|EN200||Foundations of Literary Studies||A|
|EN200||Foundations of Literary Studies||B|
|EN493N||Seminar: 17th-century Literature and the Natural World||A|
Ph.D. Brandeis University
A.B. Brown University
Areas of Expertise
poetry and poetics
early modern English literature and history
Emily Dickinson, ecopoetics
cognitive poetics, literary studies and behavioral economics
My research and teaching focus on poetry and poetics, early modern culture, literature and the natural world, history of ideas, and the intersections of these fields with cognitive science.
I have published articles on Shakespeare, Spenser, Daniel, Mary Sidney Herbert and Milton, exploring ways poems not only represent thought, memory, anticipation, anxiety, knowledge and pleasure but also provoke or intervene in these (in the brains/bodies of readers and writers). My essay, “Flirting with Eternity: Teaching Form and Meter in a Renaissance Literature Course” argues for historicizing the technical features of poems while simultaneously bringing them to life in the classroom. My senior seminar, “Poetry and Cognition” (formerly “Lyric Self and Other”) poses questions about language and the brain/body, aesthetic experience, attention, memory, empathy, self and other, and literary history. Students read poems from the Renaissance to the present, and bring into conversation ideas from linguistics, philosophy, psychology and cognitive science. My recent research centers on Emily Dickinson’s experiments with Shakespeare, and her experiments environmentally situating the human.
The underlying concern of much of my work is how people have used, and do use, literature–especially poetry– to grapple with mortality and the failings of our species; to reflect on and experiment with the nature of being; to build and experience community; to listen and respond to others, even across centuries.
Links and pdfs to several of my publications can be found below, and additionally, on my Academia.edu page at https://colby.academia.edu/ElizabethHSagaser
My current research engages poetry and poetics, literary history, ecocritism and cognitive literary studies. Two recent talks represent my current projects:
“Generative Reading: Shakespeare, Dickinson, Shockley,”Emily Dickinson International Society Annual Meeting, Aug., 2021. Relocated to remote.
Available on EDIS youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqevDM0FBgc
“Perceiving Perception in Dickinson’s Bird Poems,” part of panel, “Emily Dickinson and Non-human Nature,” American Poetry Symposium of the American Literature Association, Washington D.C., Feb. 2020.
Articles and Chapters
“’Tis Centuries – and yet’”: Teaching Dickinson and the Presence of the Past.” Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin (31.2 / Nov.-Dec. 2019).
“The Renaissance, 1500-1660,” article in “England, Poetry of.” The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Fourth ed., Roland Greene, et. al. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012), 414-420, 428.
“Pursuing the Subtle Thief: Teaching Time and Meter in Milton’s Short Poems,” Approaches to Teaching Milton’s Shorter Poetry and Prose, Peter C. Herman, ed. (New York, NY: Modern Language Association of America; 2007), 88-96.
“Elegiac Intimacy: Pembroke’s ‘To the Angell Spirit of the Most Excellent Sir Philip Sidney,'” The Sidney Journal 23 (2005): 111-132.
“Flirting with Eternity: Teaching Form and Meter in a Renaissance Poetry Course,”Renaissance Literature and the Questions of Form, ed. Mark Rasmussen (New York: Palgrave at St. Martin’s Press, 2002), 185-206.
“‘Sporting the While’: Carpe Diem and the Cruel Fair in Samuel Daniel’s Delia and The Complaint of Rosamond,” Exemplaria 10 (1998): 145-170.
“‘Gathered in Time’: Form, Meter (and Parentheses) in The Shepheardes Calender,” Spenser Studies 10 (1992): 95-107.
“Dickinson in Pandemic Days,” Colby Magazine, summer 2020
“Poetry, the First Milk,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (2/11/2011, Vol. 57 Issue 23): B11-B13
“Holding Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand,” Tennis, (March 2007, Miller Sports Group LLC): 90-94.
“‘No Proper Sphere’ for Mum, but She Made One for Me,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sect.2, Aug.10, 2001, B5.
Double review: Pamela S. Hammons, Poetic Resistance: English Women Writers and the Early Modern Lyric (Hampshire, England: Ashgate, 2002) and Sidney L. Sondergard, Sharpening Her Pen: Strategies of Rhetorical Violence by Early Modern English Women Writers (Selinsgrove: Susquehanna UP; London: Associated UP, 2002), Renaissance Quarterly 57.1 (2004): 339-341.
Helen Vendler, The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Harvard UP, 1997), Sixteenth Century Journal 29 (1998): 858-860.
Barbara Estrin, Laura: Uncovering Gender and Genre in Wyatt, Donne, and Marvell (Duke UP), Renaissance Quarterly 51 (1998): 310-311.