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Jessica Beckman, Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, presents “Pleasure and Disorderly Order: Entangled Readers and Spenser’s Kinetic Texts.” 


Composed in an era when humanists and theologians placed forms of “right reading” at the center of political and spiritual governance, Edmund Spenser’s epic poem, The Faerie Queene, has long been seen as staging the reader’s interpretive work. This talk complicates the scholarly presumption that Spenser’s poem aims to cultivate audiences of “right readers,” exploring instead its investments in the aesthetic consequences of partial and redirected reading. It traces Spenser’s interest in not-so-right reading from The Faerie Queene (1590) to its origins in The Shepheardes Calender (1579), in order to introduce new ways of decoding early modern relationships between reading, poetics, and the material text. 

EMSI events are free and open to the public. Coffee will be available at 9:30 am (PT).

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