I’m back! And this is why I have been so quiet of late: as of 1 September, I will be a lecturer in the English department at the
University of Amsterdam! (Go see their slideshow — I will be working at the Bungehuis, on slide 6!). I landed a job before even finishing or defending my PhD thesis. I have been — and still am — working like mad to complete the thesis before August, leaving me one month to dive into Chaucer, Dickens, Austen, and all the other texts that I will be teaching. I am really looking forward to my new job! I get to teach a Shakespeare course, and will be teaching an MA course of my own design in the second semester. I am thinking of a course on “Bodies and Selves on the Early Modern Stage.” Will you let me pick your brains again when the time comes?
The Medieval-Renaissance drama lecture at Utrecht University worked out nicely, thank you for all your suggestions and ideas. The professor in medieval lit. and I decided to read Faustus next to a Dutch medieval play, called Marieken van Nieumegen. The two plays make a wonderful pair. Marieken (little Mary) is seduced by the devil, who tells her he will teach her the arts, and makes her perform her academic tricks in a pub in Antwerp. Unlike Faustus, Marieken is saved. She repents and returns to the Christian faith when she sees a performance of a miracle play in her hometown of Nijmegen. In my seminar, we compared the role of dramatic performance within the two plays, and read the differences in the context of the theatrical practices of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. I really enjoyed the discussion, and I think the students did, too.
So, that is where things stand with me. I will try to return to a more regular blogging and blog-reading rhythm, because I missed you all!