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Material Texts: Wendy Wall (Northwestern), “What’s the Matter with Hester Pulter? Or, Salvation, Materiality, Poetics, and Cosmology in a 17th-Century Manuscript”
Monday, February 12, 2018 - 5:15pm to 7:00pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion in the Kislak Center
6th Floor of Van-Pelt Library

We will be welcoming Wendy Wall for a talk entitled: “What’s the Matter with Hester Pulter? Or, Salvation, Materiality, Poetics, and Cosmology in a 17th-Century Manuscript.” Wendy writes:

In 1996, a seventeenth-century Englishwoman’s manuscript came to light, having lain largely unknown for over three hundred years. Hester Pulter’sPoems Breathed Forth by the Noble Hadassas includes over one hundred poems that tour the reader through natural philosophy, cosmology, war, politics, death, animal lore, plant life, and faith. Pulter’s interest in transmutations of human form and the physical world reveal an unusual investment in the powerful mobility of matter and a key matrix through which she investigates faith, being, making, and poetic craft. How, I ask, might this recently discovered manuscript, both in its content and material features, shed light on women’s intellectual production in early modern England? 

Wendy Wall is Director of the Alice Kapan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University, where she is also Avalon Professor for the Humanities, Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, and a professor of early modern literature in the English Department. She is author of The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English RenaissanceStaging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern DramaRecipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen, and numerous articles on early modern literature and culture. In addition to working with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, she is currently President of the Shakespeare Association of America.