Religious Figures in Post-Reformation English Literature

deadline for submissions: 
July 27, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Joshua Phillips/University of Memphis
contact email: 

Religious Figures in Post-Reformation English Literature

For a proposed panel at RSA 2019 (Toronto, 17 -19 March) 

The religious— monks, nuns, and friars—occupied an important place in Medieval literature, as objects of scorn and veneration. Those literary figures existed, for their readers, in a dialectical relation with the real religious who lived throughout Britain. But what happens to such literary figuration once the social existence of the religious comes to an end? One might expect them to be used solely for satire and vituperation, made evil, lecherous, and buffoonish. The reality, however, is more complex. In post-Reformation English plays, poetry and fiction, the religious are depicted in ways that shed light on the conflicting attitudes towards the ascetic life as well as on the nature of Renaissance figuration itself. 


Papers are sought that explore the literary representations of the religious between 1540 and 1660. Topics might include: Shakespeare's religious; nuns and female community; ascetic life and literary copia; monuments and nostalgia; the religious and characterization; medieval legacies; religious figures and the meaning of nations; etc.


Please send proposals, including a title (15-word maximum); a one-page c.v. (up to 300 words); abstract for proposed paper (up to 150 words); list of five keywords; and AV requirements to Joshua Phillips ( by July 27, 2018