Department of English

Associate Professor Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski publishes 'Group Identity in the Renaissance World'

Tue, October 11, 2011
Associate Professor Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski publishes 'Group Identity in the Renaissance World'

From Cambridge University Press

This book argues that the Renaissance, an era long associated with the historical development of individualism, in fact witnessed the emergence of radically new concepts of group identity. From the end of the fifteenth century, rapidly accelerating globalization intensified cross-cultural encounters, destabilized older categories of large- and small-group identity, and contributed to the rise of new hybrid group concepts. Drawing on insights from psychoanalysis, linguistics, and Simmelian social network theory, this book advances a theory of "group subjectivity" – perceptions, fantasies, and patterns of belief that guide the behaviors of individuals in groups and of groups themselves. Considering not only Europe but also South Asia, Africa, the Sugar Islands of the Atlantic, the Caribbean world, and Brazil, Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski reconsiders the Renaissance in global context, presenting micro-histories of group identity formation, and persuasively argues that we think of that transformational era as a "re-networking" of the world and its peoples, rather than a "rebirth."

Now available from Cambridge University Press.

About the Author

Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski is an Associate Professor of English, and an Affiliate of the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas.  Her research interests include Shakespeare and Renaissance drama, early modern colonialisms and global transculturation, feminist theory/women’s writing, early modern technology and culture, and psychoanalytic and neurocritical approaches to literary studies.  Her new book Group Identity in the Renaissance World was published by Cambridge University Press this summer.  Her edition of Shakespeare's Cymbeline, part of the New Kittredge Shakespeare Series, is slated to be published next year by Focus/Pullins.  She is also the author of Old Masters, New Subjects: Early Modern and Poststructuralist Theories of Will (1995), as well as numerous articles on medieval and Renaissance authors, and on literary criticism and theory.

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