Jane Raisch

Dissertation Fellow
2015-2016
Jane Rasisch Image

In her dissertation project, “Fictions of Scholarship: Hermeneutics & Hellenism in Early Modern England,” Jane Raisch reimagines the period-defining narrative of the Renaissance as the age of classical rediscovery by investigating the distinctive impact of Greek antiquity on early modern English literature. She argues that the reception of Hellenistic and Imperial Greek literature produced new paradigms for textual interpretation and fiction-making in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Greek’s cultural and linguistic “newness” in the Renaissance, unlike Latin’s essentially uninterrupted cultural presence in Western Europe throughout the Middle Ages, compelled a departure from preexisting scholarly methodologies toward more experimental techniques of cultural recovery. Responding to these techniques, Renaissance authors merged scholarly speculation with imaginative world-creation to produce manifestly innovative literary texts. In tracing this fictional appropriation of scholarly practices, Raisch locates the experimental, imaginative, and proto-novelistic origins of early modern English literature in the Renaissance’s engagement with Greek texts.