Wednesday, October 3, 2012

5 Questions Series - Jennifer Feather



1. How did you arrive at your dissertation topic or most recent project of considerable scope?
 
The topic for my first book came about as I shaped my lifelong interest in chivalric contests into an intellectual project that intervened fruitfully in my field.  My most recent projects are based on ideas that I wanted to pursue further in the first project but that would not fit into that argument.

2. If you could go back and teach your grad school self one important thing about reading/writing/teaching/etc. that you learned after grad school, what would it be?

Feedback on your writing is almost always tough to hear at the time but frequently invaluable when it comes to publishing your work.  Put yourself (and your work) out there as often as you get the opportunity. 

3. What aspect of being a professional scholar and teacher do you find most difficult?

Being a professional scholar and teacher requires a great deal of social engagement, especially for those of us who are more introverted by nature.  One has to be deliberate about finding quiet, interior time.

4. What do you like most about being a professional scholar and teacher?

I find the exchange of ideas with both colleagues and students most rewarding.  I feel extraordinarily privileged to share an intellectual life with so many interesting thinkers. 

5. What kinds of things do you do to maintain your intellectual curiosity?

Recently, I audited a class in Ancient Greek, and I got an enormous amount from the experience.  Many of the colleagues with whom I shared this particular intellectual joy told me that they had had a similar experience when learning a new language.

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 Jennifer Feather is an assistant professor of English literature at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, specializing in early Renaissance literature with an additional interest in contemporary theories of gender and violence.  Her book “Writing Combat and the Self in Early Modern EnglishLiterature: The Pen and the Sword” (Palgrave 2011) examines competing depictions of combat in sixteenth-century texts as varied as Arthurian romance and early modern medical texts to demonstrate the continued importance of combat in understanding the humanist subject and the contours of the previously neglected pre-modern subject.  In addition, she has published essays on blood in Shakespeare’s Othello (forthcoming in Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England) and the importance of Brutus’s suicide in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (in Shakespeare and Moral Agency, ed. Michael D. Bristol. New York, NY: Continuum Books, 2010).

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