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Anna-Rose Shack MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Early Modern History, Gender, Languages & Literature, British History

Cohort/Start PhD: 2020-2021

Languages of Vulnerability in Early Modern Women’s Poetry


University of Amsterdam
Promotor(es): Dr Kristine Johanson and Prof. dr. Carrol Clarkson.
Project start date: September 2020


This NWO-funded project analyses the diverse ways in which 16th- and 17th-century female poets represented experiences of vulnerability in their lyric poetry. These poets engage with discourses of vulnerability as they articulate embodied emotional experience within a decidedly patriarchal culture. Languages of vulnerability emerge as dominant modes through which early modern female poets explore the nature of interpersonal relations, specifically the threat (inter)dependence could pose to individual autonomy and self-sufficiency. This project will identify and trace these languages to examine how six early modern female poets articulate vulnerability as a vital constituent of the self. Offering a counter-perspective to androcentric narratives on the development of selfhood in early modernity, this research innovatively harnesses vulnerability as a conceptual approach to investigate the formation of early modern female poetic selfhood.