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Juliet's Nurse: Writing Premodern Desire for Audiences Beyond Academia

Juliet's Nurse: Writing Premodern Desire for Audiences Beyond Academia
125 Queens Park, Lillian Massey Building, Room 310
Time: Oct 24th, 2:10 pm End: Oct 24th, 4:00 pm
Interest Categories: Women & Gender Studies (FAS), Sexual Diversity, Medieval Studies (FAS), Italian Studies (FAS), History (FAS), English (FAS), Drama, Theatre, Performance Studies (FAS), Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), Book History/Print Culture, 1500-1800, 1200-1500
Talk by Lois Leveen

The Centre for Medieval Studies is pleased to present:

Lois Leveen

Juliet's Nurse: Writing Premodern Desire for Audiences Beyond Academia

What do you wish the world outside academia knew about the subjects you research and teach? In this talk, Dr. Lois Leveen, who holds degrees in history and literature from Harvard, USC, and UCLA, will discuss using fiction to disseminate academic research to general audiences. (She also promises to show the most entertaining Romeo and Juliet clip you will ever see!)

In Juliet's Nurse (Random House, 2014), scholar-turned-novelist Lois Leveen offers a detailed exploration of female sexuality in Trecento Italy, in a re-visioning of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with the nurse (who has the third-largest number of lines in the play) as the narrator and protagonist. In Shakespeare's drama, and in Leveen's retelling, Angelica is a bawdy, loving figure whose physicality, as both the wife of "a merry man" and a hired wet nurse, occupies the intersections of sexual and maternal desire. Juliet's Nurse draws on scholarly research about topics that include the religious coding of maternal and marital desires, medieval childbirth and lactation practices, and premodern beliefs about sexual health, to imagine the life of a woman whose intense sexual, physical, and emotional attachments are set against an era beset by plague.

Professor David Townsend will provide a response.

Download flyer [pdf]


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