16Apr 2020

Guest lecture / Talk

Creating Worlds: Language, Style and Genre in the Fictions of Aphra Behn

Dr. Mel Evans (University of Leicester)

Aphra Behn (c. 1640-1689) was one of the first professional women writers in English. Her life and writings coincide with a tumultuous period of political, cultural and linguistic change. In this lecture, I explore how linguistic frameworks can help us better understand her development as a literary writer, and how her strategies for creating fictional worlds are linguistically distinctive from, or similar to, those of her (male) contemporaries. I outline how approaches to language using “distant” (quantitative) methods can be used alongside more traditional “close reading”, and how paying attention to pragmatic meaning, in particular, allows us to better understand linguistic creativity in the Early Modern English period.

The lecture is taking place as part of Daniela Landert's lecture course Early Modern English. Due to the current situation, the lecture will be recorded and distributed to students and guests by Wednesday, 15 April. Anyone who is interested is cordially invited to send an e-mail to Daniela (daniela.landert@unibas.ch), who will provide access to the presentation. The lecture is complemented by a live Q&A session with Mel Evans on Zoom on Thursday, 16 April at 15:00 h. The Zoom session can be accessed with the following coordinates:
Meeting ID: 394 040 340


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