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EN3014 Early Modern Bodies

Summer Reading List 2016-17


1. Anatomised bodies I: Images of anatomy. AT LEAST ONE extract from Sawday, Hodges or Paster (see details below).

2. Anatomised bodies II: William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus.

3. Erotic bodies I: John Marston, 'The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image'; Thomas Nashe, 'The Choice of Valentines'.

4. Erotic bodies II: Sonnets from Francesco Petrarch, Rime Sparse; Shakespeare, Spenser.

5. Gendered bodies: Thomas Middleton, Women Beware Women. 

6. Reading week

7. Sick bodies and corpses: Plague poetry by Thomas Lodge.

8. Foreign bodies: Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta.

9. Sacred bodies: John Donne, selected verse from ‘Songs and Sonnets’, ‘Holy Sonnets’, ‘Elegies’; selected prose from ‘Devotions’, ‘Death’s Duel’; George Herbert, selected verse from The Temple.

10. Interiority I: Extracts from Michel de Montaigne, Essais; Rene Descartes, Meditations

11. Interiority II: William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Less canonical texts will be made available either via weblink or in the course reader which will be on Moodle.


The following are important for setting the conceptual framework for this course:

  • Hillman, David, and Carla Mazzio (eds.), The Body in Parts: Fantasies of Corporeality in Early Modern Europe (London: Routledge, 1997)
  • Hodges, Devon L., Renaissance Fictions of Anatomy (Amherst: Massachusetts UP, 1985)
  • Paster, Gail, The Body Embarrassed: Drama and the Disciplines of Shame in Early Modern England (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1993)
  • Sawday, Jonathan, The Body Emblazoned: Dissection and the Human Body in Renaissance Culture (London: Routledge, 1995)

Read from them selectively depending on your own research interests: for the first seminar you should have read AT LEAST ONE of the following extracts which will be available via Moodle:

  • From Sawday, pp. 16-38
  • From Hodges, pp. 1-19
  • From Paster, pp. 1-22.



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