Kaplan, M. Lindsay
Kaplan, M. Lindsay
Office—Department of English, Georgetown University, 306 New North, Washington, DC 20057-1131. E-mail—[email protected]
Educator, writer, and editor. Georgetown University, Washington, DC, associate professor of English, 1993—.
Georgetown academic grants; Folger short-term fellowship; Memorial Foundation for Jewish Studies and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship grant.
(Editor) William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice: Texts and Contexts, Bedford/St. Martin's Press (Boston, MA), 2002.
Contributor to books, including The Judgement of Susanna: Authority and Witness, edited by Ellen Spolsky, Scholar's Press (Atlanta, GA), 1996; Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1996; and A Feminist Companion to Shakespeare, edited by Dympna Callaghan, Blackwell (Oxford, England) 2000. Contributor to scholarly journals, including Renaissance Drama NS XX1 and Early Modern France.
M. Lindsay Kaplan is an English professor whose interests include various aspects of early modern culture, including law, gender, race and religious difference. In her book The Culture of Slander in Early Modern England, the author discusses the central role that slander lawsuits played in the social, legal, and literary concerns of early modern England. The author presents a historical look at slander and discusses such topics as censorship versus slander and the theme of slander in works such as Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, and Ben Jonson's The Poetaster. Writing in Shakespeare Studies, S.P. Cerasano noted that the author "is interested primarily in the realm of literature and how various authors seemed to ‘answer’ the restrictions placed on printing and printed materials during periods when the state censors seemed most active and vocal." Renaissance Quarterly contributor David M. Loades wrote that the author writes about "a world of courtly intrigue rather than significant politics, and attempted censorship provides little more than a background." Commenting on the author's writing style, Joan Blythe noted in Modern Philology that Kaplan's "authorial voice … is gracious and unobtrusive."
Kaplan is also the editor, with Valerie Traub and Dympna Callaghan, of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects. This collection of essays by feminist critics of early modern literature focuses on the relationship between the development of the Renaissance and how women were understood by men as well as by women themselves. The essays address a wide range of factors that played a role in the perception of women, from technology, science, and anatomy to literacy and the theater. The essayists also delve into the prevailing views concerning domesticity, colonialism, and sex. Writing in Early Modern Literary Studies, Martine van Elk called the book "a valuable collection and a useful resource in that it offers us a broad spectrum of feminist reading practices and critical concerns in approaching the early modern period." The reviewer also noted: "With essays that range widely both in terms of subject matter and in terms of quality, this collection offers an excellent opportunity to step back and look critically at the state of criticism in our field, reconsidering its uses of evidence, historical and literary contexts, and theoretical paradigms." Other reviewers also praised the book, including Signs contributor Sara van den Berg, who wrote: "Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture not only brings together a group of feminist scholars who share a theoretical methodology that focuses on issues of representation and textuality, it also offers a sample of their new work in progress." In a review in Shakespeare Studies, Georgianna Ziegler noted: "Though some of these essays present their arguments more clearly or forcefully than others, the strength of all of them taken together is that they invite us to query and define the late-twentieth-century assumptions we bring to the study of early modern culture, and to ask new questions that will make us rethink our own readings of the past and help us to a better understanding of that culture."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Early Modern Literary Studies, May, 2002, Martine van Elk, review of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects.
Journal of Women's History, winter, 2000, Matthew P. Romaniello, review of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture, p. 233.
Modern Language Review, April, 1998, Helen Wilcox, review of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture, p. 463.
Modern Philology, August, 2001, Joan Blythe, review of The Culture of Slander in Early Modern England, p. 80.
Renaissance Quarterly, spring, 1999, Linda Woodbridge, review of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture, p. 265; summer, 1999, David M. Loades, review of The Culture of Slander in Early Modern England, p. 549.
Shakespeare Studies, annual, 1998, Georgianna Ziegler, review of Feminist Readings in of Early Modern Culture, p. 415; annual, 1999, S.P. Cerasano, review of The Culture of Slander in Early Modern England, p. 77.
Signs, autumn, 2000, Sara van den Berg, review of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture, p. 286.
Women's Studies, December, 1997, Shasta Turner, review of Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture, p. 99.
Georgetown University Department of English Web site,http://www8.georgetown.edu/departments/english/ (March 26, 2007), faculty profile of author.