I am Florence R. Brinkley professor of English at Duke University and currently chair of the department. I earned my BA and MA degrees at the University of California at Berkeley during the best and worst of times, in 1965 and 66; I completed my PhD at Harvard in 1973. I have since taught at Yale University (1973-83) and the University of Pennsylvania (1983-99). I joined the Duke faculty in January 2000.
I am a specialist in Renaissance literature (non-drama).
I have published three books, The Languge of Allegory: Definingthe Genre
(Cornell, 1979, paperback, 1991)); Milton's Spenser: The Politics of
Reading (Cornell, 1983); and The Allegory of Female
Authority: Christine de Pizan's Book of the City of Ladies (Cornell,
1991). I have also co-edited two volumes of essays, Rewritring
the Renaissance: the Discoursers of Sexual Difference (Chicago, l986)
with Nancy J. Vickers and Margaret Ferguson, and Subject andObject
in Renaissance Culture (Cambridge, 1996) with Peter Stallybrass
and Margreta de Grazia.
I am currently at work on three interrelated projects: two studies of female authority in the Renaissance titled, "Incest and Agency: the Problem of Female Authority in the Renaissance," and "When Women Ruled the World: the Glorious Sixteenth Century," and a study of the discourse of slavery in the English Renaissance epic. A brief outtake of the new book on "Incest and Agency" is mounted below; it is a study of the frontispiece to Mary Wroth's Urania, an attempt to place this wonderful image within its historical book-making context.
Syllabi of current and past courses
English 91: Major British Writers, Fall 2000
English 321: Renaissance Epic, Spring 2000
Courseinfo page for English 91
Current Project: Reading the Frontispiece to Mary Wroth's Urania: Images