You are cordially invited to this talk hosted by the Department of English Language and Literature:
“The Final Frontier: Outer Space in Early Modern English Poetry”
Dr. Ivana Bičak (Durham University)
Monday, April 24, 2023, 17:30, Room G-160
Abstract: Is the Moon inhabited? How do the Mercurians tolerate the Sun’s terrible heat? Are there any animals on the ice-cold Saturn? Such questions about possible new worlds in the heavens tickled the poetic imagination following the invention and subsequent perfection of the telescope in the early seventeenth century. The unprecedented advances in astronomy offered a new intergalactic imaginary to early modern poets. By investigating the interplay between inventive manned-flight experiments and novel poetic creations, the lecture will demonstrate the fusion of classical Roman material and contemporary science in the depiction of distant planets and extra-terrestrial life in the works of early modern English poets.
Speaker bio: Ivana Bičak teaches early modern literature at Durham University. She works at the intersections of English poetry and science in the early modern period. She also has a long-standing interest in the grotesque and black humour. Her articles have appeared in Renaissance Studies, The Seventeenth Century, and Milton Quarterly. She is currently finalising a monograph on the interplay of early modern poetry and natural philosophy. Her international experience includes research work in the UK, Denmark, Austria, and Spain.