Blasting into Space: The Poetics of Faith and Astronomy in 17th-Century England
7:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
In this lecture, Wendy Wall, Professor of the Humanities at Northwestern University, describes how 17th-century woman Hester Pulter, while sick and confined to her bedroom after giving birth to her 15th child, sought solace in an unusual way: she wrote poems about taking off into space to explore planets in the heliocentric universe. While intellectuals of the day feared that new conceptions of astronomy undermined cherished religious beliefs, Pulter was exhilarated in incorporating cutting-edge ideas about space into a new type of devotional poem. How can this relatively newly discovered female poet enlarge our understanding of ways that writers used poetry to interconnect religion, science, and the imagination? How might Pulter's poetry reveal previously unacknowledged ways that early modern women engaged in intellectual production and the mapping of the heavens, even from their remote estates or bedrooms?
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required at indoor events at The Huntington. By attending this event, you attest and agree to provide proof of full vaccination. Masks are required indoors, and recommended outdoors, per Los Angeles County's current COVID-19 safety protocols.
This lecture will be held via Zoom. Zoom link will be sent in confirmation email. This event will be recorded.