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most learned discourse on early modern Europe

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What interests you about the early modern period? Do you have a favorite text/historical figure/concept/area of study or whatever? (Multiple answers are of course allowed, nay, encouraged.)

Chaucer's Treatise on The Astrolabe makes be very happy. So does Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and Cymbeline (though the ending of the latter struck me as "OMG! I meant for this to have a happy resolution -- gotta fix it, fast!" Still... as a whole it pleases me).

The current bee in my bonnet is the concept and classification of "monsters" in literature, from Antiquity through to current modern times, particularly in the way concepts of what's "monstrous" vs. "normal" have lingered in society and the way public policy segregates people, even though the scientific and rational explanations have left Early Modern understanding of Order and Disorder behind (The personal is political, and so is the artistic). I am no longer studying any of this in a formal, academic, way, but simply for my own understanding, and to add to my personal "Discourse Toolbox."

How do you feel about the whole Renaissance vs. early modern nomenclature debate?

I don't. Just let me at the poems, plays, essays, graffiti...

We all know nobody really wants to live in a time before sanitation, antibiotics, central air conditioning/heating, indoor plumbing, and so forth. So if you could visit any time/place in the early modern period, what would it be, and why?

I want to nick a TARDIS, and invite Susanna Hall in for lunch... I want to convince her to write something from her own perspective (cue subversive laughter).

Have you read The Faerie Queene? Be honest. ;)

*Hangs Head* Only excerpts... it's on my perpetual "To read" list, though.

Anything else you'd care to share?

And here are my questions: I've recently come across reference to Isidore of Seville's system of classifying monsters by type, thus: 1) Hypertrophy of the body, 2) Atrophy of the body, 3) Excrescence of body parts, 4) Superfluous body parts, 5) Deprivation of body parts, 6) Mixture of Human and Animal body parts, 7) Animal births by human women, 8) Mislocation of organs or body parts, 9) Disturbed growth, 10) Composite beings, 11) Hermaphrodites, 12) Monstrous Races (exotic races of humans).

What I'm particularly interested in/curious about, is how "Disturbed Growth" (Category #9) has been defined through the eras. I've seen it explained as "Being born old," But would the opposite (I.E. not maturing out of "babyhood," despite aging chronologically) be placed in the same category? This is actually of personal interest to me, because I've been labeled by modern doctors as "Developmentally Disabled" -- sans wheelchair I still crawl like an eight-month old. ...If I am going to nab a TARDIS and do a little time surfing, I'd like to know if I need to watch out for torch-wielding mobs... ;-)

Also, any tips on finding early modern illustrations of these monster types, online? I've tried Google searching, and all I've gotten are images of Dungeons and Dragons fan art.
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What interests you about the early modern period? Do you have a favorite text/historical figure/concept/area of study or whatever? (Multiple answers are of course allowed, nay, encouraged.)

I think being able to look at the political/economic/social debates of the time and see how they mirror so many of those taking place in contemporary society is incredibly fascinating.  Besides that, it's GREAT writing!  I am madly obsessed with More's 'Utopia,' and am also a big fan of 'The Faerie Queene' and 'Robinson Crusoe.'  I also LOVE travel narratives in the vein of Mandeville, etc.  Currently, I'm writing about depictions of developing capitalism in 'Utopia' as well as about the discursive construction of identity through naming in Early Modern travel narratives.  I'm hoping to do PhD work on the role of Early Modern poetry in drumming up support for European capitalist-imperialism.

How do you feel about the whole Renaissance vs. early modern nomenclature debate?

I feel FAR more passionate about this than I think I should.  But I'm a strict "Early Modern" person.  Don't ask me why; I'm not sure.

We all know nobody really wants to live in a time before sanitation, antibiotics, central air conditioning/heating, indoor plumbing, and so forth. So if you could visit any time/place in the early modern period, what would it be, and why?

Elizabethan England would be fun to visit.  (Unless I can answer "Utopia.")

Have you read The Faerie Queene? Be honest. ;)

Yep.  Big fan!

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crip_crit is now in existence, for the discussion of portrayals of disability in literature, film and TV. Come and discuss blindness in Lear, Richard III's back problem, or just something interesting you noticed when watching TV last night! You don't have to be disabled to join, just friendly.
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X-posted in france and change_history
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The thirty years' war brewing in the Middle East

ANDREW SULLIVAN

Americans, by and large, are unfamiliar with much of history. Their passion is the future, not the past; and their focus is understandably on their own vast and varied continent, not on the minute details of distant foreign lands. The new chairman of the House intelligence committee cannot tell the difference between Sunni and Shi’ite, and his predecessor was not much better. And I’d wager that no one in the US Congress was forced in school, as I sadly was, to study Europe’s thirty years’ war. But they’d better start, because it may be already upon them. Not in Europe this time, but in the Middle East.

Andrew Sullivan’s analogy between what’s transpiring now in the Middle East and the Thirty Years War in 17th century Europe may be brilliant, but he doesn’t go far ENOUGH in his analysis.

WHAT IF FRANCE HAD STAYED OUT?,


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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-2508062,00.html

Now, tell me what YOU think of MY analysis of the choices we are shortly to face:
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humour:
contemplative
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Hello everyone!  Just wanted to introduce myself briefly.  I'm currently working on my masters in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford, and I thought to myself... what do I need a little more of in my day?  Shakespeare, naturally.  I've filled out the survey; it's beneath the cut.  I look forward to chatting with you all!

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Hello (again) everyone!

I know all I ever do in here is ask for help but my goodness do i need it!
After my last post in which i was saying about my essay on Early Modern courts, my tutor decided it would be fun to forget he'd agreed the topic with me and literally sh*t all over my research. I now have a new supervisor and am doing the essay on all kind of fun things to do with the English in Ireland and Virginia.

So basically I'm on a hunt for contemporary sources. I'm fine with Virginia. But for Ireland I've only got Spenser and I could really do with some more. So if anyone can point me in the direction of English writings on Ireland and the Irish (or if you can point me in the direction of any searchable places other than google and eebo) i will love you forever.

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Hi everyone, I'm just starting my first ever MA essay (scary stuff) and we have to pick our own question (within the bound of the course etc). I've decided on looking at the role of Women in the civilizing of courts in the Early Modern period and I just wondered if anyone could recommed any books/articles etc. I've already got Elias and Duiandam (sp?) but I'm having a bit of trouble with the women element of the research, all the books/articles i have so far seem a bit too vague and not really that relevant. So any suggestions would be really appreciated =)
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