Spenser and Gender Studies

Theresa Krier

in The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199227365
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Spenser and Gender Studies

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
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This article considers Spenser's relationship to gender studies. Spenser is a poet of erotic intimacies, unfolding through them philosophical, historical, political, and aesthetic thought that addresses every period's gender concerns. But erotic intimacies in Spenser's work make up only one aspect of his broader achievement as a major poet of intimacy. Spenser's work also seeks the quick of affect, pain, ineffable corporeal, and psychic processes. He is a poet of unnerving openness to streams of experience both subtle and gross, and his work challenges readerly capacities for nearness to the flux of phenomena — a nearness that we alternately desire and flee in our professional reading traditions. Openness of this kind may disconcert any reader of Spenser, just as his interest in erotic intimacies may do; our professional ways of registering the latter often speak to our scholarly and critical traditions' relationship to the former.

Keywords: poet; erotic intimacies; gender; intimacy

Article.  8355 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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