/philosophical--are you consulting?)? You should also say something about why the question or questions you are trying to answer are of consequence. Why are they important? What will such an undertaking show us? Doing all this will, of course, require familiarity with relevant historical, literary, and/or theoretical contexts, so like the Editing Project Prospects, this prospectus will require a significant first wave of research. If you have a sense of what your argument will be, include that information, too.

Due: Friday, December 6 [Email. Follow guidelines on syllabus.]
Length: 15-20 pages

The major assignment of the course, the Research Paper should tackle a significant question and demonstrate: 
(1) that you have read relevant primary literary texts very closely.
(2) that you know how to advance a compelling argument and support it with evidence.
(3) that you know how to position that argument in relation to the ideas of other critics.
(4) that you know how to analyze literary texts in a way that is responsive to cultural and historical context. 
(5) your research paper is also expected to be free from problems of grammar and spelling and errors of fact.

I don't offer ready-made topics or prompts. At graduate-level it's crucial that you learn how to develop your own research topics--topics that are significant but still manageable. This is an important intellectual and critical skill, and it takes practice. It's also true, though, that scholarship often benefits from collaboration and discussion, so if you want help developing a paper topic, or if you just want to kick ideas around, please come talk to me. I'm more than happy to offer guidance.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

English Poetry, Jonson to Marvell

Hi, everyone! We have a lot on our plates tomorrow Marvell-wise: the Mower poems, and perhaps a return to "Upon Appleton House." But tomorrow is also the last day of our 9-week overview of 17th-century poetry, so take a moment to skim back over your notes, revisit some older poems, and develop some general ideas about this body of writing.

Are there any central conflicts, struggles, or preoccupations that seem to hold this diverse group of poems together as a coherent group?

What are the primary conversations taking place in seventeenth century poetry? 

If you were to tell a little two-minute story about 17th-century English poetry (if, say, someone were to put you on the spot and force you to [ahem]), what would it sound like?

We should leave some time to talk about this stuff.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria

All of these paintings were executed by the great Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck between 1632, when he was appointed Principal Painter to Charles I, and 1635.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lady Mary Wroth

Frontispiece to Lady Mary Wroth's The Countesse of Mountgomeries Urania (London, 1621). For the full text on EEBO, click here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Aemilia Lanyer

I'm very excited to be working on Aemilia Lanyer today!
Here's a link to one of the British Library's copies of Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (London, 1611)
We'll talk about it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Editing Project Prospectus

A few words on the Editing Project Prospectus, which is due next week. 

The prospectus should be 2 pages long. It's worth 5% of your final grade. The function of the prospectus--like any prospectus, including the kind scholars send to publishers to try to secure contracts--is to explain what project is being undertaken and why it is worthwhile. In your case, this will entail describing the document you are editing—its title, authorship (if known), date, theme, tone or style, rhetorical characteristics, political orientation—and why it is important or illuminating in the broader context of revolutionary England. Accordingly, preparing the Editing Project Prospectus involves careful thinking, planning, and a substantial first wave of research. 

I suggest an opening paragraph that gives a factual and material description of the text you are editing (title, authorship, date, form, etc), another paragraph or two sketching out the relevant historical and cultural context in which it was composed, and a final paragraph or two describing how your particular text contributes to or otherwise takes part in that context. If done properly, you will have completed a significant portion of the research for the Introduction to your Edition Project in completing your Prospectus.

Please don't hesitate to be in touch with me if you have any questions about this assignment.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wednesday: Donne's "Holy Sonnets"

Hello, all! Nice going today. I want to start class on Wednesday with a general discussion of the following two-part question, so please come prepared (I may actually go around the room and get a response from each of you):

* What, according to you, is the central issue or question being struggled with in Donne's Holy Sonnets? Is this struggle strictly religious/spiritual?

We'll then look at some individual poems as case studies. Please come to class armed with a sonnet that you find particularly compelling. With 15 people in the room, we obviously won't be able to get to everyone--indeed, we'll probably only get through a few poems--but I like the idea of having you guys provide the raw material this time around.

Towards the end of the class session I will elicit from you some broad, final comments on Donne's poetry, so I think it will also be useful for you to Think Big about Donne over the next couple days. Consider questions such:
-- In what ways is Donne's voice and imagination singular? That is, what does he seem to be doing that other writers aren't?
-- In what ways, on the other hand, is Donne very much of his time, part of his culture?
-- What does Donne teach us about the relationship between religion and eroticism or imagination and faith?

See you guys on Wednesday! Happy thinking!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Garrett Sullivan at UNT

Don't forget to come to this! It's going to be cool.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jonson: "Inviting a Friend to Supper" and "To Penshurst"

 Sir Philip Sidney at Penshurst (miniature by Isaac Oliver)

I realize that some of you won't see this before we meet for class. That's fine--hopefully some of you will. I really just want to get some thoughts down. As I re-read these two wonderful poems, I'm struck by the fact that they seem to have some core attributes, some essential imaginative and functional qualities, in common with the epistolary epigrams we were working with on Monday. (Do you agree?)

At the same time, it's probably easier to talk about what's different about these two poems. I'm going to resist being overdetermined and making specific claims on that front right now, but I will say that there seems to me to be some new conceptual keywords that have become important, which weren't terribly important on Monday. These include "place," "hospitality," "environment," "practice," and "nature/culture." You may be thinking of others, too--if so, I'd love to hear about them. At any rate, mull this over.

One more thing. In each of these poems, the last line contains a single word that strikes me as difficult, multifaceted, and very consequential to the poem overall. Here they are:

"Inviting a Friend to Supper": "liberty"

"To Penshurst": "dwells"

Let's make sure we talk about those words at some point today.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ben Jonson

View The Workes of Benjamin Jonson (London, 1616) on EEBO here.

Also, check out the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson Blog here.

We have the actual 7-volume Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson (2012), the most up-to-date scholarly resource for Jonson scholarship, in the library. Make sure you head over there at some point and peruse it.

The Jacobean Court

 James I, from 1616 "Workes" frontispiece

 James I and Family

 Queen Anna

 Princess Elizabeth and Frederick the Elector Palatine

 Prince Henry

King Charles I

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Essential Resources for Primary Historical Research

The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)

Early English Books Online (EEBO)

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)

Calendars of State Papers

Acts of the Privy Council of England

Please note: the ESTC, the Calendars of State Papers, and the Acts of the Privy Council are freely accessible on the web. EEBO and the DNB, on the other hand, are expensive, subscription-only databases, which, luckily, our library has acquired. This means that in the case of EEBO and the DNB, these links will only work if you're on campus. If you're accessing them from somewhere else, you'll have to call them up through the "Databases" section of the UNT Library website and sign in.

The UNT Medieval and Renaissance Colloquium

Friday, September 20, 2013, 3:30 p.m. (ENV 115)
“‘One that so willingly lay her legges open’:  Seated Portraits of Queen Elizabeth I”
Catherine Loomis (Associate Professor, English and Women’s Studies, University of New Orleans)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 4:00 p.m. (AUD 103)
“Where Moths Break in and Eat: Rhetorical Anxiety in Old English Riddle 47”
Thomas Tutt (Lecturer, English, University of Texas at Arlington)

Thursday, November 21, 2013
Garrett Sullivan (Professor, English, Pennsylvania State University)
Details TBA

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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Select Bibliography, Literary and Historical

Barroll, Leeds. “The Court of the First Stuart Queen.” In The Mental World of the Jacobean Court, edited by Linda Levy Peck, 191-208. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
______. Anna of Denmark, Queen of England: A Cultural Biography. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
Bellany, Alastair. “ ‘Raylinge Rymes and Vaunting Verse’: Libellous Politics in Early Stuart England.” In Culture and Politics in Early Stuart England, edited by Kevin Sharpe and Peter Lake, 285-310. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1994.
Bradshaw, Brendan, and John Morrill, eds. The British Problem, c.1534-1707: State Formation in the Atlantic Archipelago. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1996.
Brown, Keith M. “The Scottish Aristocracy, Anglicization, and the Court 1603-38.” The Historical Journal 36 (1993): 543-76.
Butler, Martin. The Stuart Court Masque and Political Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Corns, Thomas. Uncloistered Virtue: English Political Literature, 1640-1660. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992.
Croft, Pauline. King James. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2003.
Cruickshanks, Eveline, ed. The Stuart Courts. Stroud: Sutton, 2000.
Cuddy, Neil. “The Revival of the Entourage: The Bedchamber of James I, 1603-25.” In The English Court from the War of the Roses to the Civil War, edited by David Starkey et al., 173-225. Harlow: Longman, 1987.
______. “Anglo-Scottish Union and the Court of James I, 1603-25.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th  ser, 39 (1989):107-24.
Chalmers, Hero. Royalist Women Writers, 1650-1689. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Clarke, Danielle. The Politics of Early Modern Women’s Writing. London: Longman, 2001.
Curran, Kevin. Marriage, Performance, and Politics at the Jacobean Court. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009.
Fischlin, Daniel, and Mark Fortier, eds. Royal Subjects: Essays on the Writings of James VI and I. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2002.
Galloway, Bruce. The Union of England and Scotland 1603–1608. Edinburgh: John Donald, 1986.
Garrison, James D. Dryden and the Tradition of Panegyric. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975.
Goldberg, Jonathan. James I and the Politics of Literature: Jonson, Shakespeare, Donne, and Their Contemporaries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.
Hammill, Graham. The Mosaic Constitution: Political Theology and Imagination from Machiavelli to Milton. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
Kahn, Victoria. Wayward Contracts: The Crisis of Political Obligation in England, 1640-1674. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.
Knoppers, Laura. Constructing Cromwell: Ceremony, Portrait, and Print, 1645-1661. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
–––––. Politicizing Domesticity from Henrietta Maria to Milton’s Eve. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. 
Levack, Brian P. The Formation of the British State: England, Scotland, and the Union 1603 – 1707. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Lockyer, Roger. The Early Stuarts: A Political History of England, 1603-42. Harlow: Longman, 1989.
Lowenstein, David. Representing Revolution in Milton and his Contemporaries: Religion, Politics, and Polemics in Radical Puritanism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Maus, Katharine Eisaman. Ben Jonson and the Roman Frame of Mind. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.
McManus, Clare. Women on the Renaissance Stage: Anna of Denmark and Female Masquing in the Stuart Court, 1590-1619. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002.
McRae, Andrew. “The Literary Culture of Early Stuart Libeling.” Modern Philology 97 (2000): 364-92.
Norbrook, David. Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984.
______. Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric, and Politics, 1627-1660. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Parry, Graham. The Golden Age Restor’d: The Culture of the Stuart Court, 1603-42. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1981.
Patterson, W. B. King James and the Reunion of Christendom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Peck, Linda Levy, ed. The Mental World of the Jacobean Court. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Perry, Curtis. The Making of Jacobean Culture: James I and the Renegotiation of Elizabethan Literary Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Potter, Lois. Secret Rites and Secret Writing: Royalist Literature, 1641-1660. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Salzman, Paul. Reading Early Modern Women’s Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Sauer, Elizabeth. “Paper Contestations” and Textual Communities in England, 1640-1675. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.
Sharpe, Kevin. Criticism and Compliment: The Politics of Literature in the England of Charles I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
–––––. The Personal Rule of Charles I. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992,
–––––. Reading Revolutions: The Politics of Reading in Early Modern England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
Shuger, Debora. Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance: Religion, Politics, and the Dominant Culture. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.
Smith, Nigel. Literature and Revolution in England, 1640-60. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.
–––––. Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.
Strier, Richard. The Unrepentant Renaissance: from Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
–––––. Love Known: Theology and Experience in George Herbert’s Poetry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.
Strong, Roy.  Henry, Prince of Wales and England’s Lost Renaissance. London: Thames and Hudson, 1986.
Targoff, Ramie. John Donne: Body and Soul. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Worden, Blair. Literature and Politics in Cromwellian England: John Milton, Andrew Marvell, Marchmont Needham. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Wormald, Jenny. “James VI and I: Two Kings or One?” History 68 (1983): 187-209.
Zwicker, Steven N. Lines of Authority: Politics and English Literary Culture, 1649-1689. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Syllabus and Schedule

Hello, everyone. Welcome! You can view and print out our course syllabus here.