The Folger Institute is pleased to announce our 2018-2019 cohort of Long-term Fellows. This year we will welcome seven long-term scholars to the Folger: Patricia Akhimie, Liza Blake, Heidi Craig, Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto, Douglas M. Lanier, Simon Newman, and Isaac Stephens.
For the 2018-19 fellowship year, the Folger Institute is especially pleased to announce four fellowships with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and its Grants for Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions (FPIRI). This program, which is so critical to humanists around the United States, is administered by independent centers for advanced study, libraries, and museums in the United States, and sponsors fellowships that provide scholars with research time, a stimulating intellectual environment, and access to resources that might otherwise not be available to them. The Folger is proud to work with the NEH on these endeavors. Our 2018-2019 NEH fellows are Patricia Akhimie (Rutgers University-Newark), Liza Blake (University of Toronto), Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto (University of Pennsylvania), and Isaac Stephens (University of Mississippi).
Dr. Patricia Akhimie is Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark, where she teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, and early modern women’s travel writing. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World (Routledge, 2018). She is co-editor, with Bernadette Andrea, of Travel and Travail: Early Modern Women, English Drama, and the Wider World (University of Nebraska Press, 2018).
During the fellowship, Akhimie will work on a new book manuscript, Leaving Home: Early Modern Women’s Travel. This work will entail an examination of Folger sources including manuscript travel diaries and letters, such as Henry Belasyse’s “A voyage or journey from London into France” (Folger G.a.5), as well as rare examples of expense reports, travel licenses, and passports like the one signed by Elizabeth I for Thomas Knevet of Norfolk (Folger Z.c.24 (23)), and ars apodemica (art of travel) treatises such as Sir Thomas Palmer’s 1606 treatise, An essay of the meanes hovv to make our trauailes (Folger STC 19156). These sources will help to paint a broad and informative picture of travel for both men and women in the period, and to situate women’s travel in relation to a larger discourse of travel in the early modern period, a discourse in which women’s travel was not often deemed necessary or even desirable.
Dr. Liza Blake is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto. She has co-edited (with Jacques Lezra) the essay collection Lucretius and Modernity, and (with Kathryn Vomero Santos) the scholarly edition Arthur Golding’s A Moral Fabletalk and Other Renaissance Fable Translations. She has published in the journals SEL and postmedieval. She is currently finishing a digital scholarly edition of Margaret Cavendish’s Poems and Fancies, as well as a monograph, Early Modern Literary Physics.
While at the Folger she will work on Choose Your Own Poems and Fancies (under contract with Electric Press), a rearrangeable digital edition and study of Margaret Cavendish’s atom poems (Part I of Poems and Fancies), which Cavendish radically rearranged between 1653 and 1664. Drawing on the Folger’s collections, Dr. Blake will study how Cavendish’s project complicates the history of seventeenth-century atomic philosophy (including texts by Boyle, Charleton, Digby, Hobbes), and how arrangement was crucial to early manuscript and printed texts (such as the Folger’s many manuscript and print miscellanies). With the help of the Folger’s robust community of digital humanists, she will also explore what it means that Cavendish’s poetic and philosophical project can best be realized not in a printed codex, but with digital hypermedia.
Dr. Raffaella Fabiani Giannetto is a garden historian and critic whose research focuses on the Italian Renaissance garden, its legacy and historiography. She is the author of Medici Gardens: From Making to Design (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), for which she received the Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award in 2010, and the editor of Foreign Trends in American Gardens: A History of Exchange, Adaptation and Reception (University of Virginia Press, 2016).
At the Folger, Dr. Fabiani Giannetto will complete her new book manuscript, Georgic Grounds and Gardens: From Palladio’s Villas to American Plantations, which examines the gardens and productive grounds of Andrea Palladio’s villas in Renaissance Veneto and their reception in the similarly productive and Neo-Palladian contexts of 17th- and 18th-century England and colonial America. Among the sources Fabiani Giannetto will consult are the papers of the Townshend family of Raynham Hall and the sketchbook of Inigo Jones, who was responsible for making Palladio “speak good English.” These sources will allow Fabiani Giannetto to argue that England constituted a cultural bridge between Renaissance Italy and colonial America not only by adapting architectural forms, but also by promoting agricultural practices that had a long-lasting influence on American landscape design.
Assistant Professor of History at the University of Mississippi (beginning in August 2018), Dr. Isaac Stephens centers his work on Stuart England’s religious and political dynamics. His project, Suffering Ejection: Martyr Speak and Popular Politics in London, 1640-1662, examines mass ejections of clergy from parish livings in England’s cultural and political hub during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration. The ejections provide a prism through which to view early modern confessional divisions and disputes that shaped London, if not all of England. Moreover, the ejections underscore the significance of popular politics and the language of martyrdom, since the city’s disenfranchised inhabitants utilized petitions and polemics often filled with tales of persecution and martyrs to mobilize local and state support for removing ministers from their parishes. Consequently, the clerical purge in the city offers an ideal case for investigating how ordinary Londoners found ways to have both their voices heard and have their political desires nationally represented without ever acquiring the right to vote.
At the Folger, Dr. Stephens will analyze relevant manuscript sources to London’s religious history like the “Papers of the Dering Family” and the “Writing Book of Nehemiah Wallington,” as well as thoroughly read the Library’s wide array of seventeenth-century printed polemics related to the expulsion of parish ministers between the 1640s and 1660s. Such sources are crucial to exploring the links between the public sphere, popular politics, martyr speak, the English state, and clerical ejections.
In addition to these four NEH-Folger Fellows, the Folger Institute will welcome two scholars who received funding from the Folger’s Andrew W. Mellon foundation endowment: Heidi Craig and Douglas M. Lanier (University of New Hampshire).
Dr. Heidi Craig completed her PhD in English at the University of Toronto in 2017. Her articles are forthcoming in English Literary Renaissance and Huntington Library Quarterly. Dr. Craig is completing a book manuscript entitled “A Play without a Stage: English Renaissance Drama, 1642-1660,” which examines the production and reception of early modern drama during the English Civil War and Interregnum, when commercial playing was outlawed. It is then, Craig argues, that the genres and critical fields of English Renaissance drama were created. While the prohibition on playing in many respects killed the English stage—theatres were closed and demolished, and once-famous actors and playwrights, now unemployed, entered different lines of work or died in poverty—the professional drama of 1576-1642 not only lived on, but thrived in print. With chapters on royalist nostalgia, clandestine theatrical revivals, dramatic compendia, and Shakespearean publication, Craig argues that the death of contemporary theatre gave birth to English Renaissance drama.
During the fellowship period, Craig will consult the Folger’s extensive collections of dramatic texts, paratexts, and commentary in print and manuscript from the 1640s and 1650s, including the Beaumont and Fletcher folio (1647), reprints of The Merchant of Venice (1652), King Lear (1655) and Othello (1655), and the first anthologies and comprehensive catalogs of English drama, printed in the 1650s.
Dr. Douglas M. Lanier is Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. He will be working on a book-length study entitled “Reparative Shakespeare.” Using Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s classic essay “Paranoid vs. Reparative Criticism” as a starting point, this study analyzes how Shakespeare has been used to address forms of trauma or alienation suffered by several marginalized groups—prisoners, refugees, gay youth, the elderly, residents of economically depressed neighborhoods. This project has a threefold focus—theorizing how Shakespeare has been understood to produce reparative effects in these and other groups; examining how the nature of reparative Shakespeare has been represented in recent film documentary and fiction; and conceptualizing what a modern “reparative criticism” of Shakespeare might look like.
Over the course of the fellowship, Dr. Lanier will be consulting such sources as Romantic and Victorian lectures on Shakespeare, works concerning educational institutions for working-class readers, prefaces to popular editions of Shakespeare’s works, materials related to the teaching of Shakespeare, records of Shakespeare reading clubs, and nineteenth-century political treatises and sermons that substantially reference Shakespeare. Lanier will be using these materials to construct a pre-history of contemporary reparative Shakespeare, which has its roots in nineteenth-century ethical and philosophical understandings of Shakespeare’s works.
Our final long-term fellow will hold the Mowat Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. This fellowship, also supported by an Andrew W. Mellon endowment at the Folger, is named in honor of Barbara Mowat, the Folger Director of Research Emerita, co-editor of the Folger Shakespeare Library Editions, and former editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, who passed away in November of 2017. We are honored to have Simon Newman (University of Glasgow) join us as the 2018-2019 Mowat Mellon Folger Fellow.
Professor Simon Newman is the Sir Denis Brogan Professor of American History at the University of Glasgow. He is completing a book manuscript on enslaved people who escaped, entitled “Runaways: resisting enslavement in the British Atlantic World.” For most enslaved people, escape represented the most practical major act of resistance, and in their tens of thousands men, women, and children eloped from their masters and mistresses in North America, the British Caribbean, British forts in West Africa, and the British Isles themselves. Newspaper advertisements and sometimes other sources reveal a great deal about the varied experiences of enslavement, the motives for and methods of escape, and the varied objectives of those who ran away. By moving beyond traditional regionally-based studies of escape, this project seeks to develop a new understanding of escape as a trans-regional and trans-Atlantic mode of resistance to enslavement.
The language and simple woodcut imagery of runaway advertisements are built upon centuries of English understandings of race. While at the Folger, Professor Newman will read a broad array of literary works, travel writings, and geographical works to develop a deeper knowledge of linguistic and visual representations and understandings of race and enslavement in the early modern English and British Atlantic World.
Together, our 2018-19 Folger Long-term Fellows will study the deep ramifications of violence and warfare, on everything from early modern theatre to politics and faith; they will examine the extent to which long-distance travel—for both women and men—in the early modern period had global implications; they will advance critical work on the lives and experiences of early modern people of color; and they will create new understandings of canonical works via innovative digital approaches and technologies. We are honored to sponsor these path-breaking projects, all of which help to set new and exciting directions for early modern humanities work, and look forward to welcoming our Long-term Fellows to the Folger this fall.