‘RENAISSANCE ANIMAL THINGS’
Lecture by ERICA FUDGE, Professor of English Studies, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
THURS., APRIL 26, 2012
3:30 p.m., West Hall (WHALL) 135
Arizona State University, Tempe campus
Cake served in honor of the Bard’s 448th birthday.
Using ideas from thing theory, Fudge considers whether animal things—particularly leather and civet—can ever have agency: that is, whether they are simply inert objects or potentially powerful moving forces in culture. Her presentation will trace the ways in which these things made and unmade meaning in English Renaissance culture using current ideas from sensory studies, Renaissance theology, and natural history. “Renaissance Animal Things” moves from dog-skin gloves to animal-based perfumes and ends up with King Lear, a play in which furred gowns hide all and men are forced to smell their way to Dover, encountering Bruno Latour, Jacob and Esau, and deer along the way.
Erica Fudge’s work in animal studies is in three key areas: Renaissance Studies, human-animal interactions in contemporary culture, and the impact of animals on historiography. She has written on a range of aspects of early modern culture including the place and meaning of laughter; urination and self-control; bestiality; bear baiting; meat eating; faces, and is currently spending much of her time worrying about early seventeenth-century cows. As well as this, she will soon be embarking on a small collaborative project with a zooarchaeologist to consider whether it is possible to retrieve an understanding of the health care domestic working animals received in the early modern period. Fudge is also the director of the British Animal Studies Network: britishanimalstudiesnetwork.org.uk.
Free of charge and open to the public. Sponsored by the Department of English as part of the Renaissance Colloquium Series.
Printable flyer: english.clas.asu.edu/files/fudgeshakespeare12final.pdf
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