Jessica Rosenberg (Cornell University): Theory of the Knack



18:00 Uhr

Jessica Rosenberg (Cornell University): Theory of the Knack

DOR 24
Raum 1.201

Kf Gastvortrag Rosenberg


This talk traces the history and formation of the “knack” in the culture of early modern England, placing it in context of other minor epistemic forms, like the trick, recipe, and device, as informal (and critically undervalued) units of knowledge. These small forms circulated in practical handbooks and on the public stage, where they gave shape both to emergent styles of theatrical comedy and to the rhythms of everyday life. On- and off-stage, as embodied skill and as material knick-knack, the knack suggests an iterative model of theatrical and epistemic value: it must be repeated to be useful, its variations eventually gathered into the more complex mechanisms of a comic plot or expert practice. Through its examination of the sixteenth-century emergence of the knack, this lecture finally asks whether it is possible to identify a low-brow, or pragmatic, theory of method in early modern English texts.

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