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The Renaissances Graduate Research Series: "On the Metaphysical Plain with George Herbert"



Luke Barnhart and Catherine Nicholson


Monday, May 8, 2017 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm


Pigott Hall (260), Room 216


The Renaissances Graduate Research Series: "On the Metaphysical Plain with George Herbert"

Dear members of the English and Renaissances community,


Please join us for our Monday, May 8th event, part of the Renaissances Graduate Research Series which stages conversations between advanced Ph.D. students at Stanford and interlocutors of their work.


Please note that the event will take place over dinner, 6-8pm on Monday, May 8th, in Pigott Hall, Room 216.


For our spring event, Luke Barnhart, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in English, will present an essay emerging from his dissertation, "Sense of the Plain in the Early Modern Poem."  The essay, titled “On the Metaphysical Plain,” links invocations of plainness in lyric poems by George Herbert and others in an attempt to trace surprising affinities between two styles—“plain” and “metaphysical”—typically presented as competing in 17th century English poetics.   


He will be joined by Catherine Nicholson, an Associate Professor of English at Yale, who will present on her current book project, Reading Against Time: The Faerie Queene and the Indiscipline of Literary Criticism. Her chapter is titled “No Time to Scan: Crisis in The Faerie Queene” and explores the the methodological crises of machine reading through the figure of Talus, Artegall’s unyielding robotic sidekick in “The Legend of Justice.”


Both will briefly present on their works in progress (attached below). These presentations will set up points of intersection between the two projects and we will then open the floor to discussion and questions.


Please RSVP to: or


Leo Grao Velloso Damato Oliveira, Ph.D. Student, Stanford University

Hannah Smith-Drelich, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University

Roland Greene, Professor of English and Comparative Literature