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Palgrave Macmillan

The Return of Theory in Early Modern English Studies, Volume II

ISBN 9781137351043
Publication Date October 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Scholars and students interested in the use of current critical theories will find this collection of original essays indispensable. A companion volume to The Return of Theory in Early Modern English Studies: Tarrying with the Subjunctive, the essays in this volume are organized into four categories: posthumanism, ecocriticism, historical phenomenology, and historicism now. Original essays by leading early modern scholars not only provide valuable insights into leading theoretical interventions, but provide close readings of key early modern texts, including Shakespearean drama, the work of Philip Sidney, George Herbert and John Donne, John Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, Margaret Cavendish's The Blazing-World, and the early modern reception of Empedocles in the work of Marlowe's Tamburlaine and others.

Paul Cefalu is Professor of English at Lafayette College, USA. His previous books include Moral Identity in Early Modern English Literature (2005), Revisionist Shakespeare: Transitional Ideologies in Texts and Contexts (2004), and Contemporary Theory and Early Modern English Literature: Sublime Objects of Theology (2007); Paul has also co-edited with Bryan Reynolds, The Return of Theory in Early Modern English Studies: Tarrying with the Subjunctive (2010).
Gary Kuchar is Associate Professor of English at the University of Victoria, Canada. He is the author of The Poetry of Religious Sorrow in Early Modern England (2008) and Divine Subjection: The Rhetoric of Sacramental Devotion in Early Modern England (2005).
Bryan Reynolds is Chancellor's Professor at UC Irvine, USA. He is the author of Transversal Subjects: From Montaigne to Deleuze after Derrida (2009), Transversal Enterprises in the Drama of Shakespeare and his Contemporaries: Fugitive Explorations (2006), Performing Transversally: Reimagining Shakespeare and the Critical Future (2003), and Becoming Criminal: Transversal Performance and Cultural Dissidence in Early Modern England (2002).

Notes on the Contributors
1. It's (for) you; or, the tele-t/r/opical post-human; Julian Yates
2. Margaret Cavendish and the Creation, Publishing, and Empowering of Subjectivity in the Blazing World; Dan Mills
3. The Bee and the Sovereign (II): Segments, Swarms, and the Early Modern Multitude, Joseph Campana
4. Early Modern Ecocriticism; Ken Hiltner
5. Horticulture of the Head: The Vegetable Life of Hair in Early Modern English Thought; Edward Geisweidt
6. The Private Lives of Trees and Flowers; Douglas Trevor
7. Shakespearean Softscapes: Hospitality, Phenomenology, Design; Julia Reinhard Lupton
8. Describing the Sense of Confession in Hamlet; Matthew J. Smith
9. '''Tis insensible, then?': Language and Action in 1 Henry IV'; James A. Knapp
10. ''We Prove Mysterious by This Love': John Donne and the Intimacy of Flesh; Christopher Stokes
11. Milton, Habermas, and the Dynamics of Debate; James Kuzner
12. 'Copious Measures': The Sidney Psalms and the Meaning of Abundance; Kenneth Graham
13. The Empedoclean Renaissance; Drew Daniel

Julian Yates, University of Delaware, USA
Dan Mills, Clayton State University, USA
Joseph Campana, Rice University, USA
Ken Hiltner, University of California, USA
Edward Geisweidt, University of New Haven, USA
Douglas Trevor, University of Michigan, USA
Julia Reinhard Lupton, University of California, USA
Matthew J. Smith, Azusa Pacific University, USA
James A. Knapp, Loyola University of Chicago, USA
Christopher Stokes, National University of Ireland, Ireland
James Kuzner, Brown University, USA
Kenneth Graham, University of Waterloo, Canada
Drew Daniel, The Johns Hopkins University, USA


"For a bracing survey of theoretical developments in the field—something one would need if she or he had been absorbed in some particular project for five or ten years without minding the critical discourse of the moment—nothing is more economical than the second volume of The Return of Theory in Early Modern English Studies, edited by Paul Cefalu, Gary Kuchar, and Bryan Reynolds, the successor to a similar book edited by Cefalu and Reynolds in 2010. The challenge of such a collection, of course, is that the contributors must produce an essay of literary analysis while discussing the theory it adapts, without reifying the latter too much or lapsing into predictability (because after all, 'theory' in a title like this usually means 'theory with which the reader is already familiar'). I am glad to report that the thirteen chapters here mostly avoid these dangers, led by Julia Reinhard Lupton's luminous essay that brings 'affordance theory, scenography, and architecture and urbanism' into conversation with 'the spaces traveled and tested by Shakespearean drama' (p. 146) and Drew Daniel's turn to Empedocles as an alternative model to the Lucretian Renaissance described in much recent work." — Roland Greene, SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
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