CFP: [Renaissance] Representations of Sacred Space in Early Modern English Poetry (Proposed Special Session for MLA Con

full name / name of organization: 
Helga Luise Duncan
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Representations of Sacred Space in Early Modern English Poetry. (Proposed
Special Session for MLA Annual Convention, San Francisco 2008.) Among
early modern poets John Donne was particularly interested in space,
whether the expanse of the cosmos, the geography of distant continents,
or the layout of “little rooms.” But in his poetry he not only tried to
represent what might be termed secular terrain, he also imagined sacred
spaces: the temple, the burial site, even the human body, that “little
world made cunningly.” How did early modern English poets think about and
depict sacred space in an age when the protracted Protestantization
process was drawing to a close and England was turning away from a
culture of spatial sacralization? Emile Durkheim, Arnold van Gennep,
Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Jonathan Z. Smith have argued that sacred space
is socially constructed. How did early modern poetry discursively
construct sacred spaces? What is the relationship between genre and
poetic form, on the one hand, and the construction (or deconstruction) of
sacred space, on the other? What role did gender play in changing
conceptions of space, and how might early modern gender ideologies shape
poetic representations of sacred space? 1-2 page abstracts by March 10,
2008. Helga Duncan (

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Received on Thu Jan 24 2008 - 19:54:46 EST