Skip Navigation
Angelo State University
Department of English and Modern Languages

Search Site

Information for:

Fowler Presents at ASU Symposium

April 19, 2013

image

Senior English major, Amanda Fowler, presented her research project, “Anxieties of Body and Soul in the ‘Abstract Spiritual Love’ of Donne’s Valedictions,” along with twenty-three other students at ASU’s second annual undergraduate research symposium, Friday, April 19, 2013.

In her abstract, Fowler claims: “Donne’s Valedictions encompass a broad spectrum of spiritual and corporeal movement in his attempt to unpack the often tenuous relationship between the soul and body. Despite a critical tendency to read the Valedictions as an optimistic display of the union of body and soul, Donne problematizes every hopeful and idealized image of united lovers he presents. Throughout, Donne complicates the tropes of neoplatonic consummation seen in prominent works of the era like Button’s Anatomy of Melancholy and Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier. While neoplatonic love conventionally hinges on the lovers’ initial physical connection followed by the idealization of their love through the removal of bodily presence, Donne’s Valedictions express the hazard of such detachment. The process is fraught with danger. With their physical union, the souls of the lovers combine to create a new soul. This soul is withdrawn from their bodies, increasingly vulnerable as it loses the protection offered by the corporeal lovers. Donne harnesses the anxiety of an exposed soul in terms of tears, semen, breath, vapor, and air—unprotected substances susceptible to contamination or injury by elements surrounding the body. Although the lovers ideally will create a bond no longer dependent on the body, Donne’s intensely corporeal language suggests the generative powers of these images to create or release the spirit of the lovers, blurring the distinction between the physical and spiritual aspects of love. Donne’s Valedictions maintain his doubt in the detachment of the spiritual love of Neoplatonism from its original physicality.”

EML News

  • Image preview
    Professor of English, Terry Dalrymple, has published a new collection of short fiction
  • Image preview
    English Professors Hama and Kornasky presented at ALA Symposium, San Antonio
  • Image preview
    ASU Russian Club collects information on Polish Public Radio
  • Image preview
    Writing Center Administrators and three English graduate students present at SCWCA
  • Image preview
    Dr. John Wegner, interim dean of the Freshman College at Angelo State University, has published his first book of short fiction, titled “Love is Not a Dirty Word,” through Lamar University Press.
  • Image preview
    Holly Miles, a senior in the Angelo State University Honors Program, has received a 2014 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship, which will provide up to $40,000 per year for graduate studies, as well as summer internship opportunities and a  guaranteed appointment as a Foreign Service Officer upon completion of her master’s degree.
image