CFP: [Renaissance] RSA 2009 Panel: The Work of Recusant Poetry, 1549-1700

full name / name of organization: 
Russ Leo
contact email: 
rjl11@duke.edu

Studies of Recusant writing, at least since the publication of Louis Martz’s pathbreaking study
The Poetry of Meditation in 1955, have consistently foregrounded the importance of Catholic
practices of affective devotion, introduced by Robert Southwell and his cohort, to literary
posterity. In particular, critics and historians have emphasized the influence of innovative
meditative strategies and poetic techniques evident in Jesuit writing (or, in a broader sense, in
Catholic) on Herbert, Donne, Crashaw, Vaughan, and others – to a canon of English poets
allegedly indebted to Counter-Reformation tools, styles, and practices. Recent work by Alison
Shell and Alexandra Walsham, as well as the exemplary new critical edition of Southwell’s poetry
edited by Peter Davidson and Anne Sweeney, improve our understanding of Recusant Poetry by
exploring the cross-confessional appeal of Catholic works as well as the degree to which said
works dually inform and are informed by contemporary languages of tolerance and governance.
We seek to continue this productive conversation, soliciting papers on poetry by
“Catholic”/“Romanist”/“Papist” figures (writing between 1549 and 1700) that offer further
reflection on such topics as class, status, sexuality, readership, international relations, resources,
and style – all with reference to Recusant Poetry and its own critical engagements with England
and the emergence of Tudor absolutism, intolerance, and new means of generating revenue
through taxation and appropriation of Catholic property. We particularly welcome those papers
that challenge or adapt existing theses and methods regarding the scope, varieties, audiences,
languages, influences and intellectual resources of Recusant Poetry.
Please send proposals/abstracts by March 25, 2008 to rjl11_at_duke.edu.

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Received on Wed May 21 2008 - 11:31:34 EDT

cfp categories: 
renaissance