Mar 3 | NYU MARC lecture by Jenny C. Mann

Please be sure to RSVP below to join us on
Thursday, March 3 at 6pm EST via Zoom:

The NYU Medieval and Renaissance Center
invites you to the first event in our Spring 2022 Distinguished Lecture Series.

Jenny C. Mann (NYU)
The Trials of Orpheus:
Softening as Poetic Force in Ovid and Marlowe



About the event:

Orpheus the spell-binder is a legendary figure of ancient myth.  His songs charm the gods, and compel animals, rocks, and trees to follow his command.  The power of Orpheus’s song transfixes Renaissance poets and philosophers, as they attempt to discover the mechanisms behind rhetorical force.  Through Ovid’s poetry, these writers come to understand eloquence as a force that acts at a distance, capable of binding, drawing, softening, and scattering its audiences.  This presentation will examine the complicated virtue of softening in the classical and early modern language arts.  Although classical moralists disdain softness as a failure of masculinity, the early modern trials of Orpheus revalue softening as a crucial vector of poetic power.  I will delve into the vigorous non-productivity of this soft poetics in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Christopher Marlowe’s English translation of Ovid’s Amores, which present literary transmission as the mutual softening of poet and audience.

About the speaker:

Jenny C. Mann is an Associate Professor of English at New York University with a joint appointment with NYU Gallatin. She has followed her first book, Outlaw Rhetoric: Figuring Vernacular Eloquence in Shakespeare’s England (2012), with The Trials of Orpheus: Poetry, Science, and the Early Modern Sublime (2021). She co-edited, with Debapriya Sarkar, a special issue of Philological Quarterly titled Imagining Early Modern Scientific Forms (2019).  Her new research project explores problems of self-reference in utopian literature from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century.

Attendance information:

To RSVP for this event, please click here. Registration is free and open to the general public. Only registered attendees will receive Zoom link via email prior to the event. You can download Zoom here.

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