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Early Modern Literature, Sermons, and the Rhetoric of the Passions

Passions and Preaching: The Early Modern English Sermon, 1603-1660

Image: Hugh Latimer Preaching to Edward VI.1563 From John Foxe's Acts and Monuments, artist unknown. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Date: Friday 14 August 2015
Time: 9.30am
Venue: Room 471, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland
Enquiries: Jennifer Clement at j.clement@uq.edu.au .

Sermons are now recognized as one of the most popular and influential literary genres of the early modern period. This working day aims to develop the critical analysis of early modern sermons and their literary impact by inviting participants to pre-circulate short papers (4000-5000 words) in preparation for a day of discussion and argument. Professor Brian Cummings, of the University of York, will deliver a paper on the passions in John Donne’s sermons, while other participants will speak to their papers in a roundtable format.

Potential paper topics might include (but are not limited to):

  • The role of sermons as literature
  • The influence of sermon culture on poetry and/or drama
  • The rhetorical use of the passions in early modern sermons

The working day is sponsored by The University of Queensland Node of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800), a nation-wide interdisciplinary research initiative focused on aspects of emotion and affect in the art, literature, philosophy, and social and political history of medieval and early modern Europe.

The working day will take place at The University of Queensland, in Brisbane, on Friday, 14 August. Lunch and morning and afternoon tea will be provided. This event will coincide with the presence of Professor Dympna Callaghan (Syracuse University) as this year’s Lloyd Davis Memorial Visiting Professor in Shakespeare Studies at UQ, and participants may wish to take advantage of this chance to hear and work with two leading figures in early modern studies today. Ideally, as a result of this event, a special issue on sermons and emotions will be proposed to a leading journal in the field, so that our work will contribute to the field’s development.