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Videoseminar: Problematics of European Literary History, 1559-1648

Warren Boutcher speaks on his project, "Europe: A Literary History, 1559-1648.", 24 May 2018 at 2:00-4:00 PM CET


This talk will concern a new project I am contracted to edit for Oxford University Press: Europe: A Literary History, 1559-1648. It is a follow-up to David Wallace’s highly successful volumes on 1348-1418, published by OUP in 2016. But EALH 1559-1648 will use a different methodology: the chapters will be on literary objects and classes of objects rather than on places that link up to form itineraries. What are the main questions and problems facing such a project? How can I work with contributors to construct a holistic account of this period of European literary history—including its emergent global connections— of a kind that is not simply built from pre-determined blocks of western European national literatures? That does not just project back the institutions and perspectives of the modern ‘literary’ field? That engages with Wallace’s project to begin to trace common ground—if not a unified theory—for a transnational literary historiography?
Warren Boutcher is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. He recently published a two-volume study of The School of Montaigne in Early Modern Europe, the first major study of Montaigne’s Essais as a transnational or European text (as opposed to a French text with a primarily French reception that was then secondarily received by the national literatures of England, the Netherlands, Italy etc.). His ongoing research concerns transnational literatures and languages more broadly in late Renaissance Europe, and his further interests include translation, humanism, and intellectual history.

Editing was completed: 24.05.2018