Heidi Brayman Hackel (English, University of California, Riverside) writes and teaches about the literature and culture of early modern England (1500-1700). She is the author of Reading Material in Early Modern England: Print, Gender, and Literacy (Cambridge UP, 2005) and the co-editor, with Catherine Kelly, of Reading Women: Literacy, Authorship, and Culture in the Atlantic World, 1500-1800 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007). Her current book project, “‘Dumb Eloquence’: Deafness, Muteness, and Gesture in Early Modern England,” is a cultural history of muteness and manual gesture across four institutions — the theater, law, education, and religion — that engaged significantly with vocal silence and the problems it poses. Her interest in gesture has grown beyond the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century stage to include an exploration of American Sign Language, silent film, and Indian mudra.
This lecture is the First Annual Shakespeare Lecture of the Textual Studies Program.