Public Forms, Private Lives: Genre and Gender in Early Modern England (NeMLA seminar, Mar 15-18, 2012) deadline Sept 30
What happens when the boundaries between the public and the private are blurred? When private rituals are displayed publicly onstage? When texts produced in aristocratic coterie circles are published for a wider audience to see? When women publish?
In this NeMLA seminar (March 15-18, 2012, in Rochester, NY), we seek to examine how such intersections as these between the public and private, and in particular those that concern gender, are articulated in a range of early modern English texts. What anxieties and opportunities result? How do different cultural practices acquire new meanings in new formal or material contexts? We are especially interested in how questions of form and genre might inform our consideration of the borders between the public and private. Motivated by a renewed scholarly interest in form, one which is inflected by the various historical methodologies employed both since and after the heyday of new historicism, we hope that our work in the seminar will illuminate cultural responses to the questions that negotiating the public and private might raise and even how those responses vary based on genre. We also hope our work will make strides in illuminating and perhaps even defining the historicity of form.
Please note that we will follow a seminar format similar to those held at the Shakespeare Association of America annual meetings. Our seminar's 6-10 participants will complete and circulate their papers of no more than12-15 pages prior to the convention, and each participant may be asked to compose and exchange a brief written response to another's work. Instead of reading papers at the convention, participants will have an opportunity to briefly situate their work in relation to the seminar's themes and the majority of the time will be dedicated to a broader, structured exchange among all participants. Respondents may be invited by the organizers.