Re-Presenting Early Modern Pattern Poems as Material Objects

By Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

Pattern Poems Presentation.001

The following is excerpted from a paper I gave at Making, Unmaking, and Remaking the Early Modern Era: 1500-1800, 14th Annual EMC Conference at UCSB in February. For this project, I used 3D printers and laser cutters to re-mediate Early Modern pattern poems as physical objects. For the TL;DR version, scroll down to the bottom to see pictures.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here with you this weekend. I feel a bit like a fish out water — I’m not an Early Modernist. That seems like a confession that I need to make. I approached this project, rather as a Digital Humanist. I had the opportunity to study Early Modern Literature & Visual/Material Cultures with Professor Erika Boeckeler at Northeastern University, and it is was in that class that my interest in Early Modern pattern poetry and this project was born.

Prior to the late 20th century, not much critical attention had been given to Early Modern pattern poems. Dick Higgins, who is certainly one of the most foremost scholars of pattern poetry notes in his essay “Pattern Poetry as Paradigm” that the genre has not been the subject of consistent study and when it has, he writes, …read more

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