The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Fellows

A Glimpse into the Cultural History of Fragaria

a guest post by Jennie Youssef When the term of my Folger fellowship began, I had made some headway in my research for a dissertation chapter on the foodway of strawberries. The strawberry’s symbolic significance in medieval art and early modern literary and dramatic texts has been extensively analyzed. To cite well-known dramatic examples from Shakespeare’s England—in Othello (first staged in 1604), Desdemona’s handkerchief, embroidered with strawberries, serves as a nod to the popularity of a domestic pastime and has also been read as symbolic of her virginity.… Continue Reading

The mystery of Humphrey Walcot’s grocery bill and early-modern popular numeracy

a guest post by Ray Schrire It is time for an unofficial Crocodile Mystery. Humphrey Walcot’s grocery bill. Folger, L.f.196 These are a few of my favorite items from the merchant Humphrey Walcot’s shopping list of May 8, 1601 (a bill I picked up semi-randomly from the Folger’s digital image collection): One pound and a quarter cherries 3 shillings 4 pence 2 pounds three quarters damsons 7 shillings 4 pence One pound and a half gooseberries 4 shillings One pound barberies 2 shillings 8 pence 2 pounds and a quarter pear plums 6 shillings 4 pounds paste of plums 16 shillings 4 pounds candied spices 24 shillings 5 pounds and a half marmalade [yummy!]… Continue Reading

Picturing Children’s Food in Early Modern Europe

a guest post by Carla Cevasco While I started my Folger fellowship intending to research children’s foodways in the manuscript recipe book collection, I was surprised by how many hungry, eating, or even eaten children could be found in the Folger’s collections of visual culture. (A big shoutout to Rachel Dankert for pointing out the prevalence of children throughout these collections!)… Continue Reading

Extra-Illustrating Othello

a guest post by Patricia Akhimie On my last visit to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Fall 2019 (a time that seems all too distant now) to conduct research for a new edition of Othello, I set myself the goal of viewing every image and object related to the play in the Folger’s collection. This was an experience that often rocketed between emotional highs and lows because the Folger’s vast collection includes both art objects that delight and those that disturb.… Continue Reading

Should we care where Lucy Hutchinson went to church?

A guest post by Crawford Gribben Over the last few years—and with the benefit of my summer Folger fellowship—I’ve been thinking about the network of friends and rivals that had at its centre the puritan theologian, John Owen (1616-83). Owen was one of the most productive writers of the seventeenth century, and the Folger holds one of the largest collections of his work.… Continue Reading

Unsung Travelers: a history of global mobility from below

A guest post by Ananya Chakravarti In March 2017, not long after President Trump stormed into office on a platform decrying “globalists,” the historian Jeremy Adelman published an essay asking whether “the short ride” of global history had come to a bumpy end. Lynn Hunt’s 2014 prognostication that global historians would help remake the world in their cosmopolitan image of the past, much as national historians had molded nations, seemed suddenly premature.… Continue Reading

Focus on a Decade of Folger Institute Research and Community

In the past decade, seventy-five different Guest Authors have published over one hundred posts in The Collation. Roughly half of these contributors wrote posts about their experiences working with the Folger collections and researcher community through Institute-sponsored programming. Many fellows took this opportunity to share an “in progress” look at their research—what they were learning, what was surprising, and what was still challenging—and to showcase the materials they examined while in residence.… Continue Reading

The Production of Whiteness in the Anglo-French Match (1625)

A guest post by Mira Assaf Kafantaris Meghan Markle’s incorporation into the British monarchy, and her subsequent departure from it, has thrown into high relief the ideologies of whiteness at the heart of royal European traditions. Even though the symbolism of her nuptials with Prince Harry was touted as the United Kingdom’s ultimate act of reconciliation with its brutal colonial past, Markle’s inclusion in the beau monde of white Britain remained conditional.… Continue Reading

2021-2022 Folger Research Fellows

The Folger Institute is pleased to announce the 2021-2022 cohort of Folger Institute Research Fellows! With the Folger Shakespeare Library building renovation project well and truly underway, the Folger collections remain unavailable for in-person consultation. However, the Folger Institute is committed to continuing its support of collections-based research, and to providing scholars with the resources they need to pursue and advance their work.… Continue Reading

Reading Anatomy Texts Like Poetry (and why we should do it more often)

A guest post by Whitney Sperrazza When we look at this page from Thomas Bartholin’s 1668 anatomy text (Folger B977), it’s easy to think of it as an objective document. We imagine we are seeing “data” about the womb and clitoris gathered by the anatomist during the dissection process. Reading science books, even old ones, this is the prevailing pattern, and one that scientists themselves continue to cultivate.… Continue Reading