Promise Li

Office Hours

Spring 2021: Thursdays, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. EST


My dissertation, The Ends of Poetry: Devotional Apocalyptics in Post-Reformation England, explores how early modern English poetry participates in the genre of devotional or practical piety as it relates to apocalyptic writing. My project challenges the common belief that early modern apocalyptics centers on promoting subversive or revolutionary politics, instead exploring how poets think with the apocalypse to sharpen devotional habits and cultivate social obedience. What I call “devotional apocalyptics” enables poets to domesticate the apocalypse to maintain existing social arrangements and relations even under conditions of severe duress. This project shows that poetry allows us to rethink what politics meant to early modern readers and writers, centering on early modern politics as a science of power through regulating everyday affects, beyond formal discourses of rights, confessionalism, and sovereignty.

My peer-reviewed article, “‘Cease, be dumb and mute’: George Herbert’s Ars Moriendi and the Poetics of Self-Discipline” is forthcoming on ELH (Fall 2024). My research on early modern comic poetics and racialization in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost is also forthcoming as a chapter in Arden Shakespeare’s The State of Play collection on Love’s Labour’s Lost by Bloomsbury Publishing. I also served as the inaugural Inclusive Pedagogy Fellow for the International Spenser Society, and my contribution to a scholarly roundtable on Spenser, Renaissance literature, and social media can be found in The Spenser Review (Fall 2021).