Thursday, June 28, 2012

Webster, the Comedian

Comedies and collaboration.  Alliterative, but do they indeed go together?

For John Webster, the answer seems to have been yes.  His various comedies, such as Anything for a Quiet Life, A Cure for a Cuckold, Northward Ho!, etc., are considered to have been co-written with fellow dramatists such as Middleton and Rowley.

Although I do, of course, most admire the Duchess, it's worth noting a few points that often are glossed over in discussions of Webster:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Attending to Early Modern Women 2012 - Thoughts and Notes

Just some thoughts, notes, ideas, and impressions from an amazing conference:

If you've never been, I highly recommend it, especially if you'll be in the Midwest. It's now located at UW-Milwaukee. What a wonderful privilege to hear from so many senior female scholars. I'm grateful for the kindness of several who took time to speak with me -- including Bernadette Andrea!

This was not my first time at a conference, but this was no ordinary conference. The attendance was mostly female, along with a handful of men including Brian Sandberg, who's also from NIU (History), and who sits on the organizing committee. Loved seeing senior scholars knitting and embroidering in the audiences at the plenary talks. Interesting to watch the differing affects across the levels of power and the way networking was performed. Nerve-wracking to see some of these incredible women in the same room. I learned a lot about the profession just from observing their performances, especially the language and linguistic structures used. There are several plenary sessions where papers are read, and five panel sessions that are workshops in nature, with brief introductions and orienting statements by the panelists and then discussion beginning with some pre-circulated selected texts. My Friday afternoon workshop was particularly interesting to me (at the end).

Deep apologies in advance for the condition of these notes, especially the spelling and capitalization. (Typing on an iPad's touch screen hasn't gotten any easier for me, plus I was working furiously to get it all down.)

From Elizabeth Lehfeldt's plenary talk on Thursday:

Lack of enclosure necessarily transgressive? Male writers of the time would say so, but we don't need to leave that unquestioned. Live in "open reclusion" or "chosen reclusion" -- leave convent or enclosure for business when needed. Convents had secular interests like manners, business, etc. What did that mean? How shape convent as social institution? What was the lived experience?