The English Department is pleased to announce that our 2013 Duffy Lecturer is David Fairer, Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at the University of Leeds. The 2014 Duffy Lecture will take place at 5:00 pm, Tuesday, October 7 (location TBA). A reception will follow.
Upcoming Events By Month
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
The English Department is pleased to announce its next Americanist Seminar speaker, Nan Z. Da, who joined the English faculty this year. Nan will speak on "Intransitive Transnationalisms" at 5:00 pm Tuesday, October 14, in 119 DeBartolo.
Using examples from nineteenth-century Sino-US "exchange," this talk provokes us to wonder if transnationalism, a rhetoric and methodology that depends on the consequentiality of literary-cultural contact, was a historical phenomenon that produced the very romance of literary impact. It shows there to be a logical, if paradoxical, relationship between what transnationalism makes us believe the literature of others can do, and the minimal adjustments that describes so much of transnational interactions. …
Friday, October 31, 2014
“Her Good Desire”: Margaret Cavendish, Humoral Medicine, and Early Modern Infertility
Abstract: This presentation considers a little-explored side of the prolific seventeenth-century writer Margaret Cavendish by examining medical material in the family correspondence in the Portland Collection, University of Nottingham. Writing to William Cavendish, Marquis (and later Duke) of Newcastle, with prescriptions to treat melancholy, hypochondria, impotence, and infertility, chemical Galenist Sir Theodore de Mayerne adds salutations to Margaret for “the accomplishment of her good desire” in bearing children. Margaret proved, in Mayerne’s view, a difficult patient, who insisted on following her own regimen in purging, fasting, and blood-letting. And, in the event, the couple remained childless. Nonetheless, as the final portion of the presentation will explore, Margaret productively reworks humoral concepts of balance, temperance, conception, and birth in her writings and in fashioning herself as author, issuing forth poems, plays, letters, and philosophical prose. My focus on humoral medicine and gendered infertility provides a new lens on the debated issue of the conventionality versus the proto-feminism of Cavendish’s scientific thought. …