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Recent Publication Information for Michael Schoenfeldt


Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton


Michael Schoenfeldt
Faculty Info


Michael Schoenfeldt's fascinating study explores the close relationship between selves and bodies, psychological inwardness and corporeal processes, as they are represented in early modern English literature. After Galen, the predominant medical paradigm of the period envisaged a self governed by humors, literally embodying inner emotion by locating and explaining human passion within a taxonomy of internal organs and fluids. It thus gave a profoundly material emphasis to behavioural phenomena, giving the poets of the period a vital and compelling vocabulary for describing the ways in which selves inhabit and experience bodies. In contrast to much work on the body which has emphasized its exuberant 'leakiness' as a principal of social liberation amid oppressive regimes, Schoenfeldt establishes the emancipatory value that the Renaissance frequently located not in moments of festive release, but in the exercise of regulation, temperance and self-control.

All recent publications by Michael Schoenfeldt

  • The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare's Poetry
  • A Companion to Shakespeare's Sonnets
  • Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton

All publications by Michael Schoenfeldt

“Lessons from the body: moralizations explaining disability and deformity,” in The Cambridge World Encyclopedia of Shakespeare, ed. Bruce Smith (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 1: 795-802.

“Herbert and Pleasure,” George Herbert Journal, Vol. 38, nos. 1 and 2 (2014/15): 145-57.
Foreward, The Wit and Wisdom of Shakespeare: 32 Sonnets Made Thoroughly Accessible, by Darrel Walters (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016), pp. ix-x.
“The Unbearable Permeability of Bodies and Minds,” in Embodied Cognition and Shakespeare’s Theatre: The Early Modern Body-Mind , ed. by Laurie Johnson, John Sutton, and Evelyn Tribble, (New York:   Routledge, 2014), pp. 105-110.

“The Real Presence of Absent Puns: George Herbert’s ‘Love (III),’” in Shakespeare Up Close: Examining the Early Modern Text, ed. Nicholas Nace, Russ McDonald, and Travis D. Williams (Routledge, 2013).

“Metaphysical Poetry,” in the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, ed. Roland Greene (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).

“Shakespearean Pain,” in Shakespearean Sensations, ed. Tanya Pollard and Katharine Craik (Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 191-207.

“The Political Economy of English Departments,” ADE Bulletin, number  151 (2011), pp. 18-22.

The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s Poetry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

“Marvell and the Designs of Art,” in the Cambridge Companion to Andrew Marvell, ed. Derek Hirst and Steven Zwicker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)"Eloquent Blood and Deliberative Bodies: The Physiology of Metaphysical Poetry," in Renaissance Transformations: The Making of English Writing, 1500-1650, ed. Thomas Healy and Margaret Healy (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010) , pp. 145-60.

"Aesthetics and Anesthetics: The Art of Pain Management in Early Modern England," in The Sense of Suffering: Constructions of Physical Pain in Early Modern Culture, eds. Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen and Karl Enenkel, in a special issue of Transactions (Leiden: Brill, 2009): 19-38.

"George Herbert’s Divine Comedy: Humor in The Temple," in Divisions on a Ground: Essays in Honor of Donald Friedman, co-edited with Kimberly Johnson and Richard Strier (a special issue of the George Herbert Journal, vol. 29, nos. 1 and 2 Spring 2006; published May 2008), pp. 45-66.

“’Give Sorrow Words’: Emotional Loss and the Articulation of Temperament in Early Modern England,” in Dead Lovers: Erotic Bonds and the Study of Premodern Europe, ed. Basil Dufallo and Peggy McCracken (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007), pp. 143-64.

"The Sonnets,” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s Poetry, ed. Patrick Cheney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 125-43.

A Companion to Shakespeare’s Sonnets, editor (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006).

“’Commotion strange’: Milton and Passion,” Reading the Early Modern Passions, ed. Gail Kern Paster, Mary Floyd-Wilson, and Katherine Rowe (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), pp. 43-67 “Recent Studies in the English Renaissance,” Studies in English Literature 44, no. 1 (Winter 2004): 189-228.

“Reading Bodies,” Reading, Society and Politics in Early Modern England, ed. Steven Zwicker and Kevin Sharpe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 215-43.

Imagining Death in Spenser and Milton, co-edited with Elizabeth Jane Bellamy and Patrick Cheney (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).

"'That spectacle of too much weight': The Poetics of Sacrifice in Donne, Herbert, and Milton," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 31, vol. 3 (2001): 561-84, reprinted in Seventeenth-Century British Poetry 1603-1660, ed. John Rumrich and Gregory Chaplin (New York: Norton, 2006), pp. 890-906."Obedience and Autonomy in Paradise Lost," A Companion to Milton, ed. Thomas Corns (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), pp. 363-79.

Bodies and Selves in Early Modern England: Physiology and Inwardness in Spenser, Shakespeare, Herbert, and Milton (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

"Making Shakespeare's Sonnets Matter in the Classroom,” Approaches to Teaching Sixteenth-Century Poetry, ed. Patrick Cheney and Ann Lake Prescott (New York: Modern Language Association, 1999).

"Courts and Patronage," The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 3, Renaissance to Late Seventeenth-Century, ed. Glyn P. Northon (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

"The Matter of Inwardness: Shakespeare's Sonnets," Shakespeare's Sonnets: Critical Essays, ed. James Schiffer (New York: Garland, 1998), pp. 305-24.

"Subversion or Collusion? Revising Jacobean England," Comparative Studies in Society and History 39, vol. 4 (1997): 772-78.

"Fables of the Belly in Early Modern England," in The Body in Parts: Fantasies of Corporeality in Early Modern Culture, ed. David Hillman and Carla Mazzio (New York: Routledge, 1997), pp. 242-61.

"The Gender of Religious Devotion: Amelia Lanyer and John Donne," in Religion and Culture in the English Renaissance, ed. Debora Shuger and Claire McEachern (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 209-33.

"Doing Literature and History," Journal of British Studies 36 (1997): 355-63.

"The Poetry of Conduct: Accommodation and Transgression: in The Faerie Queene, Book 6," in Enclosure Acts: Sexuality, Property, and Culture in Early Modern England, ed. Richard Burt and John Archer (Cornell University Press, 1994).

"The Poetry of Supplication: Toward a Cultural Poetics of the Religious Lyric" in New Perspectives on the Seventeenth-Century English Religious Lyric, ed. John R. Roberts (University of Missouri Press, 1993).

"Gender and Conduct in Paradise Lost" in Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe: Institutions, Texts Images, ed. James G. Turner (Cambridge University Press, 1993, pp. 310-38).

"'Among Unequals What Society?': Strategic Courtesy and Christian Humility in Paradise Lost," Milton Studies, 28, 1992, pp. 69-90.

Prayer & Power: George Herbert and Renaissance Courtship (University of Chicago Press, 1991).

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