Nelson essay published in RE-READING MARY WROTH (Palgrave, 2015)

February 6, 2015

Edited by Katherine R. Larson and Naomi J. Miller, with Andrew Strycharski, the volume marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the groundbreaking collection READING MARY WROTH.

Cover: REREADING MARY WROTH, ed Larson & Miller
The collection features work by Margaret Hannay, Barbara Lewalski, Mary Ellen Lamb, Beverly Van Note, Clare Kinney, Kristiane Stapleton, Karen Nelson, Madeline Bassnett, Ilona Bell, Paul Salzman, Rebecca Fall, Sheila Cavanagh, Georgianna Ziegler, Nona Fienberg, Gary Waller, Andrew Strycharski, Katherine Larson, and Naomi Miller.

In "‘Change Partners and Dance’: Pastoral Virtuosity in Wroth’s Love’s Victory," Nelson places Wroth’s Love’s Victory alongside stylistics that permeate musical and dance production and draws attention to the play’s strengths, artifice and ornament, manipulation of rhythm and meter, and composed fusion of sources and genres. Dance performance practices embedded in this pastoral tragicomedy, manifested in its groupings of characters, its shifts in tempo, and its symmetries. Nelson assesses the text as improvisational within a set of structures, especially measures of music that set time and tempo; considers its movements as relational, performed especially by groupings of dancers who share the stage and respond to one another’s movements; and suggests that Wroth composes in a patterned, referential fashion from core canonical elements.

From the press:
"2016 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Reading Mary Wroth, a groundbreaking collection that helped to propel interest in Wroth before modern editions of most of her texts were available. A surge of critical interest in Wroth is now transforming our experiences of reading her. This volume charts opportunities for scholars and students to re-read Mary Wroth now that the necessity of reading her has been recognized. It also establishes new directions for the broadening field of early modern women's writing. In extending the work of the 1991 volume, Re-Reading Mary Wroth takes seriously the many different practices that emerge around the term "reading," including editing, performance, curating, pedagogy, scholarly and creative writing, and digital reproduction. The essays featured in this collection thus extend the boundaries of the "canon" of approaches to literature in much the same way that Wroth's "rediscovery" has helped to expand and destabilize the very notion of canonicity. In Re-Reading Mary Wroth, Wroth becomes a fruitful point of departure as much as a subject of analysis in her own right.”