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Mary Silcox, Ph.D.

Professor Of English and Cultural Studies

Email: silcox@mcmaster.ca
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 27314
Office: Chester New Hall, Room 330

Areas of Interest

English Literature; Utopian literature; Sixteenth and seventeenth-century literature; emblem studies

Profile

Mary Silcox’s interests focus on 16th- and 17th-century non-dramatic literature, particularly emblem books and poetry. As one of the leading scholars in English emblem studies she has published several books, such as The English Emblem: Bibliography of Secondary Literature (1990), The Modern Critical Reception of the English Emblem (1991), and three volumes of The English Emblem Tradition (1988, 1993, 1998), a foundational series setting up the parameters of English emblematic studies. Over the past few years she has also published articles on a number of emblematists, such as Whitney, Combe, Wither, and Alciato and is in the process of preparing an edition of Robert Farley’s 17th-century emblem books. Her current major project is a book on the intersection of death, the self and symbolic universes in early modern emblems. In terms of both function and form, emblems and symbolic death can be seen as natural partners — both are open to multiple interpretations because of their involvement in boundary-crossing, but both, as human constructs, insist upon interpretation. In addition to emblem studies, she enjoys working on issues of subjectivity, women writers and the construction of women characters in Renaissance poetry. In these inter-related areas she has written on Aemilia Lanyer and has articles on Samuel Daniel’s poetry forthcoming. Both of her graduate courses, Self and Other in Elizabethan Poetry, and Self and Society in Seventeenth-Century Devotional Writings are based on the writing of selves within early modern culture. Another field of interest, in which she has directed several theses, is utopian literature, from More’s Utopia to contemporary, feminist, critical utopias.

Publications

Books:

 

 

The Mysterious and the Foreign in Early Modern England. Eds. Helen Ostovich Ostovich, Mary V. Silcox, and Graham Roebuck. University of Delaware Press, 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Voices, Other Views: Expanding the Canon in English Renaissance Studies. Eds. Helen Ostovich, Mary V. Silcox, and Graham Roebuck. University of Delaware Press, 1999.

The Modern Critical Reception of the English Emblem. K G Saur Verlag Gmbh & Co, 1991. Co-authors  Peter M. Daly and Mary Silcox

The English Emblem Tradition. University of Toronto Press, 1988, 1993, 1998. Co-authors Peter Daly and Mary Silcox

The English Emblem: Bibliography of Secondary Literature. K G Saur Verlag Gmbh & Co, 1990. Co-authors  Peter M. Daly and Mary Silcox

Refereed Book Chapters:

“Strangely Familiar: Emblems in Early Modern England.” The Mysterious and the Foreign in Early Modern England. Eds. Helen Ostovich, Mary V. Silcox, and Graham Roebuck. U of Delaware P, 2008. 281-298.

“The Emblem in the United Kingdom and America.” Companion to Emblem Studies. Ed. Peter M. Daly. AMS, 2008. 369-391. Series: AMS Studies in the Emblem.

“Aemilia Lanyer and Virtue.” Teaching Tudor and Stuart Women Writers. Eds. Susanne Woods and Margaret P. Hannay. Modern Language Association of America, 2000. 295-298. Series: Options for Teaching.

“Ornament of the Civill Life: The Device in Puttenham’s the Arte of English Poesie.” Aspects of Renaissance and Baroque Symbol Theory. Eds. Peter M. Daly and John Manning. AMS, 1999. 39-49. Series: AMS Studies in the Emblem.

“‘Gleanings Out of Other Mens Harvestes’: Alciato in Whitney’s A Choice of Emblemes.” The Art of the Emblem: Essays in Honor of Karl Josef Höltgen. Eds. Michael Bath, John Manning, and Alan R. Young. AMS, 1993. 161-200. Series: AMS Studies in the Emblem.

Refereed Journal Articles:

“Addenda to the English Emblem: Bibliography of Secondary Literature. Munich, London, New York, Paris: K. G. Saur, 1990.” Emblematica: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Emblem Studies. 12 (2002): 329-48. Co-authors Peter M. Daly and Mary V. Silcox

“Other Voices, Other Views: Expanding the Canon in English Renaissance Studies.” Renaissance and Reformation. 25.1 (2001): 102-5. Co-authors H. L. Meakin, Helen Ostovich, Mary V. Silcox, and Graham Roebuck.

“Index Emblematicus, Volume 4].” University of Toronto Quarterly. 69.1 (2000): 194-7. Co-authors Kenneth Borris, Peter Daly, Leslie T. Duer, and Mary V. Silcox..

“A Short Title Listing of English Emblem Books and Emblematic Works Printed to 1900.” Emblematica: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Emblem Studies. 4.2 (1989): 333-76. Co-authors Peter M. Daly and Mary V. Silcox.

“William Marshall’s Emblems (1650) Rediscovered.” English Literary Renaissance. 19.3 (1989): 346-74. Co-authors Peter M. Daly and Mary V. Silcox.

“The Translation of La Perrière’s Le Théâtre Des Bons Engins into Combe’s the Theater of Fine Devices.” Emblematica: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Emblem Studies. 2.1 (1987): 61-94.