Matthew Averett (Creighton University):
"The Perfect Courtier: Titian's Portrait of Giorgio Cornaro with a Falcon"
In 1537, Giorgio Cornaro, a Venetian noble, sat with a falcon before Titian and had his portrait painted. Later in life, Giorgio would be admitted to the Venetian Consiglio Maggior, administer the vast landholdings and lucrative enterprises of his family, become an important patron on the arts, and die a hero's death at Lepanto in 1571. But in 1537, all that was in his future. Who was Giorgio Cornaro when Titian painted his portrait? This paper demonstrates that by having his portrait painted with a falcon, Giorgio Cornaro consciously constructed an image of himself as a noble by drawing on the long tradition of aristocrats and elites who flew falcons.
Christopher Baker (Armstrong Atlantic State University):
"A New Testament Analogy for the Porter Scene in Macbeth"
Peter's denial of Christ in the passion narratives combines the elements of both gatekeeper and equivocator in a single source which Shakespeare could have adapted for the porter scene in Macbeth. Peter's first response to the gatekeeper is to equivocate by saying that he does not know what she is talking about. Calvin's commentary on Matthew 26:70 underscores his evasion, linking his statement to "wretched sophists [who] gain nothing by their ingenuity." This very gospel incident is also referenced in Henry Garnet's Treatise of Equivocation. Shakespeare's porter is aware of equivocation as a legal strategy, and his criticism of someone whose equivocation is divinely condemned echoes Garnet's condemnation of Peter.
Debra Barrett-Graves (California State University, East Bay):
"The Hampden Portrait of Elizabeth and Palmer's Two Hundred Poosees"
Although long neglected, the manuscript of England’s first emblematist, Thomas Palmer, who dedicated his Two Hundred Poosees to Robert Dudley (ca. 1564-65), deserves analysis equal to that previously focused on Whitney’s Choice of Emblemes. By comparing the religious symbolism of the newly rediscovered Hampden Portrait (ca. 1563), the first full-length portrait showing Elizabeth as Queen Regnant, with the religious iconography of Palmer’s emblematic collection, the meanings behind the visual and aural emphases on elaborate displays that informed the early years of Elizabeth’s reign reinforce early modern representations of Elizabeth as a legitimate monarch with bona fide religious and dynastic credentials.
Sean Benson (Malone University):
"'Perverse fantasies'?: Rehabilitating Malvolio's Reading"
It is now a commonplace notion that Malvolio’s reading of Maria’s letter in Twelfth Night satirizes the Puritans’ approach to reading the Bible. This consensus on Malvolio’s alleged misreading is in need of revision. While his reading seems to fulfill the stereotype of Puritan exegesis, Malvolio is in reality a shrewd interpreter of the kind of language that Olivia, were she really in love with him, would (and later does) use. Moreover, Malvolio reads as a textual pragmatist. He who does not believe that texts are self-interpreting. Thus, Malvolio is tortured despite his careful—not tortuous—reading of Maria’s letter.
Greg Bentley (Mississippi State University):
"Demystifying the Rosalind Myth"
As powerful as the Rosalind myth has been--and still is--I attempt in this essay to demystify it. More particularly, I argue that Celia and Oliver are the substantive protagonists of the play because each undergoes an erotic experience. That is, because each suffers a traumatic event, Celia and Oliver come to embody a substantive level of virtus rooted in nosce teipsum (self-knowledge) and sophrosyne (self-mastery) that enables them to achieve a relatively healthy integration of the imaginary ordr (moi/ego) and the symbolic order (je/subject proper).
Michael Berntsen (University of Louisiana, Lafayette):
"Spenser's Busyrane: Bully to Sidney's Defense, Apprentice to Petrarch, and Graduate from The School of Abuse"
Busyrane is a serious enemy. The threat he poses as the torturer of Amoret and the adversary to Britomart contains enormous implications for appreciators of poetry. Embedded within this frightening, allegorical figure are various poetical traditions and philosophies. He is at one instance the magician-poet, mocking Sidney’s noble aspirations for poetry found in his Defense of Poesy. At the same time, he is an extreme Petrarchan lover, avenging with brutality and silencing with reproach. He lastly acts as the corrupting force that lurks within poetry ready to taint anyone who reads it, which Gosson warns with The School of Abuse. In Spenser’s Book II of The Faerie Queene, Busyrane becomes a culmination of these negative poetic energies, molding a complex character instructing us of the paradoxical dangers attributed to embracing poetry as the most potent form of the arts and rejecting poetry for that same reason. Busyrane is a perversion of poetry’s potential power to enlighten us to new wisdom, to inspire us to great deeds, and to convince us with sensual delight to enjoy beauty.
Jacob Blevins (McNeese State University):
"Thomas Traherne and the Geographies of the Sublime"
In this paper, I will explore the work of the 17th-century writer, Thomas Traherne, in relation to philosophies of "the sublime." For Traherne, the body becomes sacralized, language imperfect but representative of something beyond expression. While some critics have called Traherne a mystic and his quest for "Felcity," a state of oneness with God, I argue that his quest is really the quest for the sublime, something that ties the senses to the soul, the world to the heavens, and reality to that which is beyond our eyes. In some ways Traherne--in a Christian context--anticipates a very sophisticated and more contempoary understanding of what the sublime is and how self-consciousness is constructed within this extra-sensory state.
Renee Bricker (Wayne State University):
"Queen Elizabeth I and Religious Ritual as the Iconography of Political Love"
This paper explores Elizabeth I’s continued participation in specific religious rituals with an eye to how those rituals may have functioned as strategies of political love. Attention will be focused upon the traditional Maundy Thursday foot-washing ceremony and that of the royal touch for healing scrofula. These rituals served to reinforce notions of sacred kingship and evoke the iconography associated with Christ. The iconography of Christ provided a masculine and traditional model for monarchy and framework by which gender might be transcended. Her continuation of certain rituals was consonant with political thought about love articulated in The Prince,and Augustine’s explanation of caritas as love of one’s neighbor.
Meg Lota Brown (University of Arizona):
"Genre, Gender, and Engraving in Early Modern Europe"
My paper examines constraints on women’s production of art in early modern Europe. Effectively forbidden from engaging in certain genres, subject matters, and media, female artists nevertheless distinguished themselves and competed successfully for recognition during the Renaissance. One such group of artists was women engravers. The paper discusses the careers of five remarkably talented and successful female engravers, tracing their influence, innovations, and even international acclaim. Despite cultural hostility manifested in women’s exclusion from formal training, in the disparagement of both their natural abilities and their art, and in material impediments to their profession, a small group of female engravers from southern and northern Europe produced extraordinary and influential creative works.
Ty Buckman (Wittenberg University):
"Harington's Spaniel: Privilege, Play, and the English Renaissance Epic"
My paper juxtaposes Sir John Harington’s calculating and amoral “Treatise on Play” with the frontispiece to his 1591 edition of Orlando Furioso to argue that the courtier poet’s carefully constructed – and familiar -- plans for self-promotion via the Renaissance epic are undone by his own subversive, “waggish” designs, as they are embodied in the portrait of his favorite spaniel Bungee who joins the author on the work’s celebrated title page.
Brad Campbell (Mississippi State University):
"Riddlers and Riddlees: Hermeneutic Heroes in Pericles and The Winter's Tale"
This essay will focus on the rhetorical function of riddles in two of Shakespeare's Romances--Pericles and The Winter's Tale--in an effort to illustrate how the riddles in each play, though diametrically opposed on the discursive level, contribute to the protagonists' evolution toward self knowledge and self mastery and provide a sense of hermeneutic skill necessary to fulfill and sustain virtue.
Jo Eldridge Carney (The College of New Jersey):
"Elizabeth's Courtships and The Great Chain of Being"
Abstract Not Available.
Jill Carrington (Stephen F. Austin State University):
"The Terrestrial Globe of the Tommaso Rangone Monument, San Giuliano, Venice, and the Golden Age of Cartography in Venice"
The present paper considers the relief of the terrestrial globe of the Tommaso Rangone monument on the facade of San Giuliano, Venice and the its striking specificity. It is the first study to show that the land and water forms are based on actual maps and globe gores popular during the period. Indeed, like actual globes of the time, the Rangone earthly globe adapts features readily identifiable from several maps, specifically those by Giacomo Gastaldi and Battista Agnese and a globe gore made by Francois Demongenet. The creation of the Rangone globe coincides with the golden age of cartography in Venice when the city was among the leading European centers of map production.
Liana di Girolami Cheney (University of Massachusetts, Lowell ):
"Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation: 'The Eyes Are the Windows of the Soul (Mind)' "
In his Notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci explains how our knowledge has its formation in our perceptions. “The eyes, which are called the windows of the soul, are the chief mean whereby the understanding may most full and abundantly appreciate the infinite works of nature.” Leonardo continues: “all true sciences are the result of experiences which has passed through our senses.” He invites the observer to first experience nature and then with reason investigates the causes and effects of the experience. The presentation focuses on an aspect of creativity, the similarity between artistic and scientific creativity as espoused in Leonardo’s Notebooks and, in particular, visualized in his Annunciation of 1472 at the Uffizi.
In analyzing Leonardo’s Annunciation of 1472-75 at the Uffizi Gallery, one is able to reflect on Leonardo’s concept of creativity as well as on his theory on painting. This earlier painting in Leonardo’s artistic career is fundamental and serves as a fulcrum in the history of art and science in Italian Renaissance art. In the Annunciation, the young Leonardo begins to conceptualize his theories on optics and perception.
For all that Leonardo wrote it is to his visual explorations that he entrusts the primary task of representing nature. Because for Leonardo art is an instrument of discovery, a form of knowing and not merely an illustration of what is already known, the application of color and tone reveal a process of visual reasoning, a science of painting.
Delilah Clark (University of Louisiana, Monroe):
"Construction and Destruction: The Othering of Mariam"
Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam challenges representations of Jews and Jewishness set forth by Shakespeare and Marlowe. Cary's representations of Jewishness exist in a closed system, while Shakespeare and Marlowe outcast Jews. The terms of the male playwrights are expressly economic, whereas Cary deals in dangerous words.
Elizabethan stereotypes of Jews, prevalent in Shakespeare and Marlowe, are absent in Mariam. Jewish women in all three plays do not fulfill male desires for obedience, silence, and chastity. Mariam, Shylock, and Barabas demonstrate a continuum of punishment related to self-fashioning. Parallels between Mariam, Abigail, and Jessica reveal the fate of unruly women.
Ashley Combest (University of Tennessee, Knoxville):
"The (W)hole Event: Reading Rape and Revising Bianca in Women Beware Women"
Middleton’s Women Beware Women is a play that never tells the whole story. The “central” scene in Act 2 when Bianca encounters the Duke in the portrait gallery culminates offstage. Such an inscrutable scene confronts critics with the difficulty not only of reading the scene as rape, but also of reading feminine desire. The offstage scene, I argue, serves as a kind of hole in the text, a placeholder that leaves open the possibility of Bianca’s desire and her revision of the event. That Bianca works to assert her consent not “in the moment” but retroactively models on an individual scale a strategy of revision and effacement that governs the entire play. The most striking feature of Women is its adoption of revenge structures in an effort to rewrite its narrative, to tell a story whereby deaths are the result of actions rather than inevitable effects of an unavoidable cause.
Karla Coulson (Northeastern State University):
"The Gunpowder Plot's Influences on Shakespeares's Macbeth"
One important historical event impacting Shakespeare’s Macbeth, written in 1606, is the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which opened up political discussions concerning discourses on treason, the equivocation argument, and the resistance theory, all of which are reflected in the play. The Gunpowder Plot was a failed assassination attempt on King James which Shakespeare addresses through the central conflict of the play, the treasonous act of regicide. The play also takes a look at the ethical use of equivocation associated with the conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot as well as reviving the question of the people’s right to resist a tyrant king which Shakespeare devotes an entire scene to defending this right.
Jasmin Cyril (Benedict College, Columbia SC):
"Imaging Alessandro de'Medici in Mannerist Portraits"
This paper will examine the contextual implications of contemporary Mannerist portraits of Alessandro de'Medici, first Duke of Florence. His role as Duke was expressed traditionally in portraits in armor, Giorgio Vasari, and as a scholar, Pontormo. This parallels the representational prototypes used by Fifteenth-century artists, notably Piero della Francesca, to create the ducal identity of Federigo da Montefeltro, who like Alessandro was an illegitimate son, created heir and elevated to a hereditary title of Duke of Urbino. Alessandro has the distinction to have been of African diasporan origins, through his mother, Simonetta dal Collavechio, and Florentine through his father, Guilio de'Medici, Pope Clement VII.
Natalie DeJonghe (Independent Scholar):
"Womanly Weapons: How Female Characters Act as Effective Avengers in Early Modern Revenge Tragedies"
This paper examines four Early Modern revenge dramas – The Spanish Tragedy, Titus Andronicus, Women Beware Women, and The Tragedy of Miriam – which feature female avengers. The paper argues that the way the female avengers in these plays use certain tools and skills enables them to not only be effective avengers, but in some cases to be more effective than the male avengers in the plays. The tools the women use are their sexuality, their linguistic skills both written and verbal, their manipulation of a proxy, and the creation of a masque or masque-like persona. By examining the plays and pertinent criticism, it is possible to view these female avengers as positive and effective characters in their genre. In addition, this allows women in revenge tragedy to serve as active instead of passive characters.
Dmytro Drozdovskyi (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy):
"An Interpretation Of the Image Of a King (Monarch) In Historical Chronicles Of W. Shakespeare"
The paper deals with an attempt to define the semiotics levels of a traditional literary image of Sovereign the historical chronicles of W. Shakespeare providing the methodological approach to perusal of this image. The opportunity of deciphering of such image helps to understand its relations as a part of text with historical, cultural, mythological, and generic contexts. The image of a Sovereign (monarch) pretends to be like a syntactic complex, integrated and multifaceted system, which could be realized in several formal and semantic realms: historical, mythological, utopian, and archetypal. The research is trying to prove that the image of the Sovereign (this is a generic category, that could be realized in the image of kings and queens etc) W. Shakespeare chronicles could be interpreted as the mythological and even archetypal one, also connected with historical (Medieval and Renaissance) contexts (the pretexts substrate of the chronicles belongs not only to the Renaissance tradition, but also to the Medieval and even Antique texts and traditions of compiling the biography (Plutarch) etc).
Sarah Duncan (Spring Hill College):
"The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Queen: The Funeral of Mary I and the Accession of Elizabeth I"
Upon Elizabeth I’s succession after the death of her sister Queen Mary I, she allowed Mary’s funeral to be carried out just as her sister had specified. Mary’s funeral was the first in which a queen was buried with all the pomp and circumstance of a king of England: it acknowledged her female gender while depicting her as a ruler who had enjoyed the same powers as her male predecessors. The treatment of the deceased body of the first regnant queen of England reflected directly upon the situation and image of the living queen who succeeded her, another queen who was determined to rule with kingly powers.
Daniel Ellis (Temple University):
"Rhetorical Execution: Elizabeth, Rhetorical Theory, and the Death of Mary, Queen of Scots"
Analyzing the proclamation in which Mary’s sentence was declared in light of debates in Parliament, and in light of the later rhetorical work of Abraham Fraunce, this paper suggests that the conflict over Mary Queen of Scots signaled a turning point in a rhetorical conflict, in which a change in the nature of rhetorical theory is marked by Elizabeth’s inability to avoid consenting to Mary’s execution.
Joan Faust (Southeastern Louisiana University):
"Marvell's Soul and Body: The Dialogue Continues"
Andrew Marvell’s dialogue poems seem to confirm his reputation for “slipperiness,” since they appear to allow him to explore significant issues while remaining totally neutral, disappearing behind the voices of his speakers. Yet this supposition fails to give Marvell the credit he deserves since it focuses on a lack of effort rather than an intentional purpose. Marvell skillfully constructs his dialogues to portray a process, not a product. An examination of “A Dialogue between the Soul and Body” in light of Marvell’s university rhetorical training reveals that the poet has no intention of naming a “winner” in this poetic debate but instead successfully guides his speakers and his readers to a carefully constructed state of possibility, engaging poet, speakers, and readers within the liminal realm of exchange.
Kate Gartner Frost (University of Texas, Austin):
"The Occasion of John Donne's Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions"
In late November of 1623 John Donne nearly died from typhus fever. Recuperating, he constructed the Devotions, recording his treatment and recovery. The onset of the fever, the quandaries of his doctors (some of whose identities we know), their noxious prescriptions (some of which we have actual record), the confusion of the sickroom (we know the nursing practices which likely saved his life), and the renewal of a hope for cure all parallel Donne’s renewal of soul. He ponders his sins, in despair begs for spiritual healing, and receives the sacraments mandated by the Church. Weakened but renewed, he confronts a merciful extension of life. The Devotions forms Donne's last masterpiece, a melding of prose and poetry unequalled in any of his works.
Patricia Garcia (Our Lady of the Lake University):
"Marian Devotion in Donne's Religious Poetry"
This essay will examine two specific sonnets in Donne's "La Corona" sequence-- “The Annunciation” and “Crucifying”—for their roles in introducting the paradox of Jesus's Incarnation and Passion, especially as viewed from a Marian perspective. These tensions are further heightened in Donne’s poem “Upon the Annunciation and the Passion Occurring on the Same Day.” Through a comparison of these three poems, I will demonstrate how Donne uses Marian devotion as a response to these questions, especially in how the reader can find his/her own salvation within these experiences.
Victoria Gaydosik (Southwestern Oklahoma State University):
"A Renaissance-Era Document Found in Oklahoma"
Rare documents dating to the early 1600s are particularly rare at yard sales in Oklahoma, but a document dated April 5, 1620, was recently found behind an undesirable picture purchased at a second-hand sale by Mr. Alexander Duncan and a friend. These "articles of agreement" appear to be the work of a lawyer.
My presentation will include my interpretation of the document and my findings about the legalities it records. I received permission to bring the document in its double-sided glass frame with me to the convention, and other scholars in attendance will be welcome to examine it.
Steven Golden (Emporia State University):
"[W]e four will be all one: Jonson's Epicene and the Subversion of Masculinity"
Ben Jonson’s Epicene poses a troublesome scenario: a group of women must ban together as “one” to combat the either spineless or overly masculine men, while an old man is duped into marrying a young boy disguised as a girl. The levels of gender subversion are many, both within the text and upon the stage. Not much is written on the satire of men in plays, but rather on the ridicule of women; however, the instances of gender boundary-crossing in Epicene—while considering the historical context, including the body politic, the gender debate happening between modern audiences, and social views of masculinity and femininity—all point to an undermining of socially male roles by both men and women in their performative behavior.
Sabrina Goss (Emporia State University):
"Hal's Base Contagious Clouds: Another Look at the Education of a Prince"
King Henry IV, Part 1 has an abundant cast and more than a few major characters, but it quickly focuses on Hal as the lead and most compelling role. It has been argued that this play reveals Hal’s transformation: a naïve young man with a love for revelry educates himself in the ways of the world and gradually morphs into a noble and deserving prince. This play is indeed about Hal and his development, but this paper argues that it is also about the balance between what is beneficial and what is right and that Hal’s self-imposed lessons taught him how to “drink with any tinker in his own language” and little else.
Gabriella Gruder-Poni (Independent):
"The Biblical Plot of "Upon Appleton House""
Readers have long recognized the biblical allusions in "Upon Appleton House." I argue that the allusions to the Old Testament in the first half of the poem and to the New Testament in the second half are even more pervasive than has been hitherto recognized, and that they amount to a biblical plot that gives structure to a famously loose and rambling poem. The sequence of allusions suggests that the poem enacts a reversal, or a short-circuiting, of sacred history. After tracing the biblical plot of "Upon Appleton House" I consider the poem as Marvell's attempt to construct a literary genealogy for himself.
Jennifer Heller (Lenoir-Rhyne University):
"Wielding Words: Lady Elizabeth Russell's Search for Status"
Lady Elizabeth Russell worked throughout her long life to amass personal clout and to build her family’s status. However, she endured the vicissitudes of fortune, falling in and out of favor with shifting religious and political tides. Russell also suffered sea-changes specific to her gender. She lost two husbands, combated willful children, and battled the financial vicissitudes of widowhood. Yet she never lost her most potent weapon: her rhetorical skill. This paper tracks the ways in which Russell used language to advocate for the status of her family under circumstances that changed wildly over the course of her life.
Megan Hickerson (Henderson State University):
"Foxe's Queen: Elizabeth I and Other Royal Women in the Book of Martyrs"
Elizabeth I is a prominent figure in the several editions of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs. But the Elizabeth created by Foxe undergoes important revision from edition to edition, as does his treatment of other queens treated in the changing text. This paper considers these parallel changes and argues that beginning in his second edition (1570), Foxe’s purpose in his treatment of royal women other than Elizabeth was to offer his queen criticism (and instruction) regarding her performance BOTH as prince, and as woman.
Melissa Hudler (Lamar University and Anglia Ruskin University):
"Corporeal Rhetoric in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale"
My goal for this paper is to argue that mutely performed rhetoric holds as significant of a presence as verbal rhetoric in The Winter’s Tale, even in the final scene where Hermione’s statuesque presence is traditionally considered anti-rhetorical. Indeed, a connection between the theory and practice of rhetoric and dance is apparent in the physical presence of particular characters. Although verbal rhetoric propels the tragic action in the play, dance also figures prominently in this action and in the dramaturgical movement toward reconciliation. Moreover, the lack of rhetoric in the closing scene leaves ample room for corporeal characteristics to achieve the ends of rhetoric: persuadere, movere, and conciliare.
Irving Kelter (University of St. Thomas):
"Ecclesiastes 1:4: The History of a Biblical Passage and the Struggle over Copernicanism"
To understand the Roman Catholic Church’s condemnation of Copernicanism in 1616, one must determine the reception of heliocentrism by the Catholic exegetical community. One must examine how the Copernican theory was handled in biblical commentaries, such as those of the books of Joshua, Job and Ecclesiastes. This paper will especially examine the exegetical methods and interpretations employed by foes of the Copernican system, notably the Jesuits Serarius, Lorinus and Pineda. Finally, this paper will examine new claims made at this time concerning the nature of astronomy as a science and concerning the relationship of astronomy to theology.
Susan Kendrick (Emporia State University):
". . . the holy priests / Bless her when she is riggish': Female Desire, Masculine Honor, and Royal Authority in Antony and Cleopatra"
In Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, Antony finds himself drawn between his reputation in Rome and his desire for Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Shakespeare sets up Rome and Egypt as opposite binaries: Rome represents masculinity, cold logic and manipulative policy, while Egypt reflects femininity, passionate desires, and loyalty. Antony proves rash and impulsive, but also fearless and honorable. As a reigning monarch, Cleopatra combines desire and power in her relationship with Antony, and while in many ways she is constructed as a seductive “daughter of Eve,” she is also the best example of royal heroism and national honor in the play.
George Klawitter (St. Edward's University):
"The Devotional Marvell"
The last thing one looks for in a satirist is tenderness. One thinks of Alexander Pope flailing away at poor Colley Cibber in The Dunciad or Jonathan Swift eviscerating the English in his Modest Proposal or Andrew Marvell himself on the attack in "Flecknoe." Yet these people were human and did have a soft side. For Swift we know that soft spot was Hester, his life-long Dulcinea, but what about Marvell? Aside from the proclamations of Mary Palmer after Marvell's death, we know of no real love interests in his life, although he does forward a kind of love interest in "The Unfortunate Lover," only to smash the poor man against the rocks in a tempest that seems to incite in the narrator a type of broken-relationship glee. If, therefore, Marvell was unable to evoke his tender poetic feelings for a lover, we have to explore another side of his soul for tenderness, and that may very well be in his poetic relationship with his God.
Devotion is not an attitude or attribute that readers generally associate with Andrew Marvell. When categorized, Marvell is usually thought of as a witty poet ("Coy Mistress"), a bitingly sardonic poet ("Flecknoe"), a climber (the Cromwell poems), or, in his final evolution, a brilliant, political satirist ("Last Instructions"). But every human being has a tender side, and when that tenderness is linked to religion, we get devotion. When we think of devotional poets, we probably think of George Herbert simpering through his delicate little pieces or Richard Crashaw bombasting his way to orthodoxy. We do not think of Marvell. Yet there are a handful of pieces in his corpus that do bespeak a tender and vulnerable heart.
Norman Land (University of Missouri, Columbia):
"Artistic Errors in a Tale about the Piovano Arlotto"
From 1426 to 1468 Arlotto de’ Mainardi (1396-1484) was the real-life piovano or country priest at San Cresci a Macioli in the diocese of Fiesole. Father Arlotto was famous for his practical jokes and witty sayings, some of which were collected by an anonymous admirer just after the middle of the fifteenth century. Later, the collection appeared in Rome as Motti e facezie del Piovano Arlotto (1514 –1516). The subject of this paper is one of the tales in that book. According to the story, there was a dispute between a patron, Goro Infangati, and an unidentified painter who worked all’antica. Father Arlotto, who is called upon to settle the matter, resolves it in a humorous fashion.
Emma Lehman (University of Nebraska):
"The Iron Corset of Catherine de Medici"
The study of fashion history frequently unearths mysteries, objects that are so removed from context that their original purpose has become lost. One such object is the metal corset, frequently used to illustrate how barbaric the past was, and as a metaphor for brutally restrictive situations. One pervasive story credits Catherine de Medici with introducing a steel corset intended to maintain a 13 inch waist on the ladies of her court.
While some of the metal corsets may date to within Catherine's lifetime, and some are very small, it is unlikely that the early examples were so brutally small, and further unlikely that they had any connection with Catherine. Catherine was not a leader of fashion, though she did earn her reputation for brutality. An iron corset implies rigid control, which is consistent with the current understanding of Catherine as the ruthless monarch.
Catherine Loomis (University of New Orleans):
"Our late and loving Nurce-mother: Images of Maternity in Commemorations of Queen Elizabeth I"
This paper examines the use of images of maternity in several of the poems and prose pamphlets published in 1603 to commemorate or memorialize Queen Elizabeth I.
Leslie Loyd (Southeast Missouri State University):
"Kate of Elizabethan Christendom: Shakespeare's Bonny Dissembler"
Drawing upon the work of Clare Asquith and historical sources, this paper argues that The Taming of the Shrew surreptitiously demonstrates the performance of submission by Catholic recusants. In particular, Shakespeare seems to have drawn his inspiration for Katherine from Magdalen Browne, Viscountess of the Montague family, openly Catholic members of the aristocracy and staunch supporters of Queen Elizabeth. In The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare “compliment[s] the noble family acting as his patrons; but more than that, [he] dramatise[s] the political and religious ideals they stood for” (Asquith 46).
Sara Luttfring (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign):
"Mistris Parliament and the Politics of Birthing Room Gossip"
My paper will examine tensions surrounding the birthing room speech of women in three Mistris Parliament pamphlets from 1648. These Royalist pamphlets represent the divisive political climate of Civil War-era England allegorically through the figures of a laboring woman, Mistress Parliament, and her birthing room community of gossips in order to critique a feminized Parliament that wrongfully grasps at Charles I’s patriarchal authority. However, although the pamphlets depict gossips whose words are in many ways socially destructive, they also suggest that female/feminized speech is central to restoring the body politic to health, and that patriarchal authority relies on the multivocal collective for stability.
Elizabeth Martin (University of Maryland at College Park):
"Stabilizing the Mediterranean: Elizabeth I and Bess Bridges"
This paper argues that the construction of race and race relations in The Fair Maid of the West hinges on the preservation of international contracts. The maintenance of contracts between citizens of England and Fez serves to stabilize the Moorish characters. As a result, the English presence effects positive change, introducing stability to the region via the exaggerated virtue of Bess (and her carefully crafted similarities to Queen Elizabeth). The happy conclusion promotes a growing English patriotism, as well as hope that England can manipulate and profit from the unfortunate instability of foreign lands. The key to this manipulation, ultimately, includes the preservation of contracts.
Sean McDowell (Seattle University):
"No Simple Resolve in Marvell's A Dialogue between the Resolved Soul, and Created Pleasure"
The prevailing critical treatment of Marvell’s “A Dialogue between the Resolved Soul and Created Pleasure” presumes that the Soul represented in the poem is a heterogeneous entity opposed to external forces gathered under the name of “Created Pleasure.” Yet this assumption places insufficient interpretive pressure on Marvell’s descriptions of the soul in question. The presence of multiple constituencies within the soul and of a prior history of irresolution accounts for many of Marvell’s freighted word choices throughout the poem, as well as the terms of the first stanza, the remarks of the chorus, and the progression from temptations of the senses to the touting of humility as the primary affective characteristic of “resolve.”
Timothy McKinney (Baylor University):
"What Sweeter Music: Style and Context in Adrian Willaert's Qual dolcezza giamai"
Adrian Willaert's Qual dolcezza giamai first appeared in print in 1540 and was written in homage to the singer Polissena Pecorina. Pecorina was intimately associated with Willaert's legendary Musica nova collection of madrigals and motets; it is believed that she participated in the initial performances of works from the collection under the personal direction of Willaert in Neri Capponi’s academy in Venice. The style of Qual dolcezza giamai, however, lies far from that of Musica nova. The paper suggests that Qual dolcezza giamai likely was written at an earlier time than Musica nova based upon specific stylistic considerations and the differing conception of musical sweetness found therein.
Elizabeth Melly (Princeton University):
" 'Bespeak thy grave': Poetic Monuments and the Dual Paragoni in Marvell's The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Fawn"
In this paper, I read “The Nymph Complaining” as a poetic monument, an attempt by the Nymph to stave off the pain of loss by transforming nature into art. I further consider the poem as an enactment of the struggle of the paragone, the competition between nature and art, as well as the competition between visual and verbal art for mimetic primacy. By viewing the poem as a kind of narrative emblem, a picture constructed of words, I argue that it is not only the Nymph's final statue that is static; the poem itself is an attempt by the Nymph to monumentalize, to petrify in the hope of reversing, a loss that has already passed.
John Mercer (Northeastern State University):
"The Problem of Hamlet and The Power of Now"
Seen through the lens of Eckhart Tolle’s late-1990s bestseller The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Hamlet exemplifies the causes, effects, and potential end of human suffering. In an attempt to bolster his threatened ego, Hamlet, like most humans, thinks compulsively about the past and future, refuses to accept the present, and identifies himself with his thoughts. He cruelly lashes out at others to perpetuate his “pain-body” or accumulated emotional pain. Before the end of the play he achieves serenity through intense awareness of the present moment, cessation of compulsive thinking, acceptance of the present, meditation on human mortality, and silence.
Nick Moschovakis (Independent scholar):
" 'The iron gates' echoing song': 'To His Coy Mistress' and Marvell's allusive identities"
The “iron gates of life” in Marvell’s best-known poem (“To His Coy Mistress,” 44) are made of more resonant metal than has been recognized. The poem’s thematic relationship to Lucretius and late Renaissance Epicureanism is well known. Still, one Lucretian phrase that seems most specifically pertinent to the "iron gates" has been neglected. In addition, a commendatory poem on Shakespeare that appeared first in the 1632 Second Folio--“On Worthy Master Shakespeare and his Poems"--startlingly prefigures many aspects of “To His Coy Mistress.” Why?
The proposed paper will explore the implications of the allusive identities--metaphorical equations among characters and their roles--that could seem to emerge from these intertextual relationships.
Benjamin Myers (Oklahoma Baptist University):
"After Astrofell: Colin Clouts Come Home Againe as a Paradise Lost"
It seems odd that Spenser should return to pastoral, with Colin Clouts Come Home Againe and "Astrophell," after publishing the first books of his epic, but Spenser’s journey home, after a lengthy absence, provides occasion for reflection on mutability, a topic closely connected in his poetics with pastoral. Many people in the aristocratic circles on which Spenser pinned his ambition before leaving for Ireland had fallen into disgrace or died. The poet embarks upon a journey to the locus amoenus but arrives to find an Eden already lost. Spenser thus returns to pastoral because he finds himself confronted with his own mortality, and he sees the pastoral as uniquely expressive of our longing for the golden age in the midst of exile.
Kara Northway (Kansas State University):
"Shakespeare and Letter-Carrying Players"
I examine the practice of players carrying letters off-stage and in Shakespeare’s plays, uncovering the players’ inclusion in epistolary communities. I propose to explore three questions: what were an acting company’s habitual letter-carrying practices; what impact did they have on the writing of plays, particularly Love’s Labour’s Lost and Hamlet; and how have scholars misinterpreted these practices? According to Alan Dessen and Leslie Thompson, over 400 times in early modern plays, stage directions include “Enter with a letter.” Instead of thinking of letters as objects or props, I focus on the implied subject of the stage directions, the actor and his activity; thus, this paper will examine letters as a social practice.
Arlen Nydam (University of Texas, Austin):
"Philip Sidney's Extended Family and the Catholic Petition of 1585"
Past writers have presented an anti-Catholic Sidney. This characterization is false, and rests in part on Pears' silent abridgment of the Sidney-Languet correspondence (1845). I identify Richard Shelley, Philip Sidney's Catholic "cousin," for whom Sidney wrote a letter of introduction to Hubert Languet in 1574. Until now, this man has always been mistaken for other Catholic Richard Shelleys also related to Sidney. One of these was involved with a Catholic petition to Queen Elizabeth. He, and a majority of the organizers of the petition, were members of Sidney's extended family. Sidney was surrounded by Catholic relatives. His circle of friends and loyalties was far from the homogeneous Protestant circle depicted by most 20th-c. scholars.
Amanda Ogden (University of North Texas):
"The Sacrament of Confession in John Donne's Holy Sonnets"
As a Catholic converted to Protestantism, John Donne—author of the Holy Sonnets sequence—underwent a difficult transition. Protestants eradicated from their religious experience the sacrament of confession. I argue that Donne wrote the Holy Sonnets to compensate for the absence of confession in the Protestant faith he adopted in his adulthood. Donne’s complex affiliation with Catholicism affected his religious beliefs and practices even after conversion. The sonnets are also replete with confessions of sinful thoughts and deeds, such as idolatry, anger toward God, and lust. These confessions take the form of the sonnet, which has distinct similarities to the Catholic sacrament of confession in Renaissance England. Sonnets, with a strict and confined form, traditionally provide a space where private thoughts and desires can be addressed to an audience. By reading his poems and hearing his private confessions, Donne’s audience—which is predominantly Protestant—adopts a participatory role in Catholic confession. Donne, who can no longer turn to a priest for absolution, is assuaged by turning his readers into a religiously sympathetic audience.
William Padgett (Texas State University):
"Psychic Pilgrimages: The Transformative Power of Trauma and Milton"
Recently scholarly awareness over the signficance of trauma on the individual psyche has increased. I believe it crucial that in these studies scholars must distinguish between what I term "self-induced" and "externally-induced" trauma. Milton's major works illuminate these distinctions. In these works, both Satan and the Son participate in self-induced trauma, and their transformations are the most significant in Milton's literature. Adam and Eve experience external trauma. They become enlightened, but not to the extent of the Son. Samson also experiences external-trauma, but the tragedy is that he fails to transform. Milton's work helps individuals to distinguish between trauma types, expediting the many journeys of self-discovery.
Margaret Peters (Northeastern State University):
"Renaissance Beliefs about Women and the Feminine Nature in Macbeth: Superstition, Ignorance and Misogyny"
The portrayals of Lady Macbeth and the three witches in Macbeth reveal the superstition, ignorance and misogyny that were common during the Renaissance. Macbeth's ambition to be king is kindled by the prophecy of the three witches. A belief in witchcraft was not uncommon during the Renaissance, and witches were usually older females. Women were considered more susceptible to the devil because they were the weaker sex. Lady Macbeth seems to believe that she must lose her feminine nature and some of the physical characteristics that make her female in order to obtain strength.
Kelcey Ponder (Emporia State University/Independent Scholar):
"The Female Dominatrix: Mrs. Otter and Her Dominion"
Nathan Probasco (The University of Nebraska, Lincoln):
"Elizabeth I, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and the Struggle with Spain"
As Anglo-Spanish tensions heightened during the late sixteenth century, Sir Humphrey Gilbert presented Queen Elizabeth I with two remarkable documents on how she might “annoy” the King of Spain, Philip II. Gilbert suggested plundering the Spanish treasure fleet en route, which was the first reference to such an attack, and entreated the queen to grant him letters patent for discovery to disguise the offensive. Almost immediately, Elizabeth issued Gilbert his patent for “this jorney for discovery or …conquest.” Though neither Gilbert’s 1578 nor his 1583 voyage reached fruition and both were shrouded in secrecy, I will argue that his anti-Spanish proposals were quite revolutionary. I will also underscore his cooperation with Elizabeth to elaborate upon her involvement in a heretofore underemphasized Spanish bullion seizure scheme.
William Rampone, Jr. (South Carolina State University):
"Sexuality and Eroticism in Robert Greene's Gwydonius. The Carde of Fancie"
Gwydonius. The Carde of Fancie most closely approximates what literary critics consider a bildungsroman which defines a "novel of formation." "The subject of these novels is the development of the protagonist's mind and character, as he passes from childhood through varied experiences--and usually through a spiritual crisis--into maturity and the recognition of his identity and role in the world." Gwydonius epitomizes the concept of the prodigal who refuses to listen to paternal advice and sets out on his own to learn about life. In the course of Gwydnius' maturation period, he and Valericus constantly "beseige" Castania with all of their rhetorical protestations of affection in order to win her love or at gain access to her sexuality.
Timothy Raylor (Carleton College):
"Marvell's Musical Dialogues"
Marvell’s “dialogues” have generally been regarded as falling below his high standards. This presentation argues that they can best be approached by taking seriously the widely accepted view that they were written to be set to music. This involves approaching them as libretti, rather than strictly as poems, and with some understanding of the conventions of the musical “dialogues” that flourished, under Italian influence, in seventeenth-century England.
Helaine Razovsky (Northwestern State University):
"Drama, Divorce, and Rebellion in Early Seventeenth-Century England"
A number of plays that build on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet comment through drama on the concept of rebellion against the patriarchy. Romeo and Juliet itself presents the reader with more than one layer of rebellion: the topmost layer is the unvoiced but enacted rebellion of Romeo and Juliet against the wishes of their parents; beneath that layer is the rebellion of the Montagues and Capulets against the wishes of their Prince. The plays that build on Romeo and Juliet reveal the changing attitude toward rebellion that is also expressed in pamphlets debating the justification for taking up arms against the King as well as John Milton’s Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce.
Raychel Reiff (University of Wisconsin, Superior):
"Hamlet's Birthright: The Vicious Mole-Ghost"
Although critics have described Hamlet's tragic flaw as his inability to act, Shakespeare shows that Hamlet's tragedy is caused by an external "vicious mole of nature," the Ghost. Twice Shakespeare links the "mole" to The Ghost in the opening act. First, the Ghost appears just as Hamlet is ruminating aobut fatal "moles," thus implying a relationship between the two, a connection strengthened when the Ghost tells Hamlet that he has an absolute, inherited duty to avenge his murder. The connection becomes even stronger when Hamlet addresses the Ghost as "old mole" later in the scene. Dutiful Hamlet is thus forced to destroy evil by killing Claudius, but he remains an honorable character with no internal flaw, morally pure to the end.
Mark Reuter (University of Nebraska--Lincoln ):
"Queen Elizabeth I: Mistress of Rivals"
In the history of England, Elizabeth I was the first queen to break with the traditional role of a female monarch in refusing to marry and ruling on her own. While her decision forced her subjects into new roles and attitudes, it also required Elizabeth to use new methods to manage her counselors and courtiers. Instead of trusting both military and civil power with her nobles, Elizabeth tended to use more commoners in her civil government and nobles for military posts. The rivalry between William Cecil and Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, demonstrates most effectively the methods by which Elizabeth maintained control over her royal prerogatives and government.
Hillary Reyes (Texas State University ):
"Fairy-Tales and Spenser's The Faerie Queene: Exploring the realm of Faerie land in Spenser's Epic"
Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene plays with the realm of Faerie Land and the normalized conceptions of what makes a Fairy-story. The structural design seems to be based upon the traditional fairytale. Sir Calidore is on a quest in pursuit of a monster, he defeats the villain Crudor in battle, and rescues Pastorella, and Pastorella turns out to be the daughter of a nobleman. Many Books in The Faerie Queene fit the mold of a Fairy-Tale; however, Book VI presents a rich and complex pattern of imagery, incident, and allegory that typifies what a Fairy-Tale is. I would like to explore the different critical interpretations of what a Fairy-Tale is and how Spenser’s Book VI conforms to and breaks the rules of Faerie-land. I will have to compare Book VI to other Fairy-stories in order to do this.
Paige Reynolds (University of Central Arkansas):
"Judging Elizabeth I: Virtue and Vulnerability in Robert Greene's Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay"
Robert Greene’s Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (1589) appeals to Elizabeth I’s self-consciousness regarding judgment—both her judging and her being judged. As a celebration of English national identity, the play praises Elizabeth’s virtues. As evident in her own speeches and prayers, however, the queen realized that as the object of praise, she was also the subject of appraisal. Greene’s play reminds Elizabeth that her position is a precarious one by persistently juxtaposing vulnerability with virtue when it comes to England—both the nation and the monarch.
Holly Schullo (Louisiana State University, Eunice):
""Death's Duel‚" and Images of the Tomb: Or,"
The trope of the tomb is not uncommon in the works of Renaissance poets Donne, Marvell, Jonson, Vaughan, and more. How each poet views the tomb is worth investigating as a reflection not only of their material culture, but also the poets’ attitudes toward death that reflect their own milieu.
Perhaps, the biggest key to Donne’s work lies in reading his tomb iconography. To understand how Donne viewed the tomb, it is necessary to see first that he viewed the body as a text, which belonged to God. And second, how he read the tomb in terms of the womb is quite different compared to a writer like Marvell or Vaughan. Donne believed that God would reinscribe us in the tomb, thereby resurrecting us, and that the tomb was only a portal, like the womb, to spiritual salvation.
Stephanie Shultz (Northwestern State University, Natchitoches):
"Emasculation, Apprenticeship, and Disease: The Perils of Social Mobility in Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle"
Within Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Rafe, is intrinsically linked to his title role, which casts him into a highly phallic, but simultaneously emasculated role. Throughout the play, George the Citizen, repeatedly attempts to emasculate his apprentice, Rafe, through sexual references, which cast him in a submissive position and through references to his status as lower class and powerless, which invoke the instability of the apprentice’s position in Renaissance England. Through the parody of casting Rafe in the play as a knight who has no real authority, George reminds his apprentice of the power he has over him to determine the apprentice’s economic future and thus the power he will potentially garner.
Brandie Siegfried (Brigham Young University):
"Elizabeth's Philosophical Head: Literary Adoption and Eccentric Identity in the Speeches, Poems, and Letters"
Frequently referring to her status as “head” of State, or Church, or Commonwealth in her speeches, letters, and poems, Elizabeth Tudor often coaxed the term into its other avatar, so that it simultaneously invoked the mind, intelligence, knowledge. In her speech to Parliament, March 29, 1585, for instance, Elizabeth publically acknowledges her reputation for having “many studies, but most philosophical.” Coming hard on the heels of the abrupt reminder to her listeners that she was the “overruler” of the Church, what follows is perhaps a somewhat surprising rhetorical strategy. “I suppose that few (that be no professors) have read more,” she claims, then continues, “And I need not tell you that I am so simple that I understand not, nor so forgetful that I remember not. And amid my many volumes, I hope God’s Book hath not been my seldomest lectures.” She is “head” not simply because God had made her so, but because she had bothered to absorb the knowledge of the great philosophers and historians of antiquity. In this paper I develop a discussion of how Elizabeth followed a particular pattern of stitching classical literary allusions to biblical stories, a tendency that illustrates on a small scale what Remi Brague noted on the larger scale of early modern European identity. Without an indigenous ancient literature to turn to for nationalistic purposes, like most of Europe, English thinkers turned to the Roman literary tradition (made up of the Judeo-Christian and the classical Greek cannons) for a broader sense of identity as a people – a tradition not of inheritance but of adoption. This “eccentric” mode of dealing with political concerns in relation to a non-indigenous tradition creates a peculiarly ample set of opportunities for preserving certain “freedoms” in relation to social order. Republicans and royalists alike would later turn to Elizabeth as an icon for the polity precisely because, in adopting the predecessors of her choice, she modeled both positions in her own rhetoric.
Katie Sisneros (University of Nebraska, Lincoln):
"Fearing the "Turban'd Turk": Representations of Turks in English Renaissance Broadside Ballads"
This paper brings together current work on the representation of Turks in early modern England with the scholarship on broadside ballad publication, examining broadside ballads as a mechanism for transporting Turkish representations throughout England. I examine a number of broadside ballads and their use of the term “Turk,” exploring how they helped perpetuate fears and stereotypes projected on the Turk. The emotions that were incited by longer narratives were distilled and intensified by broadsides that incorporated “Turk” in their ballads. An investigation of Turks in English broadside ballads will help us move toward a fuller understanding of the precarious position of Turks in the common English imagination.
Kinda Skea (Kansas University, Lawrence):
"Susanna Bell: The Travels and Travails of a Puritan Woman In England and America 1604-1673"
In 1634, thirty year old Susanna Bell, heavy with child and leading another small child by the hand boarded a ship leaving from England for the British-American colony of Massachusetts. Little did she know that her new life would lead her to America and back again to England, and along the way, interface with some of the most influential leaders in 17th century England and America. Susanna would witness some of the momentous events of the century. Susanna’s life is important because her self-revelation provides a rare insight into the everyday life and conflicts of a Puritan woman.
Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler (Texas State University, San Marcos):
" 'Listen and Save': Polishing the Mirror in Paradise Lost"
The reformed logic of the sixteenth-century educational reformer Petrus Ramus radically reconceptualized the traditional view of rhetorical invention as a logical process designed to actualize the essence of things. This process required the testing of intuition against real and often concrete measures in the world, including verbal and written interactions with others. Thus, relationships with others become a crucial part of the process of actualizing what is, which we may understand as the essence of divine creation that makes anything what it is. In Paradise Lost, the relationship of Adam and Eve develops according to this essential Ramist principle.
LaRue Love Sloan (University of Louisiana, Monroe):
"Anticipating Milton: Adam, Eve, and Incest in Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore"
Ford’s Giovanni and Isabella anticipate Milton’s famous duo in linking excessive male desire for the female to incest. Ford foregrounds issues debated by Nominalists and Universalists: the apparent necessity for sibling incest among Adam and Eve’s offspring, the pair’s own sibling relationship as children of the same Father, and Adam’s “birthing” of and subsequent coupling with the woman he identifies as “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 3: 23). Milton alludes to this debate by using Genesis 3:23 as the basis for the “bond of nature” that draws Adam to the fallen Eve, resulting in the overwhelming inflaming of his sexual ardor. Ford also anticipates Milton in his representation of patriarchal response to defilement of the male by excessive sexual desire.
Randi Marie Smith (University of Florida):
"Like Will To Like: Interior Likeness and Relationships in Fulwell and Shakespeare."
Currently, no one has looked critically at the possibility that Shakespeare was influenced by the moral interludes of the 1550’s. Though no concrete evidence exists that Shakespeare saw any of these interludes, the probability that he did not is slim given his family's early wealth. Here, I will argue that significant similarities exist in the use of “like” and its ability to describe character relationships in Ulpian Fulwell’s Like Will to Like (1587) and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1594-1596?) and All’s Well that Ends Well (1602-1606?). I want to examine the way that many characters’ relationships are established and clarified through similarities in speech and manner, literally like to like.
Nigel Smith (Princeton University):
"Marvell's Beliefs and Marvell's Religious Poetry"
Commentary on Marvell's religious poetry has not caught up with new information concerning the heterodox texts in his father's library and the anti-clericalism of his later life. This paper takes issue with some recent readings that locate Marvell's religious lyrics among the concerns of early 17th-century sacred poetry, and offers a new way of reading these poems in the context of the rise of 'rational' religion. Particular attention will be given to “Eyes and Tears.”
Dawn St. Clare (University of Oklahoma):
"Goats - Not Broomsticks: The Conflation of Heresy and Sin in the Iconography of The Witch by Albrecht Dürer"
While today the goat is commonly associated with feta cheese and as being a comical barnyard mischief-maker, in the sixteenth century, the goat was associated with vices such as lust and sins as horrific as devil-worship. The contrast is an important one if we are to fully appreciate the symbolism of Albrecht Dürer’s choice of a goat in his engraving entitled The Witch, 1501. In this work we see Dürer introduce visual stereotypes that followed the contemporary written descriptions of women who had been seduced by Satan to become his servant – a witch. These written documents included treatises on theological ideas focusing initially on heresies and later on the resulting inquisitions and trials. In this paper I will focus on the multifaceted and nefarious significance of the goat and how the iconography of the witch is enhanced by its presence.
This more comprehensive examination of Dürer’s image reveals that the goat, mentioned in most scholarly research in reference to the association with the astrological sign of Capricorn, presents an even richer symbolic meaning in this engraving. This image would have provided the Renaissance viewer with a potent reminder of the evils of witchcraft. As the iconography of witchcraft developed through the Renaissance, it became just as sophisticated as the iconography of Christian saints. Thus, these images provided Renaissance society with witch imagery as an object of derision just as saint imagery provided examples of virtue. Both were didactic and destined to survive for centuries.
Louis Charles Stagg (Professor Emeritus, University of Memphis):
"Best Monster, Worst Monster: Gardner's Grendel vs Shakespeare's Caliban"
Grendel here, bleeding, after Dragon Killer Beowulf tore off my arm. I escaped, but now forest animals watch me die. This after I helped Unferth survive a duel, and tried to work with others at Hrothgar's castle. Only a dragon's protective spell kept them from killing me. And I only devoured the bodies and blood of bad guys.
Caliban ran his island until Prospero arrived, enslaved him, and kept him from populating the isle with little Calibans via daughter Miranda. Prosper and Ariel crushed an attempt of his with moon-god friends Trinculo and Stephano to overthrow them, but then they gave everything back to him, improved, when all humans left for Italy.
Rewarded by the one he tried to destroy, but I'm dying!
Brian Steele (Texas Tech University):
"Titian, Clarice Strozzi, and Pictorial Intelligence"
I examine the unconscious pictorial understanding by which Titian constructed intellectually engaging paintings through the lens of his 1542 Clarice Strozzi, said to constitute a state portrait of a child represented as a child. In fact, he evokes aspects of her anticipated role of wife, as can be inferred from iconographic elements. Titian suggests but does not define meaning by dispersing significance away from the principal figure. Compared with other of his works, the portrait exemplifies characteristic pictorial approaches used by Titian to imply potential significance in details and, in the process, to harmonize surface and illusory space in a manner that recasts achievements of his forebears Giovanni and Jacopo Bellini.
David Strong (University of Texas, Tyler):
"The Oppositional Forces of Donne's and Crashaw's Poetics"
Defined by its brevity and metaphoric innovation, metaphysical poetry centers on dramatic situations where startling or shocking conceits invite the reader to ponder love from a distinct perspective. The specific love overlapping in Donne’s “Elegy 6: Nature’s Lay Idiot” and Crashaw’s “The Flaming Heart” starts with an emphasis upon an intellectual realization which gives way to a transcendent understanding. However, this understanding necessitates neither a reciprocal attraction nor physical connection between the two. Because this desire rejects worldly constraints, literary techniques such as paradox, synaesthesia, and unconventional images best describe this transformation. Each poem draws upon specialized areas of knowledge, such as law, medicine, and religion, to depict their speaker’s struggle to gain an elevated awareness.
Even though the love sought differs significantly between the speakers, this essay asserts that each one realizes these metaphysical heights in a similar way. Both claim that physical need does not motivate their initial appeal, but rather respond to the spoken word as the impetus. These utterances create a discernible framework for each one to submit himself to the lover, ultimately resulting in a kind of ecstasy. In Donne’s poem, the speaker opens his plea by recalling the first time he encountered his desired one.
I had not taught thee then, the alphabet
Of flowers, how they devisefully being set
And bound up, might with speechless secrecy
Deliver errand mutely and mutually (9-12)
It becomes immediately apparent that the woman has failed to recognize the speaker’s tokens of affection because she has not yet been “taught.” Courting, then, rests not upon the exchange of material gifts, but of ideas. The use of “might” to describe the receipt of this knowledge underscores the questionable state of mutual interest. However, it is still enough for the speaker to generate ethereal ideals of who and what she is. Within this cerebral context, he enters into a created reality more conducive to the kind of transcendence he truly desires. Thus, an intellectual awakening operates as the primary means of gaining fulfillment.
Josh Thompson (Mississippi State University):
"'The air is cold, [but] sleep is sweetest now: Ordering Desire at Dawn in Christopher Marlowe's Ovid's Elegies"
Throughout Ovid’s Elegies, Marlowe presents a self-proclaimed poet-lover willfully mired within his imaginary order rather than advancing into the symbolic order. Following his near-erotic experience in elegy 1.5, the narrator repeatedly finds himself confronted by the complicated dialectic of self and other. He experiences sensations of jouissance with his lover, Corinna; however, the experience falls short of eroticism because he undergoes no lasting psychic change. He recognizes the other, and he briefly finds a broader world view through his poetry, but he nevertheless clings to notions of conventional ideology (imaginary order). The narrator first wrestles with night and day—images representative of the complicated intersection of the imaginary and symbolic orders—in elegy 1.13, Ad Auroram. As Marlowe illustrates through variations of “light” and “dark” imagery throughout Ovid’s Elegies, the narrator struggles most in the liminal space between his night and day—the imaginary and symbolic orders.
Emma Tomingas-Hatch (University of Louisiana, Lafayette):
"Virtuous Passion: A Comparison of Cross-Dressing Episodes in Sidney's New Arcadia and Spenser's The Faerie Queene"
Sidney’s New Arcadia (1593) and Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1596) are both Renaissance romances that feature cross-dressing as a plot device. In New Arcadia, Pyrocles disguises himself as an Amazonian woman, and in The Faerie Queene, Britomart dresses like a knight. Both do so in order to find and be near the person they love. Sidney and Spenser use these stories to paint a picture for the reader of the different kinds of action and of passion. Britomart and Pyrocles literally go on a journey to find their love, but first they must triumph over hindrances in themselves and others, in order to learn about the nature of love and passion.
Jacqueline Vanhoutte (University of North Texas):
"Age in Love"
The modern critical focus on Elizabeth's superannuated sexuality often produces the odd impression that she had grown old alone. Until 1598, however, the most powerful courtiers were the Queen’s contemporaries; and, if Lyly’s court drama offers any indication, the figure of the aging courtier/lover was more unsettling to contemporaries than that of the aging queen. Lyly’s boy actors highlight the question of age-appropriate behavior. In his plays, age does not wither the queen’s appeal but it does place the men around her in positions unbecoming to their years. This concern with superannuated male sexuality informs other powerful accounts of court life, including Shakespeare’s revisionist Antony and Cleopatra (1606-1607).
Marco Versiero (Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale - Italy):
"From the Lady with an ermine to the Battle of Anghiari: some political implications in Leonardo's activity as a painter"
Leonardo’s supposed extraneousness to any political belief is contradicted by his artistic career, which reveals an interest in the field of political allegory. While his drafted allegories propose an often undoubted political meaning, because of their actual employment, in the case of his paintings – both the survived and the lost ones – it is more difficult to recognize a possible political value. My aim is to illustrate some political interpretations for a group of Leonardo’s paintings, so as sometimes postulated by Leonardo’s scholars. Their efforts focused some important considerations regarding the conceptual content of these works but a valuation of their correspondences with Leonardo’s thought still remains unpractised.
Nicholas von Maltzahn (University of Ottawa):
Marvell’s first published work was parody, his last animadversions. The genres bespeak the intimate, intricate, often adversarial character of much of the rest of his writing. Readily as Marvell stages debates within himself—we see this in his lyric poetry, in his correspondence, and in his prose works—he is as often engaged in debate with others, in a way that Kantian or, in Anglo-American tradition, more especially Paterian and later New Critical studies largely chose to overlook. The strangely lasting legacy of Eliot’s emphasis on “tradition” has been a critical undervaluing of the adversarial aspect of Marvell’s poetry, which this paper reads as a prelude to his more obviously agonistic satires and prose works in the Restoration.
Kristen Post Walton (Salisbury University):
"'The Plot of the Devouring Lyons': The 'Divelish conspiracy' of Arthur Pole and Elizabethan Politics"
In February of 1563, the case of Arthur Pole and his co-conspirators was brought in front of the Court of the King’s Bench. Pole, his brother, and his brother-in-law had consulted with seers, corresponded with French leaders, and planned an invasion of England in the Autumn of 1562. Pole desired to replace Elizabeth I with her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, who he would marry to his younger brother. This plot, foiled at one of the most precarious moments in Elizabeth’s reign, while she was near death suffering from smallpox, was talked about and at the front of the minds of MPs when they arrived in Parliament the following January. Addressing questions of witchcraft, Catholicism, and succession, the plot itself contributed to the great discussions and legislative acts of the 1563 Parliament. This plot has been overlooked by most historians, but its historiographical importance perhaps outweighs the attention that it has received to date. In this talk, I will tie the case of the conspiracy of Arthur Pole to questions of witchcraft, religion, and succession in the 1563 Parliament.
Retha Warnicke (Arizona State University):
"Was Lettice, countess of Leicester, Elizabeth's 'She-Wolf?'"
Ambassadors left numerous records often with inaccuracies that historians regularly accept as valid. By examining other evidence, it can be determined that Bernardino de Mendoza forwarded incorrect information in 1583. Mendoza falsely reported that Elizabeth told Scottish agents Lady Leicester was a she-wold,” believing that Leicester tried to match his wife’s daughter by the earl of Essex with James VI. Mendoza also claimed Leicester and others forced Elizabeth to aid the earl of Gowrie, the abductor of James but she refused. Mendoza’s inaccuracies raise questions about the validity of other diplomatic evidence utilized for Elizabeth’s reign.
Joan Wedes (University of Houston, Clear Lake):
"Jewish / Muslim Partnership Plays and Shakespeare's Othello"
The essay "Jewish / Muslim Partnership Plays and Shakespeare’s Othello" examines issues of religious conversion and how these concerns may have entered into Othello. In particular it posits that the character Iago, whose motivation has been an ongoing mystery among scholars, may have been a representation of a Marrano Jew entering into a partnership with the Christianized Muslim, the Morisco, Othello. The essay further shows how Jewish / Muslim partnership plays were common at the time of the first staging of Othello and suggests how stage iconography borrowed from the morality tradition and previous plays were infused in Iago’s character to represent stereotyped Jewish traits.
Bridget Whelan (University of Louisiana, Lafayette):
"To Sleep, Perchance to Procreate--Comparison between Spenser's Chrysogene and the tales of Sleeping Beauty"
This paper will compare the figure of Chrysogene from Spenser’s The Faerie Queene with two early versions of Sleeping Beauty: “L’histoire de Troylus et de la belle Zellandine,” a 14th century version from the French romance Perceforest; and Giambattista Basile’s 1634 edition, “Sun, Moon, and Talia.” Why is the prince absent from Chrysogene’s tale? Why is the male child, Sun, replaced with another girl? Why, too, is Chrysogene never allowed to see her children? These are the questions for which this paper will provide insight. Ultimately, we will see how Spenser’s casual treatment of Chrysogene indicates that he deviates from the original intentions of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale: to warn women of the horrible realities of forced matrimony.
James Whitmer (Northeastern State University):
"Tragedy in Macbeth: The King James Doomsday Scenario"
The play Macbeth is a masterpiece that tells an engaging story and also serves as a tribute to King James, for it appeals to his greatest passions. Indeed, Shakespeare goes far beyond the Scottish backdrop by setting up a plot consisting of issues and instances of great interest to King James: his assertion of the divinity of kings and their right to rule, his experience with attempts on his life, his expertise on witchcraft, and his distaste for seditious prophecy and equivocation. These elements are expressed in nearly every major character and event in the play to contribute to a unified vision – that of a doomsday scenario that shows the folly of defying the implications of all of King James’s personal beliefs and experiences.
Lori Witzel (St. Edward's University):
"Expanding the Frame of Reference: The Frame Tale, Giotto, and Boccaccio"
Late medieval fresco painting and late medieval literature drew content from shared cultural sources. Could popular literary forms have influenced late medieval visual art, and could those same forms—now filtered through visual arts—have played a role in subsequent late medieval literature? In this paper, I will consider the relationship of one such popular form, the frame tale, to the work of Giotto and Boccaccio. Could Giotto’s Scrovegni Chapel have influenced Boccaccio’s approach to the frame tale? This paper will show how these works drew on similar elements, forms, and techniques to achieve their ends, using an interdisciplinary approach to delineate the interconnectivity between medieval visual “framed tales” and written frame tales.
Tara Wood (University of Nebraska--Lincoln):
"Imagining the Queen and England"
This paper will assess some of the 180 dedications in the printed books dedicated to Elizabeth I. These dedications offer rich ground for contributing to the understanding of early modern English politics, gender, and identity. The Renaissance dedication was not simply an elaborate piece of flattery to the Queen, but also served a variety of purposes. The authors pursued patronage, but also used the dedication as a platform for advice and persuasion. These members of the English political nation who dedicated their work to the Queen grappled with gender issues as represented in the body of a female monarch. As a result, many of these authors developed ideas of the commonwealth and modern citizenship, while expanding the notion of counsel to the Queen.