Thursday, March 27, 2008

Q&A with Margaret Ezell

Q&A with Margaret Ezell

We asked Margaret Ezell (Department of English), who presents on Wednesday, 2 April on "Elizabeth Isham and the Technologies of Memory," a few questions about her work:

MGGCHR: What is your presentation's argument?

Margaret Ezell: I'm not sure :-) I'm hoping that will become clearer through the discussion--

MGGCHR: How did you hit on the focus of your current research and what interests you about it?

Margaret Ezell: I was invited to respond to two manuscript texts as part of a symposium held on them at Princeton in the fall. The aspect which most interested me was the ways in which the two manuscripts are so physically different, even though by the same person and about the same time period.

MGGCHR: What is the most interesting place your research has taken you?

Margaret Ezell: One of the prettiest was the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, which took me many, many hours by train to reach through gorgeous landscape. One of the strangest was the former coal hole at Christ Church College, Oxford, where at that time they kept their manuscript collection and was opened with an enormous iron key...

MGGCHR: What is your favorite course to teach, and what makes it your favorite?

Margaret Ezell: Hard to say--I really like teaching the Milton & his Contemporaries course because he was in the middle of such interesting times and so involved in the events of it, along with a lot of very interesting other people. And, of course, he is an amazing poet. The most fun course I have taught recently was called "Drama Queens" and was about women and the theatre in the early modern period, as writers, performers and patrons. I learned a lot putting that one together.

MGGCHR: If you had the opportunity to invite any living humanities scholar to come speak at the Glasscock Center, who would it be and why?

Margaret Ezell: Helene Cixous--because she is still amazing.

MGGCHR: If you were stranded on a desert island, what material would you want with you?

Margaret Ezell: Probably a good radio transmitter to get me off of it!