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FT-53721-05

Michael Lawrence Witmore
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890)
Pretty Creatures: Children and the Agency of Fiction in the English Renaissance

My book project seeks to demonstrate that, during the English Renaissance, children became a vivid emblem for the power of poetic fiction, illustrating both its ability to sever the imagination from reason and the mimetic process whereby products of the imagination took on a life of their own. The NEH summer stipend will allow me to complete research for the final chapter of the book, which deals with English witchcraft trials in which children were either decisive witnesses to diabolism or its most convincing victims. This work will contribute not only to our grasp of the role of children in English culture, but to our understanding of how a society which viewed imaginative absorption with suspicion came to grips with its dangers in a very public way.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
British Literature

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Totals:
$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2005 – 8/31/2005