The Columns

Katharine Maus, Specialist in Renaissance Literature, to Lecture at W&L

— by on February 21st, 2016

Katharine Maus, the James Branch Cabell Professor of English at the University of Virginia, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on March 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Hillel House, room 101.

Maus will speak on “Caesar’s Will.” Her talk is free and open to the public. Her appearance is a joint event sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Studies as part of Shakespeare 2016!.

Many critics have noted that Shakespeare seems to develop a changed, apparently more profound conception of human nature in the plays he writes at the turn of the 17th century, as he finishes his cycle of history plays and begins writing a series of great tragedies. They agree, too, that Julius Caesar is the play in which this new conception of character begins to emerge.

“In this lecture I argue that this change and deepening is related to, and perhaps inspired by, differences between the Roman and English ways of determining inheritance, succession and legacy.” Maus said. “Such issues might seem dry legal matters, but in fact, they define a person and his affiliations physically and temporally, and specify the way a person’s agency may be imagined and legally enforced.”

Maus, a specialist in Renaissance literature, is the author of “Being and Having in Shakespeare” (2013); and “Inwardness and Theater in the English Renaissance” (1995) and “Ben Jonson and the Roman Frame of Mind” (1985).

She is editor of “Four Revenge Tragedies of the English Renaissance” and coeditor of “The Norton Shakespeare,” “The Norton Anthology of English Literature,” “English Renaissance Drama: A Norton Anthology,” and “Soliciting Interpretation: Literary Theory and Renaissance Texts.”

Maus has been awarded five fellowships, including National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, Guggenheim and Folger fellowships, and won the Roland Bainton Prize for Inwardness and Theater.

Related to:,