Spring 2011 Event: Stephen Pender


April 13: Arrive UMTC
Lecture at Institute for Advanced Study for the "Reconfiguring Rhetorical Studies Collaborative," 4pm, Nolte Center
ABSTRACT: 'Anthropologie,' Rhetorical Therapy, the Passions

Among the theologians associated with the Westminster Confession, Charles Herle, vicar at Winwick, Lancashire, and Edward Reynolds, later bishop of Norwich, both explored ethics and 'policy,' prudence and the passions, in works published in the mid-seventeenth century. This paper investigates Herle's Wisdom's Tripos (1655) and Reynolds' popular A Treatise of the Passions and Faculties of the Soule of Man (1640, 1647, 1650, 1656, 1658) as early modern anthropological inquiry. According to an anonymous physician's Anthropologie Abstracted (1655), 'anthropologie' is "the History of Human Nature," with a focus on "the nature of the rational soul," the "fabrick or structure of man revealed in dissection," and the ligature between souls and bodies, spiritus. For Herle and Reynolds, the 'history of human nature' appears as strong ethical inquiry: while they examine the physiology of emotion, moral and intellectual virtues, their cultivation and exercise, organize their analyses. Herle treats psychic "motions and effluxes" and their remedies -- self-reflection and resolution, integrity and constancy -- while Edwards "Philosophical Miscellany" offers a very thick description of motive and passion, arguing that "passion, stirring up the spirits, and quickening the fancy," has "a direct influence upon the habits and manners of the mind." His cures for excessive passion include self-discipline and delay, robust redescription and distraction. Similarly, Herle insists that moral rectitude begins with discovering and 'reducing' inclination, "the bents and biasses of the mind," and flourishes in friendship, interest, and utility; his therapies include 'mixture,' abating vehement passions by mingling them with others, and diversion, in which narratives and exemplarity work to assuage "impetuous affection." Both excoriate stoic apathy. Here, I shall argue that, in the context of other contemporary inquiry, these texts -- A Treatise of the Faculties, Wisdom's Tripos, Anthropologie Abstracted -- constitute a Protestant anthropology.

6pm Dinner with Richard Graff (http://www.tc.umn.edu/~graff013/), Kim Thomas-Pollei (http://www.hprimer.com/about/) and limited others; email David Beard (dbeard@d.umn.edu) for information.
Retire to Radisson University: http://www.radisson.com/minneapolis-hotel-mn-55414/universi

April 14:
Lunch with interested scholars and students; email dbeard@d.umn.edu to be placed on Professor Pender's schedule
Dr. Pender will attend the "TEMS Work in progress - Very Able, Sordid, Cynical, Wrong Headed and Whimsical" at 4pm in Nolte 35
Afterwards, Dr. Pender will head to Duluth, MN.
Retire to Duluth Fitgers Hotel: http://www.fitgers.com/hotel.php

April 15: Arrive UMD
Breakfast at Fitgers or at Midi: http://www.midirestaurant.net/
Lunch with UMD undergraduate and graduate students, Noon, Room TBA
Readings will be distributed to interested lunch partners in advance
Lecture in Department of Philosophy, 2pm, ABAH 245
ABSTRACT: Affable Cities: Urbanity, Rhetoric, and Laughter

The king is sick, reason distrait, the passions up in arms: there is trouble in Pathopolis. The fictional urban setting for the anonymous university play, Pathomachia (acted c. 1616), Pathopolis initially appears in a colloquy of vice: Pride inquires of Malice about the rebellion's "Ring-leaders," and soon suggests that, since the passions intend to "reduce the Kingdome to a Senate, or popular State," the vices should renew their claim to the "Title of Affections." Susceptible to overrule by "inferiour" parts, the city witnesses protracted conflict, and Despair worries that such "discords will overthrow the Soule." By the end of the play, the affections are supplicants to the king, who embodies not only love but reason: they apologize for their revolt, and "crave ... a setled order." Restored to health by 'Urbanitie,' the king grants their suit.

In this paper, I focus on the lineage and effects of urbanity on passion and reason, on a sick king in a distracted city. In act two, Justice arrives with Urbanitie to "solace" the feeble king, and what follows is a spirited exchange about the relationship between wit and counsel, recreation and health, in which Urbanitie, who has been "at Athens," has the final word: "pleasant speech cannot come but from the integritie of the minde, free from a scowlding conscience." Pathomachia endorses counsel and urbanitas as flexible, responsive remedies to conversational sclerosis, sickness, and vulgarity; at Athens, urbanity is cousin to eutrapelia. Like the urbane, one who is equable in conversation, who is eutrapelos, is ready- witted, dextrous, profoundly responsive. The term occasionally suggests ribaldry, trickery, craft, but it appears in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics among the social virtues -- veracity, affability, and friendship -- as a mean between buffoonery and boorishness (1108a23-26). The figure is kinetic, since one who is eutrapelos is 'well-turning': while life includes rest, leisure, and amusement, only some intercourse, some civilis conversatio, is pleasant (1128b3-4). Those who are humorous tastefully, Aristotle argues, who promote relaxation and health, are versatile, tactful, and distinguished by "movements of character," just as bodies are apprehended by gait and gesture. This dynamic responsiveness is my entry into a history of urbanitas and laughter, both as forms of therapy and modes of derision. Perhaps because of its ostensible inscrutability, since antiquity laughter has been a source of controversy for orators and philosophers: here, I trace the history of laughter from ancient Greece through to the seventeenth century, and I finish with a consideration of laughter in Descartes, especially in The Passions of the Soul (1649), in which he cites only one text, Juan Luis Vives' De anima et vita (1538) on laughter.

Dinner with Faculty at Residence of David Gore. To join us, please email dbeard@d.umn.edu
Retire to Fitgers Hotel: http://www.fitgers.com/hotel.php and possibly http://brewhouse.net/

April 16: Day of Rest
Breakfast at Fitgers or at Midi: http://www.midirestaurant.net/
Free Shuttle to Airport; Return to Windsor

About Stephen Pender
Stephen Pender is a professor of English and a researcher at the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric at the University of Windsor. His current research explores rhetoric, medicine, and emotion in early modern Europe. Some of Pender's recent publications include "Seeing, Feeling, Judging: Pain in the Early Modern Imagination," in Pain in Early Modern Culture (2008) and "Cultural Representations of the Body," in The History of the Human Body: the Renaissance (2008).

Stephen Pender, B. A., with high distinction (Toronto), M.A. (Queen's), Ph.D. (Toronto), is a specialist in the poetry and prose of early modern Britain, intellectual history, the history of medicine, and the history of rhetoric. Recently, he has published articles in Rhetorica, Early Science and Medicine, the British Journal for the History of Science, and the Dalhousie Review, as well as a number of chapters in collections of essays. He is currently at work on the relationship between rhetoric, medicine, and emotion in early modern England, medical thought in contemporary historiography, early modern ethics, the history of the imagination, and laughter. His work opens new ground in intellectual history, specifically the relationship between rhetoric, medicine, and forms of probable inference in early modern Europe. Dr. Pender has presented over thirty papers at national and international conferences, and has been invited to the Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry at the University of Iowa to contribute to their 'New Rhetorics, New Histories' project and to Leiden University for a conference and collection of essays on pain in early modern Europe. In 2003, he co-edited The Common Sky: Canadian Writers against the War in Iraq (Three Squares Press); he is poetry editor for Three Squares, on the educational advisory board for The Walrus magazine, and has just published his first collection of poetry, Histologies (Toronto, 2007). With Nancy Struever, emeritus, Johns Hopkins University, he is editing a collection of essays on rhetoric and medicine in early modern Europe, and this year his monograph, Essaying the Body: Rhetoric, Medicine, and Emotion in Early Modern England, which was supported by a SSHRCC grant in intellectual history, will be finished. Dr. Pender is currently director of the Humanities Research Group, University of Windsor, and has been graduate chair in English (2005-2006), where he is an associate professor.

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