Sophia Richardson works at the intersection of the material and the metaphor, plumbing the interstices where figure takes form, where the overlay of human and textual bodies generate rich bodies of work. Currently completing her PhD in Early Modern English literature at Yale University, her dissertation explores how diverse material surfaces furnish early modern writers a figurative vocabulary to think through how texts might work analogously. Chapters on glass, paint, fabric, and skin address how texts by authors including Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Philip Massinger, and Margaret Cavendish imagine language likewise playing with properties like shine, sheerness, silkiness, or smudginess. You can find her work in Borrowers and Lenders and Critical Insights: Macbeth (ed. William Weber. Salem Press, 2018). In addition to her delight in old technologies of stitching, dying, printing, and painting, Sophia is also committed to exploring the intersection of the humanities and new technologies, using new platforms to propel learning, teaching, and research. It is this passion for collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas across media and disciplines that she brings to The Online Olios, a webinar series dedicated to promoting early-career scholars’ research on early modern women writers that she co-founded alongside Arnaud Zimmern and E Mariah Spencer in the fall of 2020.
E Mariah Spencer
E Mariah Spencer is an interdisciplinary scholar and doctoral candidate in English at The University of Iowa, with degrees from Drake University and New York University. Her research interests include the history of early modern educational reform, developments in speculative fiction, inclusive pedagogy, book history and material studies, female authorship, and the historical exclusion of women writers from the literary canon and classroom. To address this exclusion, E’s dissertation, “Lady of Contemplation: On the Education and Copia of Margaret Cavendish,” places Cavendish in conversation with humanists like Desiderius Erasmus, Sir Thomas More, and Roger Ascham as well as later educational reformers such as Francis Bacon, John Amos Comenius, Samuel Hartlib, and John Milton. This project aims to make Cavendish and her female contemporaries more accessible to non-specialists. E has recent and forthcoming publications in the History of Education Quarterly, Routledge Companion to Gender and Science Fiction, Science Fiction Studies, Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and New College Notes. She brings her interdisciplinary training and more than a decade of teaching experience to the webinar series, The Online Olios, which she co-founded to further support the teaching and research of early modern women.
Arnaud Zimmern is currently a postdoctoral scholar of the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship at the University of Notre Dame. As an early modernist, his research lies in literature, medicine, and science, with a focus on questions of global health and human universality. As a digital humanist, his work centers on digital cultural heritage preservation through digital editions and 3D-modelled facsimiles. You will find his work published in ELH, The John Donne Journal, Women Writers in Context, James Joyce Quarterly, and Memoria di Shakespeare. His online, annotated edition of James Howell’s Therologia (1660) is still in construction but viewable here. He is a co-founder of the Online Olios, a webinar series dedicated to promoting early-career scholars’ research on early modern women studies, and the webinar organizer of the John Donne Society.