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Esther Osorio Whewell

Department: English

Supervisor: Dr Raphael Lyne

College: Jesus

AHRC Subject Area: English

Title of Thesis: 'Forming Attention in Early Modern England: Lancelot Andrewes, Edmund Spenser, and the Pedagogies of Poetry and Prayer'


Biography:

I graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in 2015, and from Keble, Oxford (MSt English 1550-1700) in 2016. 

My PhD considers ways and means of brevity and easiness in (long, difficult) writing by Edmund Spenser and Lancelot Andrewes, particularly through the aspirant and advertised workings of Ramist pedagogical styles, ideologies and schematics. To this end, I'm interested in the ballad-stanza 'Arguments' to the Faerie Queene, the use of typographical braces in Andrewes's Preces Privatae, and little words (linguistic 'anaphora')--and other mechanisms of abridgement and contraction--in the Passion sermons, and the Pattern of Catechistical Doctrine. 

I am also interested in the Spenserian stanza scriptural paraphrases of ecclesiastical lawyer Robert Aylett, in Marshall McLuhan's strange PhD on Thomas Nashe (written in the 1950s but not published until 2006) and in hunting cynghanedd in the Anatomy of Absurdity. I've had several short stories published in the Mays Anthology and the Dublin Review. 

 

Other academic interests:

History of the book and material texts; history of reading; new/historical formalism; cognitive approaches to literature; modernist and contemporary poetry and poetics (particularly Geoffrey Hill and Lucie Brock-Broido).

Over the course of the MSt I wrote on the closet dramatics in print and performance of Antony and Cleopatra plays by Mary Sidney, Samuel Daniel and Samuel Brandon; constructions of the Cavalier in the print afterlives of Sir John Suckling—in sammelbands, and nonce-collections compiled in the print shop of Humphrey Moseley; and the contemporary American poet K. Silem Mohammad’s ‘Amograms’ and ‘Sonnagrams’. My dissertation explored the serendipitous spaces and positive possibilities resulting from distracted and inattentive reading, singing, and hearing of different settings and translations of the psalms in early modern England.

Key Publications

‘Like This’, review of Jeff Dolven, Senses of Style: Poetry before Interpretation (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Cambridge Quarterly (forthcoming, 2018)