Dr Patricia Pender

Prestigious Fellowship awarded to UON researcher

University of Newcastle English Lecturer, Dr Patricia Pender has won the $41,000 S. Ernest Sprott Fellowship from the University of Melbourne to research the roles that women played in the literary culture of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Dr Pender will spend five months in 2014 conducting archival research in the British Library that will inform her second book, Early Modern Women and the Institutions of Authorship: Publication, Collaboration, Translation.

“The British Library is the world’s largest repository of sources relating to the literary culture of early modern England. I am thrilled to have won this fellowship which will allow me to conduct a large amount of research in a short timeframe,” Dr Pender said.

Dr Pender said she would look at the ‘extra-authorial’ activities women undertook as patrons, editors, publishers, collaborators, and translators to expand our understanding of early modern literary authorship.

“My study endeavours to challenge and refine categories of authorship that have been defined in predominantly masculine terms, and provide a more complete and historically nuanced account of the emergence of the category of the ‘author’ in early modern England,” Dr Pender said.

The book will include five case studies spanning the 16th and 17th centuries with the aim of questioning the role that gender plays and investigating women’s long-neglected contributions to the history of literature.

“In methodological terms, my book will ask an important question: how does including women’s neglected literary activities change and refine our ideas of authorship in early modern England?” Dr Pender said.

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