Free activities and events in New York City

Add your event
Log In / Sign Up

Lecture “Archives and Beyond”

Published: March 29, 2024; Author: Julia Sonrisa

 April 3, 2024    06:00 PM-07:30 PM EDT

Address: 70 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012 United States

Phone: +1 212-998-2500

Lecture “Archives and Beyond”

For literary historical researchers, archives present thrilling possibilities in quests to validate intuitions, readings, and hypotheses using the material culture housed inside of them. These same archives, however, can elicit disappointment and pain as they may fail to contain clear answers to research questions, or as they reveal significant harms and violence of the past. The spaces of archives are often unfair— however equitable and liberatory we wish they could be—and handle recorded material and people differently (at times cruelly). Yet, it often seems that work produced from archival research is privileged in projects aimed at reshaping our understanding of early modern English literature and history. In this talk, I will address the complexities of archives both in general and in my work that recognizes the limits of archival proof in the histories of early modern English readers and the history of books. By challenging the supremacy of archival research — through a discussion of representational forms — I suggest that research possibilities become more open for scholars interested in non-data-driven approaches to the reading lives of individuals in early modern England. Ultimately, I suggest that opening the walls of archives expands the base of any material that literary historians wish to explore and investigate.

Reception to follow.

About Brandi K. Adams

Brandi K Adams is an Assistant Professor of English at Arizona State University and a member of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Her interests include book history, history of reading, early modern English drama, and premodern critical race and gender studies. Her essays and reviews have been published in Shakespeare Quarterly, Shakespeare, Shakespeare Survey, Cahiers Élisabéthains, and Early Theatre, and volumes including Shakespeare/Text, The Oxford Handbook for the History of the Book, and Arden of Faversham: A Critical Reader. She is currently writing her first monograph entitled Representations of Books and Readers in Early Modern English Drama (1580-1640).

The Fales Lecture is co-sponsored annually by NYU Special Collections and the English Department. Established and sustained by a gift from Haliburton Fales, 2nd (1919-2015), the lecture explores historical, current, and emerging themes in English and American literature.

To learn more about The Fales Library of English and American Literature please visit our website.

Time: 6:00-7:30



Share it:

List of all free lections