In Person: Douglas Pfeiffer on The Force of Character: Authorial Personality and the Making of Renaissance Texts

  • 10/19/2022
  • 5:15 PM
  • 10/19/2022 In-person program at ULCC, 65 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago. Advance registration required via website. The presentation is in-person only. Zoom date to be announced. Social hour 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm. Presentation to follow. No Dinner.


  • Speaker, AV technical and admin support
  • Free Program and Cash Bar

Registration is closed

October Evening Program

How did we first come to believe in a correspondence between writers’ lives and their works? When did the person of the author—both as context and target of textual interpretation—come to matter so much to the way we read? This book traces the development of author centrism back to the scholarship of early Renaissance humanists. Constellated throughout with examples from the works of major contemporaries including John Aubrey, John Hayward, Galileo, Machiavelli, and Shakespeare, this volume resurrects a vibrant culture of biographism continuous with modern popular practice and yet radically more nuanced in its strategic reliance on the explanatory power of probabilism and historical conjecture—the discursive middle ground now obscured from view by the post-Enlightenment binaries of truth and fiction, history and story, fact and fable.

Dr. Pfeiffer earned a PhD at Columbia and is currently the Associate Professor of 16th and 17th century English poetry and Renaissance Humanities at Stony Brook University. Doug is a member of the Modern Language Associates and the Renaissance Society of America. In addition, he has served on the Council of the Biographical Society of America since 2015, and was Chair of the BSA publications committee from 2017 to 2020.

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