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Shakespeare's Sisters

Tue, March 19 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

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Learn about female writers during the Renaissance when Ramie Targoff discusses her new book, Shakespeare's Sisters: How Women Wrote the Renaissance, with Shannon Kelley PhD of Fairfield University.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

About Shakespeare's Sisters:

In an innovative and engaging narrative of everyday life in Shakespeare’s England, Targoff carries us from the sumptuous coronation of Queen Elizabeth in the mid-16th century into the private lives of four women writers working at a time when women were legally the property of men. Few have heard of Aemilia Lanyer, the first woman in the 17th century to publish a book of original poetry, which offered a feminist take on the crucifixion, or Elizabeth Cary, who published the first original play by a woman, about the plight of the Jewish princess Mariam. Then there was Anne Clifford, a lifelong diarist who fought for decades against a patriarchy that tried to rob her of her land in one of England’s most infamous inheritance battles. These women had husbands and children to care for and little support for their art, yet against all odds they defined themselves as writers, finding rooms of their own where doors had been shut for centuries. Targoff flings those doors open, revealing the treasures left by these extraordinary women; in the process, she helps us see the Renaissance in a fresh light, creating a richer understanding of history and offering a much-needed female perspective on life in Shakespeare’s day.


Ramie Targoff is the Jehuda Reinharz Professor of the Humanities, professor of English, and co-chair of Italian Studies at Brandeis University. She holds a BA from Yale University and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author, most recently, of Renaissance Woman, a biography of Vittoria Colonna, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Shannon Kelley (Duke, PhD) is Director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Associate Professor of English at Fairfield University, where she teaches courses in lyric poetry and Shakespeare. Her work on gender and the poetics of trauma in the poetry of Andrew Marvell won the Monroe Kirk Spears Award from Studies in English Literature in 2015.  Her current book manuscript under contract with Cornell University Press charts how race, gender, and trauma intersect by following the single metaphor of tree-becoming.

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The Renaissance


Tue, March 19
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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