5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
“Edward Taylor’s Voice”
Jordan Alexander Stein, University of Colorado at Boulder
This paper explores various traditions of self-representation in seventeenth-century New England Puritan writings and situates them in relation to twentieth-century scholarly claims about Puritan subjectivity. Taking as a central case study Edward Taylor’s “Preparatory Meditations” (written c.1682-c.1718, but only published in 1937), the paper argues that Taylor’s poems (and the representational conventions and oddities of seventeenth-century religious writings more generally) anticipate the rise in the eighteenth century of aesthetic projects like the novel, which more forcibly construct and reflect normative dimensions of human interiority.