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McLaughlin Lecture to explore 17th-century women writers
Auburn University’s Anna Riehl Bertolet will deliver the 2022 Mary Martin McLaughlin Memorial Lecture at 5:30 p.m. March 21 in Andrews Hall, Room 117.
Bertolet is director of core literature and professor of English at Auburn. She will speak on the works of Hannah Woolley and Margaret Cavendish. Their writings are widely recognized as key commentaries regarding life and social issues in the 1600s.
Woolley, trained in “physick and chirurgery,” is believed to be the first writer to earn a living writing books on household management. Cavendish similarly made phenomenal advancements for women writers when, despite receiving no formal education in disciplines like philosophy and history, she published groundbreaking texts in these fields alongside her poetry, fiction, and plays. Her work is read to this day and is increasingly the focus of feminist and gender scholarship in early modern studies.
Emily Ernst, a Dallas-based theater actor and director also will assist with the Mary Martin McLaughlin Memorial Lecture. Ernst will perform dramatic readings of primary materials from the lecture, as well as deliver some of the more moving and dramatic passages from Queen Elizabeth I’s speeches.
Bertolet is an award-winning teacher specializing in early modern and visual cultures. She is the author of 10 articles and book chapters, as well as a book, “The Face of Queenship: Early Modern Representations of Elizabeth” (2010). She has edited and co-edited three additional works, including most recently “Creating the Premodern in the Postmodern Classroom: Creativity in early English Literature and History Courses” (2018) with Nebraska’s Carole Levin, Willa Cather Professor of History Emeritus.
The talk, sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program, is free and open to the public. An informal reception will follow the lecture.