Sigma Tau Delta Faculty Speaker Series, Nov 20, 2019: Dr. Dyani Taff on Racialized Environments in Early Modern Culture


Contributed by Christopher Matusiak

All are welcome to attend the following public lecture on Wednesday, November 20, at 5:30 in Business 206

"Rocks and Hard Places: Scylla and Charybdis, Wombs/Tombs, and Racialized Environments in Early Modern Culture"

How are the classical sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis racialized, and what are their genders? Dr Dyani Taff's talk will offer a few answers, examining early modern ideas about monstrosity, nature, and human-nonhuman interactions in a variety of early modern texts. Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, book 2 and Hester Pulter's "The Complaint of the Thames, 1647," poems written half a century apart and in radically differing political climates, will serve as core examples. Spenser and Pulter offer radical rewritings of the classical story that make violent monsters into agents of political and personal change and that invite questions about the supposed naturalness of 16th and 17th century hierarchies of race and gender.

This talk is sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.


Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Christopher Matusiak at We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.