September 2018

Monograph plans:

The last revised chapter from my 2013 dissertation, “Thomas Nashe and Early Modern Protest Literature” has been recently published in Marlowe Studies: An Annual. Additionally, The Thomas Nashe Project has, to my great delight, featured additional chapters that I’ve revised as articles in their Bibliography of selected recent works. So, what’s next?

Here’s the “bumper-sticker” version:

My research into “Englishing”  vernacular protest literature from Chaucer’s time to Shakespeare’s has led me to realize that I simply can’t stay away from satire, from classical models, or their medieval and early modern translators and imitators. Presently, I’m developing a book proposal entitled A Tin Age: Englishing Satire (c. 1400- 16??). I will replace the question marks with numerals once I’ve fixed on which arguments from my research I plan to include.

For a comprehensive list of publications, please see my CV. I have also posted selected publications on Moving forward, I will relocate my publications and talks to this site.

2018 Projects-in-Progress

I was delighted to launch The Kit Marlowe Project as one of eight digital exhibits featured at the 2018 Shakespeare Association of America Annual meeting in Los Angeles (3/27/18). The Kit Marlowe Project is a digital space designed to introduce undergraduates with diverse majors to research-based learning and digital humanities practices in the context of studying one of Elizabethan England’s most intriguing literary figures. The site has been designed so that undergraduates may contribute exhibits, encyclopedia entries, and TEI-encoded (Text Encoding Initiative) archival works to a real-world digital project that will be maintained by future classes.

Because I continue creating student-scholar, research-based pedagogical models in my classroom, I need to keep up with my students’ output! I am currently collaborating with students to edit earlier encoding projects for publication on the University of Victoria’s Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) website. I’ve also been co-writing with MoEML’s Janelle Jenstad about our experiences teaching cognate courses at the University of Victoria and Stonehill College – “bibliodigigogy” will be making a comeback! If you are interested in learning more about MoEML’s Pedagogical Partnerships, please visit their site.

In my capacity of Research Partner with Northeastern University’s Women Writers Project, I have recently submitted a web exhibit entitled “Reading Elizabeth I in Women Writers Online” that explores early modern women writers’ treatment of this Tudor Queen. I gave a paper entitled “The Queen’s Two Corpora: Elizabeth I in Digital Contexts” on this work in progress in collaboration with Mary Erica Zimmer at the Women and Culture in the Early Modern World seminar at Harvard University’s Mahindra Humanities Center in February 2017. I’ve also written a blog about this project for NU. Working in the WWO corpora has invited a transatlantic approach to this project that has been extraordinarily exciting. I am eager now to explore the shared points of contact between this project and “Englishing” early literature – across genre, gender, and a giant ocean.






The world turned upside down…again.

As each year passes, I do my best to resist judging 365 days of wildly disparate events as “good” or “bad.” Life, like most of my literary arguments, is a both/and scenario. I haven’t been spending much time on social media (and, by extension, my “new” web blog) because the wildly fluctuating emotional responses to world events in my feeds were simply too much to absorb. On reflection, I see that my own broken world-view likely inspired me to pursue research on Ciceronian, Stoic, and Nashean versions of cosmographical contemplation last summer. It’s a useful practice that may come in handy now. As our calendar rather arbitrarily turns from one year to the next, it might be helpful to think about how the world looks if we fly up out of the atmosphere and see it from the universe’s perspective. On the one hand, we might think: “Wow! We’re part of something truly special and possibly divine.” OTOH: “Wow! The Roman Empire is a pinpoint” (paraphrasing Cicero), or “Our armies are like ants on a field” (paraphrasing Seneca). During the early modern period, we witness many lamenting the “world turned upside down.”

Macrobius’s illustration in Commentarii in Somnium

It is a constant and common trope that has been repeated through the ages. Yet one might also ask “was it ever turned right side up?” I think many of us know, at risk of over-simplifying a complex problem, that our present global turmoil results simply (there, I said it) from humans being humans. It’s been a long time in the making and a long time coming. The new administrations in the US, UK and elsewhere are plainly symptomatic of this evolution.

That said, I suggest we take advantage of this fresh start and think about how one might practice perspective in 2018. Personally, I think a bit of stoicism might help us face up to our reality without over-sentimentalizing problems. We need strength and conviction to move forward with dignity plus, for those of us who are scholars and teachers, to help our students do the same. 2017 was not so different from many other years – there were ups and downs, sure. Moreover, 2018 may not depart much from its predecessor. But it offers an opportunity to find balance, so that we might stay perched – however precariously – on our magnificent globe whichever way it happens to be turned.

Thomas Nashe Redux

I’ve long wanted to share this recycled woodcut of Thomas Nashe sans ball & chain, prefacing a sweet ballad about a young man with no money who a girl marries for love (1631). I can’t help but wonder if this image represents a sentimentalization of “tender young Juvenal” or is just dumb luck. Sung to the tune of “Lie Lulling Beyond Thee.”


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