HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 1, 2011 – Dr. Jim Casey, assistant professor of English at High Point University, recently published an article, titled ” ‘Equall freedome, equall fare': The Illusion of Egalitarianism in the Country House Poem” in the peer-reviewed journal Early English Studies.
Casey’s essay challenges the common critical reading of the country house poem as an accurate historical representation of the “harmonious” social utopia supposedly found within the country house; it refutes the assertion that the genre works to promote a kind of early modern proto-egalitarianism and demonstrates that the country house poems actually serve to reify rather than subvert the underlying social hierarchies of the period.
“Country house poems were written by poets like Ben Jonson who were guests on a patron’s country estate,” Casey explains. “Predictably, country house poems flatter the homeowner and praise the estate. Many critics describe these poems as promoting social equality and harmony, but the stratified nature of the country house community-with the lord at the top and the lower classes offering homage to him – actually reinforces the existing social order. My essay discusses the relationship between the landowner and his tenants/guests from formal, historical, and sociological perspectives.”
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 42 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at highpoint.edu.
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