Faculty Honors & Awards, Henry Turner
Faculty members of the School of Arts and Sciences are leaders in their fields. This section documents the awards, research discoveries, and grant and fellowship activities of SAS faculty.
FEATURED FACULTY: Henry Turner
Henry Turner, Associate Professor of English, holds the M. H. Abrams Fellowship at the National Humanities Center for 2010-2011, which supports his book-in-progress, The Corporate Commonwealth: Economy, Technology, and Political Community in Early Modern English Writing. The book provides a new account of political institutions and political concepts in the period 1500-1650 by examining the history of the corporation as a type of fictional “person” and as a way of organizing collective life. Universities, guilds, towns or cities, religious confraternities, joint-stock companies: all were legal corporations, and all enjoyed rights and freedoms that sometimes exceeded the authority of the state that putatively authorized them. Because the corporation was (and remains) a legal person, its capacities were, paradoxically, both singular and collective at the same time; similarly, the corporation organized collective rather than individual action. The book examines how early modern writers articulated a broad shift in political ideas that is characteristic of their period: a shift from a world in which church, guild, city, university, or trading company together provided the zones of activity in which to forge a “political” identity and test its capacities, to one in which the state and nation as a whole provide that field of definition. What can the history of the corporation tell us about the history of our own moment, when public goods are increasingly privatized and citizens seek new models of association and meaningful political action?
Honors and Awards | June 2009 - May 2010