Teaching With The Pulter Project

A Symposium Across Time

April 30, May 6, and May 7, 2021

If we include Hester Pulter’s poetry in the classroom, what new knowledges and stories come to light—about gender, genre, nature, materiality, editing and canonicity? How do digital tools such as The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making open up pedagogical opportunities in introductory, advanced, and graduate seminars? Please join our discussion of teaching in the virtual age, where panelists will open a dialogue about the range of issues emerging when Pulter’s poems—in their digital form—join and shape the curriculum.

Keynote: Frances E. Dolan
“Mucking About With a Poet in the Making”

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Friday, April 30th 3:00-5:00 PM Central Daylight Time
  • Introduction: Leah Knight (Brock University) and Wendy Wall (Northwestern University), Recovering Voices/Reshaping the Classroom

Panel 1: Revolving Digital Tools with Pulter

  • Emily Bryan (Sacred Heart University), “Pulter Pedagogy: Amplifying the Tradition”

  • Whitney Sperazza (Rochester Institute of Technology), “Hacking Time with Hester Pulter”

  • Patricia Fumerton (UC-Santa Barbara) and Kristen McCants Forbes (UC-Santa Barbara), “Breaking New Ground: Hester Pulter and Digital Methodologies in the Graduate Classroom”

  • Respondent: Vin Nardizzi (University of British Columbia)

Thursday, May 6th 3:30-5:30 PM Central Daylight Time

Panel 2: Rethinking Genre/Form

  • Andy Crow (Boston College), “Visualizing Pulter’s Emblems: Approaching Poetics through Graphic Narrative”

  • Marshelle Woodward (Berea College), “Teaching Early Modern Books of Nature with The Pulter Project”

  • Dianne Mitchell (University of Colorado), “Into the Pulterverse”

  • Courtney Pollard (UC-Davis), “The Tortoise and the Turtle: Teaching Pulter’s Emblems Within a Larger Literary Tradition”

  • Respondent: Jessica Rosenberg (University of Miami)

Friday, May 7th 3:00-5:30 PM Central Daylight Time

Panel 3: Expanding the Conversation

  • Samantha Snively (Social Media and Public Outreach, TPP) “Pulter Beyond the Classroom: Public Engagement and The Pulter Project

  • Keynote: Frances Dolan (UC-Davis), “Mucking About With a Poet in the Making”

  • Workshop: Future Pedagogy and The Pulter Project, Megan Heffernan (DePaul University) and Elizabeth Zeman Kolkovich (The Ohio State University), co-moderators


Emily Bryan is a lecturer at Sacred Heart University in the department of Languages and Literature. Emily has been teaching Shakespeare, drama and writing to undergraduates for 20 years. For several years on an academic hiatus while child rearing, Emily ran a professional, free, outdoor Shakespeare company in Connecticut. She also worked for several years as the assistant casting director at the Public Theater in New York. She has published on charade dramas, early modern academic drama, and Shakespeare. She is currently interested in using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in the classroom, and she piloted a VR English course during Summer 2020. She holds an MA in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and her PHD from Northwestern’s English Department.

Andy Crow is an assistant professor in the English department at Boston College. Andy is currently completing their book Austerity Measures: The Poetics of Hunger in Early Modern English Literature, which examines how authors used poetry to influence food production and consumption. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Christianity and Literature, Early Modern Women, ELH, Shakespeare Quarterly, SEL, and the edited volumes Women Mobilizing Memory and In the Kitchen 1550-1800: English Cooking at Home and Abroad. Their public-facing work, which covers topics ranging from academic labor precarity to queer comics to horror fiction, can be found in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Lambda Literary Review, The LA Review of Books, Politics/Letters, and on the podcast they co-host, Say Podcast and Die.

Frances E. Dolan is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Davis. An award-winning teacher, she is the author of five books, most recently Digging the Past: How and Why to Imagine Seventeenth-Century Agriculture (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), as well as numerous editions, books for students, and essays. She has provided amplified editions and curations for twelve poems for The Pulter Project, collaborating with Samantha Snively on two of them. Her Amplified Edition of Pulter’s “The Garden,” and accompanying Curations, is now being encoded for the site.

Kristen McCants Forbes is the Assistant Director for the English Broadside Ballad Archive and a lecturer in English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her PhD in English from UCSB in 2020. Her dissertation examined the intersections of affect, animals, and governance in 16th- and 17th-century English romances.

Patricia Fumerton is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Director of UCSB’s English Broadside Ballad Archive, http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu, as well of UCSB’s Maker Lab. In addition to having edited or co-edited eight collections of essays on early modern broadside ballads and print culture, she is the author of the monographs Moving Media, Tactical Publics: The English Broadside Ballad in Early Modern England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), Unsettled: The Culture of Mobility and the Working Poor in Early Modern England (Chicago, 2006) and Cultural Aesthetics: Renaissance Literature and the Practice of Social Ornament (Chicago, 1991).

Megan Heffernan is Associate Professor of English at DePaul University and author of Making the Miscellany: Poetry, Print, and the History of the Book in Early Modern England (Penn, 2021). Her current work includes co-editing a special issue of Huntington Library Quarterly on medieval and early modern miscellanies, an essay on periodization and book history, three new amplified editions for The Pulter Project, and a monograph, “Resilient Books: Archival Science in an Age of Precarity.”

Leah Knight is Associate Professor of Early Modern Non-Dramatic Literature in the Department of English Language and Literature at Brock University, Canada. She is the author of two monographs—Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England (2009) and Reading Green in Early Modern England (2014)—both winners of the British Society for Literature and Science prize. With Elizabeth Sauer and Micheline White, she edited Women's Bookscapes in Early Modern Britain: Reading, Ownership, Circulation (2018). With Wendy Wall, she is general editor of The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making.

Elizabeth Zeman Kolkovich is Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University. She is the author of The Elizabethan Country House Entertainment: Print, Performance, and Gender (Cambridge, 2016) and many essays on early modern drama and women writers. Her most recent publications include “Reader, Maker, Mentor: The Countess of Huntingdon and Her Networks,” in Women’s Labour and the History of the Book in Early Modern England and “In Defense of Indulgence: Hester Pulter’s Maternal Elegies,” in JEMCS. She has edited seven poems for The Pulter Project and won several teaching awards. Current projects include a monograph on remaking masques in Shakespeare and a series of essays on women patrons of drama.

Dianne Mitchell is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her articles are forthcoming or have appeared in Modern Philology, JEMCS, ELR, and Studies in Philology. Dianne’s book in progress, Paper Intimacies, locates surprising forms of intimacy at the intersection of lyric form and manuscript materiality. She routinely collaborates with Katherine Hunt (University of York) to create communities of knowledge around questions of matter and form.

Vin Nardizzi is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literatures at University of British Columbia. With Tiffany Jo Werth, he recently edited Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination (Toronto 2019), and he is completing a book manuscript called “Marvellous Vegetables: Plants and Poetry in the English Renaissance.”

Courtney Pollard is a Ph.D. Candidate in the English Department at the University of California, Davis. She specializes in early modern English literature and is pursuing a Designated Emphasis in Feminist Theory and Research. Her research interests include representations of dreams and early modern dream culture, epistemology, history of science, women writers, and literacy and reading practices. Her dissertation explores the legacy of medieval dream visions and the ways that early modern writers adapt the genre for its speculative potential.

Jessica Rosenberg is assistant professor of English at the University of Miami where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on early modern literature and culture, science and literature, and Shakespeare, and, recently, on comedy and curiosity. Her research looks at the intersections of poetry, print, and practical knowledge about the natural world in early modern England, with by-ways into the poetry of household management, the lifespans of trees and the virtues of plants, and the poetics of instructional books.

Samantha Snively (University of California, Davis) earned her Ph.D. in 2019, writing about household practices of scientific experimentation in Pulter, Cavendish and more. She has served as The Pulter Project's social media and public outreach manager since the Projects launch, and works in the philanthropic sector as a fundraising writer for UC Davis and UC Davis Health.

Whitney Sperrazza is an Assistant Professor of English and Digital Humanities at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her research sits at the intersections of early modern literary studies, histories of science, intersectional feminist theory, and digital humanities. Her in-progress monograph, tentatively titled Touching Science: Poetry, Anatomy, and the Early Modern Female Form, traces the shared tactile histories of women’s poetry and early modern anatomy. You can find her published work in the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Women’s Writing, and Lady Science.

Wendy Wall, Avalon Professor of the Humanities at Northwestern University, is co-creator (with Leah Knight) of The Pulter Project: Poet in the Making, recipient of the 2020 MLA Prize for Collaborative, Bibliographical, or Archival Scholarship. Wendy is author of The Imprint of Gender: Authorship and Publication in the English Renaissance (1993); Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama (2002); and Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen (2015). In addition to engaging in public humanities projects with prisons and theaters, she is currently at work on a book, Revolution, Resurrection, and Dissolution: Hester Pulter and a Reimagined Early Modern World.

Marshelle Woodward is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Berea College. She specializes in the study of seventeenth­-century English literature and culture, and has published on topics relating to early modern intellectual history (especially the histories of science and religion), cultural semantics, feminist formalism, and feminist pedagogy. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals and edited collections including Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Ben Jonson Journal, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, World-Making Renaissance Women: Rethinking Women’s Place in Early Modern Literature and Culture, and Feminist Formalism in Early Modern Literature: Readings, Conversations, Pedagogies. In 2020, she received the School of Arts & Sciences Full-Time Faculty Teaching Award at Canisius College in recognition of outstanding course design.


Hosted by Wendy Wall and Leah Knight, co-directors of The Pulter Project

This symposium was made possible by generous grants from The Alumnae of Northwestern University and the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.

Please address any questions to pulterproject@gmail.com.