Accessibility statement

Hyperbolisèd Nothing! Spiritual economy and the measure of man

Lucy Harlow

Thursday 7 November 2019, 5.15PM

Speaker(s): Dr Lucy Harlow (Princeton & York graduate)

Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Research Seminar

This paper explores the relationship between the emerging circulating credit culture in seventeenth-century England, and the religious poetry which drew some of its most potent metaphors from the history of economics. I focus in particular on Thomas Traherne and Richard Crashaw, arguing that each poet negotiates the relationship between finite mortal and infinite divine by considering questions of obligation, debt, currency, and abundance. Credit enables an individual to move future resources into the present; for Crashaw and Traherne, the joyful Christian ought to be able to do the same through faith, and thus gain infinite utility, as the future promised by God is of infinite worth.

Lucy completed her PhD in the English Department of Princeton University in June 2019. Her dissertation, The Discomposed Mind, explores literary texts which explicitly seek to unsettle the mind of the reader, beginning with early medieval poetry and concluding with Margaret Cavendish. Lucy completed her MA in Renaissance Literature at York and her undergraduate degree at St Andrews. Her academic work has appeared or is forthcoming in Neophilologus, Studies in Philology, and the Journal of Modern Literature; she has also published fiction and poetry in Strange Horizons, Aliterate, Interzone, and others.

Location: BS/008, Berrick Saul Building

Admission: All welcome