English Professor Publishes New Book
Title: Associate Professor
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Associate Professor of English Margaret Koehler has published her latest book titled, Poetry of Attention in the Eighteenth Century.
The book, published by Palgrave Macmillan, identifies a pervasive cultivation of attention in eighteenth-century poetry. The book argues that a plea from a 1692 ode by William Congreve–'Let me be all, but my attention, dead'–embodies a wider aspiration in the period's poetry to explore overt themes of attention and demonstrate techniques of readerly attention.
It historicizes eighteenth-century accounts of attention and pioneers a link between the period's poetry and recent discussions of attention in cognitive psychology. It contributes to the largely neglected history of a psychological trait that has assumed a recent cultural urgency, and it repositions eighteenth-century poems as a collective model for assiduous reading and supple, wide-ranging attention.
Koehler's project received support from travel grants through Otterbein's Humanities Advisory Committee and the Faculty Development Committee.She has also published essays in Modern Philology, Studies in English Literature, and Blackwell's A Companion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry.