HUMS 356, Interpretations - Emily Dickinson

Meeting Time: 

Course Description:

Emily Dickinson is widely recognized as one of the most original and challenging poets ever to write poetry. In this seminar we will close-read a wide range of her poems, seeking to understand tensions that run throughout her work, between feeling and intellect, chaos and control, power and passivity, things hidden and revealed, ecstasy and despair, life and death. We will also locate Dickinson in her historical moment and in relation to important precursors and sources of literary influence, including the King James Bible, English Romantic poetry, and the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Attention will be paid to Dickinson’s identity as a woman writing within and against an inherited tradition of male poets and thinkers, as well as to the unique materiality and process of Dickinson’s approach to composition. 

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Riley Soles's picture

Professor Riley Soles

Riley Parker Soles, who received a Ph.D. in East Asian languages and literature from Yale in 2018,  works comparatively at the intersection of literature, religion, and philosophy, with particular interests in hermeneutics, textual ontology, and the event/act/experience of reading. He returns to the ISM for a second year to continue work on his book project, The Ecstasy of the Text, which investigates the ways in which texts from both Western and East Asian literary and religious traditions express and enact a self-reflexive awareness of their own ontological status as texts and attempt to subvert the limitations of their materiality.