DULUTH, MN - Michael Schoenfeldt, John R. Knott, Jr. Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English, University of Michigan, will present the 15th annual Jankofsky Lecture on Thurs., May 8 at 4 pm, in the Olive Anna Tezla Memorial Library and Resource Center located on the second floor of the Tweed Museum of Art. His lecture is entitled “Lyric Flesh: The Presence of the Body in Renaissance Poetry.” The event, sponsored by the Department of English, is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.
Schoenfeldt received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1985. He is the author of Prayer and Power: George Herbert and Renaissance Courtship; Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton and The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s Poetry. He is also the editor of the Blackwell Companion to Shakespeare’s Sonnets. He is currently editing John Donne in Context for Cambridge, working on a book for Blackwell’s entitled Reading Seventeenth-Century Poetry and researching a book-length study of pain and pleasure in early modern England.
Initially, lyric seems like the most disembodied of genres. In contrast to the splayed and tortured bodies of tragedy, lyric seems internal and vaporous. Nevertheless, the body clamors for attention in this disembodied genre. One of the central impulses of lyric - erotic courtship and seduction - begins in carnal desire, and theoretically aspires to conclude in physical consummation. The purpose of this talk, then, is to track some of the eruptions of the body into the fabric of early modern lyric, drawing on, in particular, the poetry of Wyatt, Shakespeare, Donne, and Herbert.
The Jankofsky Lecture Series was established in 2000 when a former student anonymously donated funds to the UMD English Department as a tribute to Professor Klaus Jankofsky’s career of outstanding teaching and scholarship in the field of medieval and renaissance studies.