Bodies, Passions, and Humors in Early Modern England (ENGL 71600)

Tanya Pollard


Th 2:00-4:00, Fall 2011    Office: 4408 GC
Classroom:  GC 3305 Office phone 212-817-8351
e-mail:    hours: Th 1:30-2:00, 4-4:30, and by appt.










Thomas Elyot, from The Castle of Helth (London, 1539); Helkiah Crooke, from Mikrokosmographia (London, 1616); Gail Kern Paster, The Body Embarrassed (1993), 1-17; Michael Schoenfeldt, Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 1999), 1-18; Bruce R Smith, "Introduction," Shakespeare Studies 29 (2001), 19-27 (Academic Search Premier); Gail Kern Paster, Humoring the Body (Chicago, 2004), 1-7.



Stephen Gosson, The Schoole of Abuse (1579); Heather James, "Dido's Ear: Tragedy and the Politics of Response,"Shakespeare Quarterly 2001 (JSTOR); Efterpi Mitsi, "The 'popular philosopher:' Plato, Poetry, and Food in Tudor Aesthetics," Early Modern Literary Studies 9.2 (September, 2003): 2.1-2



Arden of Faversham (1592), Mary Floyd-Wilson, " Arden of Faversham: Tragic Action at a Distance," in The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Tragedy, ed. Emma Smith and Carrett A. Sullivan, Jr, 188-199; John M. Breen, "The Carnival Body in Arden of Faversham," Cahiers Elisabéthains 45 (1994), 13-20



no class; Rosh Hashanah



Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis (1592-93); Richard Halpern, "'Pining Their Maws': Female Readers and the Erotic Ontology of the Text in Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis," in Venus and Adonis: Critical Essays, ed. Philip C. Kolin (Garland, 1997), 377-88; Katherine Duncan-Jones, "Playing Fields or Killing Fields: Shakespeare's Poems and Sonnets,"Shakespeare Quarterly 54.2 (2003) 127-141 (Project Muse).



Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (1593-94); Gail Kern Paster, from "'Love Will Have Heat': Shakespeare’s Maidens and the Caloric Economy,"Humoring the Body, 77-89 & 125-134; Kim Hall, "Sugar and Status," Shakespeare-Jahrbuchn 145 (2009), 49-61.



Marston, The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion’s Image (1598); Ian Moulton, Before Pornography (Oxford, 2000), 1-32; David O. Frantz, "'Leud Priapians' and Renaissance Pornography," Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 12:1(1972), 157-172 (JSTOR).



Hugh Platt, from Delights for Ladies (London, 1602); Thomas Tuke, from A Treatise Against Painting and Tincturing of Men and Women (London, 1616); Frances Dolan, "Taking the Pencil Out of God's Hand: Art, Nature, and the Face-Painting Debate in Early Modern England," PMLA 108 (1993), 224-239 (JSTOR); Farah Karim-Cooper, "Early Modern Cosmetic Culture," from Cosmetics in Shakespearean And Renaissance Drama (Edinburgh University Press, 2006), 34-66.



Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra (1606-07), Patricia Parker, "Barbers, Infidels, and Renegades," in Center or Margin: Revisions of the English Renaissance in Honor of Leeds Barroll, ed. Lena Cowen Orlin (Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press, 2006); and Mary Floyd-Wilson, "Transmigrations: Crossing Regional and Gender Boundaries in Antony and Cleopatra," in Enacting Gender on the English Renaissance Stage, ed. Viviana Comensoli and Anne Russell (University of Illinois Press, 1999), 73-96.



Beaumont, Knight of the Burning Pestle (1607), Wendy Wall, “Tending to Bodies and Boys: Queer Physic in The Knight of the Burning Pestle,” in Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 161-188; Edel Lamb, "Child as Trope," in Performing Childhood in the Early Modern Theatre (Palgrave, 2009), 17-42.



Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (1612-13); Sid Ray, "'So troubled with the mother': The Politics of Pregnancy in The Duchess of Malfi," in Performing Maternity in Early Modern England; Theodora Jankowski, "Defining/Confining the Duchess: Negotiating the Female Body in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi." Studies in Philology 87:2 (1990), 221-45 (JSTOR).


11-22 (note: Tuesday: Thursday conversion day)

Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair (1614); Tobias Venner, A Briefe and Accurate Treatise, Concerning The taking of the fume of Tobacco (London, 1621); Gail Kern Paster, "Bartholomew Fair and the Humoral Body,"Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion, ed. Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr., Patrick Cheney, & Andrew Hadfield (Oxford, 2006), 260-71; Gail Kern Paster, "Leaky Vessels: The Incontinent Women of City Comedy," Renaissance Drama 18 (1987), 43-65.



Bodies and texts, new directions: Katharine Craik, "Introduction," Reading Sensations in Early Modern England (Palgrave, 2007); Matthew Steggle, "Introduction," Laughing and Weeping in Early Modern Theatres (Ashgate, 2007); Cynthia Marshall, "Bodies in the Audience," Shakespeare Studies (29) 2001, 51-57 (Academic Search Premier); Mary Floyd-Wilson and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr., "Introduction: Inhabiting the Body, Inhabiting the World," Environment and Embodiment in Early Modern England, eds. Mary Floyd-Wilson and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr. (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007), 1-13.





I will not be requiring specific editions of the readings for this course, so if you already own a copy of a play, and/or are able to get one easily, you are welcome to use the edition most convenient for you. If you will be purchasing editions, I suggest the following ones on the combined basis of cost and notes, but again you are welcome to choose others. I recommend using through the Graduate Center’s website. Other readings will be available through internet databases, or through E-reserves; I have also put together a list of additional reading recommendations. Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions or problems with finding a text.

John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi, Oxford UP, ISBN-13: 978-0199539284

Arden of Faversham, Methuen, New Mermaids, ISBN-13: 978-0713677652

William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra Signet, ISBN-13: 978-0451527134

William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, ISBN-13: 978-0451526793

Ben Jonson, Bartholomew Fair, Manchester: Revels plays, ISBN-13: 978-0719051500

Francis Beaumont, Knight of The Burning Pestle; Manchester, Revels, ISBN-13: 978-0719069673

Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis, in The Sonnets and Narrative Poems: The Complete Non-Dramatic Poetry, Signet Classics, ISBN-13: 978-0451523143


1.         One final term paper, 12-15 pages

2.         Three written response essays (2 to be given as class presentations). Each written response should be 2 pages; useful approaches include close readings of passages; analysis of key words through research in the Oxford English dictionary (available in “Databases” on the library webpage); study of an apparently minor character, scene, or episode; or response to, or critique of, one of the assigned critical essays, evaluating its approach and payoff.


Return to Tanya Pollard's web page