Dr Micha Lazarus, Trinity

 

 

Biographical Information

I arrived at Trinity College as a Research Fellow in 2015.  I was an undergraduate and doctoral student at St John's College, Oxford, and spent time in between at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of California, Berkeley, where I took a Master's.  In the course of my D.Phil. I was awarded the Gordon Duff Prize in book history by the Bodleian Libraries.  Since then I've taught Renaissance literature and served on admissions for several colleges in Oxford and Cambridge before coming to Trinity, and been awarded fellowships by the Harry Ransom Center, Dumbarton Oaks, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

 

Research Interests

I work on the relationship between poetic theory and literary experiment in Renaissance England: how the form and craft of Renaissance poetry do theoretical work, and how contemporary critical writing draws on poetic resources.  Because much literary thought in the period was classical or continental in origin, much of my work has to do with classical reception and England's literary and intellectual relations with the continent.

My doctoral research established the circulation of Aristotle’s Poetics in sixteenth-century England, several decades before it is usually thought to have become available, and involved me in a wide range of subjects, from Byzantine rhetoric and polyglot lexicography to Renaissance booklists, mid-century Reformation tragedy, and Sidney's Defence of Poesy. I'm currently reshaping this for publication with Oxford University Press, expanding its literary side through Ascham, Reformation tragedy, Buchanan, Sidney, Daniel, Shakespeare, and Milton.  An introduction to my work in this field can be found in 'Aristotelian Criticism in Sixteenth-Century England'.

My next project is a book entitled Reformation Literary Criticism. From the 1530s to the 1550s a school of literary thought coalesced around Philip Melanchthon and his circle at Wittenberg, the heart of the Reformation. Disseminated mostly through Latin prefaces and commentaries in editions of the classical poets and dramatists, the work of the Wittenberg school produced and stimulated in turn a remarkably coherent body of work that supplies the long-missing link between medieval and Renaissance literary criticism. Reformation Literary Criticism will edit and translate these major texts of literary criticism with facing-page English translations, introductory essays, and critical apparatus.

With Vladimir Brljak, I convene Poetics before Modernity, a series of projects (including a seminar series in 2016-17, and an early-career conference in 2017) bringing together classicists, medievalists, and Renaissance scholars to present new work on Western literary theory from its ancient beginnings to 1700. I'm also Co-Investigator, with Gavin Alexander, on English Renaissance Poetics Online (ERPO), a digital project that maps the influence of classical and Renaissance poetics in English writing from 1500-1700.

 

Selected Publications

Aristotle's Poetics in Renaissance England, under revision for the Oxford English Monographs series, Oxford University Press

Poetics before Modernity: Literary Theory in the West from Antiquity to 1700, edited volume with Vladimir Brljak, under consideration at Oxford University Press

'Samuel Daniel and Talon's Rhetoric', under consideration at Notes and Queries

'Sound Aristotelians and How They Read', under review for Beyond Aristotle’s Poetics in the Italian Renaissance: New Directions in Criticism and Reception, ed. Bryan Brazeau (forthcoming, Bloomsbury)

'"Anonymous to This Day": Aristotle and the Question of Verse', under review for 'In Other Words’: Translating Philosophy in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, special issue of Rivista di storia della filosofia, ed. David Lines and Anna L. Puliafito (forthcoming, 2019)

'Sublimity by fiat: New Light on the English Longinus', in The Places of Early Modern Criticism, ed. Gavin Alexander, Emma Gilby, and Alexander Marr (forthcoming c.2019, Oxford University Press)

'The Dramatic Prologues of Alexander Nowell: Accommodating the Classics at 1540s Westminster', Review of English Studies 69.288 (2018), 32-55  [online here]

'Poetry and Horseplay in Sidney’s Defence of Poesie', The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 79 (2016), 149-82  [online here]

'Greek in Tudor England', The Etheridge Project (British Library & Hellenic Institute of Royal Holloway, University of London, 2016), 8 pp.  [online here]

'Aristotelian Criticism in Sixteenth-Century England', in Oxford Handbooks Online (Oxford University Press, 2016), 30 pp.  [online here]

'Sidney's Greek Poetics', Studies in Philology 112.3 (2015), 504-36  [online here]

'Greek Literacy in Sixteenth-century England', Renaissance Studies 29.3 (2015), 433-58  [online here]

'Silent Years and Speaking Books: Nicholas Udall in 1533', Notes and Queries 62.1 (2015), 35-39  [online here]

'Did Thomas Linacre bring Aristotle's Poetics to England?', under consideration at Bodleian Library Record

 

Recent and Upcoming Talks

'Hellenism in the Renaissance.' Roundtable, CUNY Graduate Center, 22 Feb, 2019

'Sophocles in Exile: Reforming Tragedy from Wittenberg to Cambridge.' Ancient Greek Drama in Latin 1506-1590. Readership, Translation, and Circulation, King’s College, London, 3-4 Sep, 2018

'Rhetores Graeci: The Tree of the Book.' Greek Matters, University of York, 19 Jul, 2018

'The English PetRAAWRK! Birdsong in an Elizabethan Madrigal.' Song Seminar, University of Cambridge, 9 May, 2018

'Petrarch and the Nightingale.' Imitation and Lyric Poetics: New Comparative Perspectives, panel at RSA 2018 New Orleans, 22-24 Mar, 2018

'Shakespeare's Aristotle: The Poetics in Renaissance England.' Delivered at:

Classics Faculty colloquium, University of Pennsylvania, 15 Mar, 2018
English Faculty, University of California, Berkeley, 26 Feb, 2018
Faculties of Medieval Studies, Classics, and Literature, Bard College, 19 Feb, 2018
English Faculty, Princeton University, 15 Feb, 2018

'Reformation Poetics and the Wittenberg Sophocles.' Poetics before Modernity Conference 2017, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, 14-15 Dec, 2017

'Tragedy at Wittenberg.' English Faculty Research Seminar, University of Cambridge, 20 Nov, 2017

'Anonymous to this day: Aristotle and the Question of Verse.' In Other Words: Translating Philosophy in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, University of Warwick, 10-12 May, 2017

'Terence, Seneca, and the Gods of Westminster.' New Texts in English Criticism, panel at RSA 2017 Chicago, 30 Mar-1 Apr, 2017

'Safe Reading at 1540s Westminster: New Discoveries from a Bodleian Manuscript.' Fellows' Research Talk, Trinity College, Cambridge, 18 May, 2016

'Sublimity by fiat: New Light on the English Longinus.' Readings and Rewritings of Ancient Texts, 1650-1800, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 14 May, 2016

'Nowell's Little Soldiers: Terence, Seneca, and the God Aesculapius in 1540s Westminster.' Early Modern Interdisciplinary Seminar, University of Cambridge, 4 May, 2016

'Diphthongs and Wormwood: Aristotle's Poetics from Cheke to Shakespeare.' University of Texas at Austin, 11 Apr, 2016

'Gran tempo abbandonata, & negletta: The Rediscoveries of Aristotle's Poetics.' Lost and Found, panel at RSA 2016 Boston, 31 Mar-2 Apr, 2016