Plenary Speakers

Laurie Shannon
“Staging ‘Live Creatures’: Human Boundedness from Shakespeare’s Crab to
King Lear (with Sheep)”

Laurie Shannon is Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of Literature and
chair of the Department of English at Northwestern University. She has
served as a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and chair
of the MLA Executive Committee of the Division on Shakespeare. Shannon
is author of Sovereign Amity: Figures of Friendship in Shakespearean 
Contexts and The Accommodated Animal: Cosmopolity in Shakespearean 
Locales, both from the University of Chicago Press. Her third monograph,
tentatively entitled “Poor Things: A Natural History of Human Being, c.
1600,” considers how exposure and incapacity may be more central to
historical conceptions of humanness than self-aggrandizing attributes
like rationality and executive competence.

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Michelle Burnham
“Bodies at Risk: The Global Pacific in the Eighteenth Century”

Michelle Burnham is Professor of English at Santa Clara University. She
is the author of Folded Selves: Colonial New England Writing in the 
World System, and Captivity and Sentiment: Cultural Exchange in American 
Literature (both published with the University of New England Press).
She has edited a collection of writings by Helen Hunt Jackson (with
Heyday Books), and has recently co-edited (for Broadview Press) an
updated version of the 1767 novel, The Female American, which recovers
the text’s global literary history. She has just completed the
manuscript for a new book, titled The Revolutionary Pacific: 
Transoceanic American Writing and the Calculus of Risk. Her new research
project turns to literature about islands and oceans, bringing together
book history and digital humanities to recover the publication and
translation histories of transoceanic genres.

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