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Ancient World Seminar: Joanne van der Woude (Groningen), 'American Aeneids: Antique Precedent in Early America'

Wanneer:ma 19-05-2014 16:15 - 17:30
Waar:Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, rrom 130

This talk investigates early modern poetry about the American colonies. Most accounts of American literature start with Puritan writings, which refer to the Bible, rather than to texts from ancient Greece or Rome. Instead, I argue, poems about the earliest ventures—Virginia and New Netherland—are more productively read as looking back to antique sources, with a twist. Tropes from the classics are frequently used for parody, satire, or humor. Why were such perverse imitations so popular, particularly on occasions of war and violence?

Joanne van der Woude has previously been affiliated to Columbia University and Harvard University and is currently a Rosalind Franklin Fellow and Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Groningen. Her research focuses on early American literature (up to 1800). In her various  projects Van der Woude studies the development of new cultural identities as a result of the colonization of the Americas and particularly the ways in which these identities found expression in the literature and other cultural productions of both colonists and Native Americans.