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TALK: Liza Blake, “Lucy Hutchinson’s Non-Atomistic Lucretius: How the World Did Not Become Modern”
May 16, 2016 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
In Michel Serres and Bruno Latour’s Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time, Latour sums up a long discussion on temporality as follows: “So it’s the same two-pronged problem: to settle the problem of time, and to settle the problem of the sciences.” In the Conversations, and in Latour’s We Have Never Been Modern, Serres and Latour argue that periodization itself was inaugurated by the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. Blake’s paper will investigate these claims via a reading of Lucy Hutchinson’s mid-seventeeth-century translation of Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura, itself a poem that has, to put it mildly, attracted some attention as a potential catalyst for modernity. An investigation of the epistemological claims of the poem, she will argue, has consequences for the ways we think about periodizing literature, science, and literature and science.
This talk will be given as a part of Andrew Griffin’s graduate seminar on “Modernity and Early Modernity.”
Liza Blake is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toronto.