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"Materiality, Poetics, Cosmology, Salvation: Or, What’s the Matter with Hester Pulter?" 

In 1996, a seventeenth-century Englishwoman’s manuscript came to light, having lain unknown for over three hundred years. Hester Pulter’s Poems Breathed Forth by the Noble Hadassasincludes over one hundred poems that tour the reader through natural philosophy, cosmology, war, politics, death, animal lore, plant life, and faith. Pulter’s interest in transmutations of human form, the physical world, and the solar system culminate in an intense fascination with the powerful mobility of matter. This phenomenon serves as the key matrix, Wendy Wall argues, through which Pulter investigates faith, being, and poetic craft. How might these recently discovered poems reveal new perspectives on spirituality, poetic making, and women’s intellectual production in early modern England? 

Wendy Wall, Avalon Professor for the Humanities and Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence at Northwestern University, is author of The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance; Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama; and Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen. Wall has published articles on topics as wide-ranging as editorial theory, gender, poetry, national identity, authorship, food studies, domesticity, theater, women's writing, and Jell-O.

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  • Emily Anderson
  • Ying Guo

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