Research and Writing the Early Modern Dissertation (seminar)
This 2021-2022 seminar, designed for writers of early modern dissertations, is directed by Joyce Chaplin, Julie Crawford, and Jenny Mann.
This program focuses on the use of primary materials available for the study of the history, culture, society, and literature of early modern Britain, Europe, and the Atlantic World, broadly conceived. Should conditions allow, participants will visit rare materials collections in the spring to explore a variety of printed and manuscript sources relevant to Ph.D. candidates in history and literature, and they will learn (with the assistance of staff at the host university libraries) essential research skills as well as strategies for working with digital resources and remediated rare materials. The goal throughout will be to foster interdisciplinary scholarship while considering broad methodological and theoretical problems relevant to current work in early modern studies, especially when working in fields that contain deliberate elisions and silences in their historical archives. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed course work and preliminary exams; they should be preparing a prospectus or beginning to write chapters. Applicants should consult with their dissertation directors before applying to ensure that their work is at a stage that would benefit from the seminar, and their directors should certify that this is the case in their recommendation letters. Those whose dissertations are substantially complete will not be competitive applicants.
Directors: Joyce E. Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University. A former Fulbright Scholar and Guggenheim Fellow, she has published five monographs, one co-authored book, and two Norton Critical Editions. She did research for her second book, Subject Matter: Technology, the Body, and Science on the Anglo-American Frontier, 1500–1676 (2001), at the Folger. Julie Crawford is the Mark van Doren Professor of Humanities in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the author of Marvelous Protestantism (2004), Mediatrix (2014), and numerous essays on authors ranging from Shakespeare to Anne Clifford and on topics ranging from the history of reading to the history of sexuality. In 2016 she taught a Folger Seminar on Cavendish and Hutchinson, and she is currently completing a book manuscript entitled “Margaret Cavendish’s Political Career." Jenny Mann is an Associate Professor of English at New York University with a joint appointment with NYU Gallatin. She has followed her first book, Outlaw Rhetoric: Figuring Vernacular Eloquence in Shakespeare’s England (2012), with The Trials of Orpheus: Poetry, Science, and the Early Modern Sublime (2021). Her new research project explores problems of self-reference in utopian literature from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century.
Alexander Batson, PhD Candidate - History, Yale University
Megan Bowman, PhD Candidate - English, Boston University
Olivia Branscum, PhD Candidate - Philosophy, Columbia University
Benjamin Card, PhD Candidate - English and Renaissance Studies, Yale University
Julia Carroll, PhD Candidate - American & New England Studies, Boston University
Jin-Woo Choi, PhD Candidate - History, Princeton University
Madison Forbes, PhD Candidate - English, Fordham University
Tess Grogan, PhD Candidate - English, Yale University
Eve Houghton, PhD Candidate - English, Yale University
Alice King, PhD Candidate - History, University of Virginia
Sarah-Gray Lesley, PhD Candidate - English, University of Chicago
Promise Li, PhD Candidate - English, Princeton University
Jessica Lugo, PhD Candidate - English, The City University of New York
Meaghan Pachay, PhD Candidate - English, The Ohio State University
Ianick Takaes de Oliveira, PhD Candidate - Art History, Columbia University
Lanier Walker, PhD Candidate - English, University of North Carolina
Madison Wolfert, PhD Candidate - English, Princeton University