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MSU Faculty Authors

Author

Thomas Anderson

Assistant Professor, English, and Director of Undergraduate Studies, English

E-mail address: tpa14@msstate.edu
Website: http://www.msstate.edu/dept/english/faculty/anderson.html


Thomas Anderson received his Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University with a specialization in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature and has participated in seminars at the Folger Library and at the School of Criticism and Theory. One of his favorite undergraduate courses to teach looks at contemporary appropriations of Shakespeare in novels, plays, and movies. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare and the first half of the British literature survey. His essays on Renaissance culture and literature appear in Criticism, The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Literature Compass, and English Literary Renaissance. Dr. Anderson has also written about the illustrations of Eden in the 1688 edition of Paradise Lost for Milton Quarterly. His book, Performing Early Modern Trauma from Shakespeare to Milton (Ashgate, 2006) looks at the way early modern writers made sense of historical crises such as the Reformation, regicide and royal death. He is currently co-editing an edition of key scenes from John Foxe's Acts and Monuments.


Performing Early Modern Trauma from Shakespeare to Milton

Anderson, Thomas
Publisher: Ashgate
2006
ISBN: 0754655644

An examination of political and cultural acts of commemoration, this study addresses the way personal and collective loss is registered in prose, poetry and drama in early modern England. It focuses on the connection of representation of violence in literary works to historical traumas such as royal death, secularization and regicide. The author contends that dramatic and poetic forms function as historical archives both in their commemoration of the past and in their reenactment of loss that is part of any effort to represent traumatic history.

Incorporating contemporary theories of memory and loss, Thomas Anderson here analyzes works by Shakepeare, Marlowe, Webster, Marvell and Milton. Where other studies about violent loss in the period tend to privilege allegorical readings that equate the content of art to its historical analogue, this study insists that artistic representations are performative as they commemorate the past. By interrogating the difficulty in representing historical crises in poetry, drama and political prose, Anderson demonstrates how early modern English identity is the fragile product of an ambivalent desire to flee history.

This book's major contribution to Renaissance studies lies in the way it conceives the representations of violent loss - secular and religious - in early modern texts as moments of failed political and social memorialization. It offers a fresh way to understand the development of historical and national identity in England during the Renaissance.