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Deanna Smid

In The Imagination in Early Modern English Literature, Deanna Smid presents a literary, historical account of imagination in early modern English literature, paying special attention to its effects on the body, to its influence on women, to its restraint by reason, and to its ability to create novelty. An early modern definition of imagination emerges in the work of Robert Burton, Francis Bacon, Edward Reynolds, and Margaret Cavendish. Smid explores a variety of literary texts, from Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveler to Francis Quarles’s Emblems, to demonstrate the literary consequences of the early modern imagination. The Imagination in Early Modern English Literature insists that, if we are to call an early modern text “imaginative,” we must recognize the unique characteristics of early modern English imagination, in all its complexity.


Edited by Karl A.E. Enenkel and Anita Traninger

Throughout the early modern period, the nymph remained a powerful figure that inspired and informed the cultural imagination in many different ways. Far from being merely a symbol of the classical legacy, the nymph was invested with a surprisingly broad range of meanings. Working on the basis of these assumptions, and thus challenging Aby Warburg’s famous reflections on the nympha that both portrayed her as cultural archetype and reduced her to a marginal figure, the contributions in this volume seek to uncover the multifarious roles played by nymphs in literature, drama, music, the visual arts, garden architecture, and indeed intellectual culture tout court, and thereby explore the true significance of this well-known figure for the early modern age.

Contributors: Barbara Baert, Mira Becker-Sawatzky, Agata Anna Chrzanowska, Karl Enenkel, Wolfgang Fuhrmann, Michaela Kaufmann, Andreas Keller, Eva-Bettina Krems, Damaris Leimgruber, Tobias Leuker, Christian Peters, Christoph Pieper, Bernd Roling, and Anita Traninger.


Edited by Carmine G. Di Biase

The relationship between travel and translation might seem obvious at first, but to study it in earnest is to discover that it is at once intriguing and elusive. Of course, travelers translate in order to make sense of their new surroundings; sometimes they must translate in order to put food on the table. The relationship between these two human compulsions, however, goes much deeper than this. What gets translated, it seems, is not merely the written or the spoken word, but the very identity of the traveler. These seventeen essays—which treat not only such well-known figures as Martin Luther, Erasmus, Shakespeare, and Milton, but also such lesser known figures as Konrad Grünemberg, Leo Africanus, and Garcilaso de la Vega—constitute the first survey of how this relationship manifests itself in the early modern period. As such, it should be of interest both to scholars who are studying theories of translation and to those who are studying “hodoeporics”, or travel and the literature of travel.

Writing the Early Modern English Nation

The Transformation of National Identity in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England


Edited by Herbert Grabes

While there is overwhelming evidence that nationalism reached its peak in the later nineteenth century, views about when precisely national thinking and sentiment became strong enough to override all other forms of collective unity differ considerably. When one looks for the historical moment when the concept of the nation became a serious – and subsequently victorious – competitor to the monarchic dynasty as the most effective principle of collective unity, one must, at least for England, go back as far as the sixteenth century. The decisive change occurred when a split between the dynastic ruler and “England” could be widely conceived of and intensely felt, a split that established the nation as an autonomous – and more precious – body. Whereas such a differentiation between king and country was still imperceptible under Henry VIII, it was already an historical reality during the reign of Queen Mary.
That the most important factors in this radical change were the Reformation and the printing press is by now well known. The particular aim of this volume is to demonstrate the pivotal role of pamphleteering – and the growing importance of public opinion in a steadily widening sense – within the process of the historical emergence of the concept of the nation as a culturally and politically guiding force. When it came to the voicing of dissident opinions, above all under Queen Mary and later during the reign of King James and Charles I, the printed pamphlet proved to be a far superior form of communication.
This does not mean that books played no role in the early development and dissemination of the concept of an English nation. Especially the compendious new English histories written at the time did much to support the growth of cultural identity.

Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks

In a 2013 forum published in German History , “Globalizing Early Modern German History”, I was one of five historians asked to reflect on “the ways in which early modern scholars might not only respond to but also drive forward the narratives and curricula of global history.” 1 Along with


Madeleine Harwood

The years of the witch-hunts in Early Modern England saw an uprising in the publication of literature on the subject to coincide with the obvious increase in interest among the masses. The vast majority of these works take an instructional or informative stance: discussing the religious implications of witchcraft; publishing accounts of more high-profile trials; or simply telling the tale of some strange, abhorrent or wonderful occurrences attributed to supposed witches. The period also spawned a number of more entertaining pieces - drama and balladry - that, although still a minute percentage of the dramatic literature published during those years, represent the most concentrated cluster of theatrical publications on the subject in history. The purpose of the drama seems to have been to engage, rile and strike fear into both audiences and readers of the text. This paper, therefore, intends to analyse the themes, language and stage-direction used by playwrights in the Early Modern period - namely Middleton; Heywood and Brome; and Shadwell - and to attempt to present how these authors created an atmosphere of fear, or otherwise, in relation to witchcraft in their text.


María Jesús Pando-Canteli

The Spanish Netherlands were, during the 17th century, the destination of English Catholics escaping from the restrictions of the Penal Laws. The exile of English women and the displacement of their Spanish coreligionists made difficult the adscription of cultural practices to a single national tradition. Through their intense correspondence, a complex set of alliances was created in Flanders between religious Spanish and English women. This epistolary activity contributed to permeating the imagined borders of national groups by constructing a sense of collective identities around common cultural practices. The foundation enterprise of the first English Carmel in Antwerp is a case in point that illustrates how transnational women networks managed to negotiate proper, if not always legitimate, channels of influence that indicate the fluid and ubiquitous nature of power in early modern communities.

Dying and Death

Inter-Disciplinary Perspectives


Edited by Asa Kasher

Death is a topic people are reluctant to ponder. Neither is dying a process that is usually being openly discussed. However, on a variety of occasions, dying and death are on a person’s minds, under some sensitive circumstances, he or she are eager to discuss with a close person, a friend, a professional.
The present volume, the second in the Series on Dying and Death, is meant to enrich personal experience of dying or death by providing its reader with knowledge and understanding of some aspects of dying or death.
Section 1 describes practices of mourning, in different times and places: USA during the Civil War ( Ashley Byock), the Island of Viz, between Croatia and Italy ( Kathleen Young), present day Israel ( Asa Kasher), medieval Serbia ( Mira Crouch) and post-Holocaust USA ( Paula David).
Section 2 consists of reflections on mourning. It includes philosophical discussions of Friendship ( Gary Peters), Grace ( Dana Freibach-Heifetz), and the Other ( Havi Carel), all in the context of mourning, as well as Mourning itself as a skill ( Marguerite Peggy Flynn).
Section 3 brings papers on culture and suicide, in early modern Holland ( Laura Cruz), in historical Japan ( Lawrence Fouraker), as well as in the Jazz age ( Kathleen Jones).
Section 4 discusses different predicaments of medics facing death and dying: terminal diagnosis ( Angela Armstrong-Coster), palliative patients ( Anna Taube), and the hospice setting ( Elizabeth Gill).


Anita Traninger and Karl A.E. Enenkel

The nymph as a cultural sign has vanished. Having been a ubiquitous fixture in literature and art since antiquity, and culminating as a spur to the imagination and a transmitter of allegorical meanings in the early modern period, she departed sometime in the nineteenth century. But echoes remain