Lucas Hardy

Lucas Hardy
Lucas Hardy

M.A., English, University of Maine (2005)
B.A., English, University of Maine (2003)

Dissertation Title:

Redefining American Puritanism through Pain in Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards

Research Description:

My work seeks to prove that pain, as a philosophical question, prevented the establishment of a singular theological system in early New England. I argue that when Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards account for the phenomenon of pain in their writing, each articulates a unique relationship between the body and the world that cannot be accommodated within a singular spiritual or biblical paradigm. Pain forces human beings into self-reflexive subject positions that resist the doctrinal imperative for early New Englanders to profess their piety in depersonalized and public rhetorical forms. I propose that pain figures so differently in each of these four canonical authors that what we have come to call American Puritanism was in fact a movement characterized by its adherents’ attempts to formulate radically individualistic expressions of spirituality based on the sensation of pain. defining American Puritanism through Pain in Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards

Dissertation Committee:

Branka Arsic (director)
Richard Barney
James Lilley
David Wills

Other Research Interests:

Nineteenth-century American literature
Critical theory
American religious life and history

Select Conference Presentations:

“Anne Bradstreet’s Lyrical Illness: Disease, Poetry, and Hazardous Biomedical Consciousness,” Rhetorics of Plague: Early/Modern Trajectories of Biohazard, Albany, 2009

“‘What is a Man, That is a Worm?’: The Problem of the Human Being Wormed in Cotton Mather’s Medical Writing,” Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Philadelphia, 2008

Select Teaching Experience:

ENG 336: American Literature to 1850
ENG 261: American Literary Traditions: American Captivity Narratives
ENG 226: Special Topics in Literature: The Human Body in American Puritanism
ENG 240z: Growing up in America: Pain and Suffering in American Literature
ENG 240z: Growing up in America: The Novels of James Fenimore Cooper

lucashardy1@nycap.rr.com