About Speakers

Professor Lowell Gallagher

Lowell Gallagher is professor of English at UCLA, where he teaches courses in Renaissance literature, critical theory, and queer and feminist approaches to biblical studies. He is author of Medusa’s Gaze: Casuistry and Conscience in the Renaissance (Stanford UP), Sodomscapes: Hospitality in the Flesh (Fordham UP), and editor or co-editor of several essay collections, including Redrawing the Map of Early Modern English Catholicism (Univ. of Toronto P), Catholic Figures, Queer Narratives, with Frederick S. Roden and Patrician Juliana Smith (Palgrave Macmillan) and Knowing Shakespeare: Senses, Embodiment, and Cognition, with Shankar Raman (Palgrave Macmillan). Gallagher’s current research examines the long history of Catholic speculative fiction, from Counter Reformation-era romances to 20th-century Catholic theological and aesthetic insights into the sacramental character of posthuman ethics. Professor Gallagher has been a member of the Modern Language Association Shakespeare Division Executive Committee, has served on the Advisory Board of Shakespeare, journal of the British Shakespeare Association, and the MLA Spenser Society Executive Committee, and he currently serves on the Advisory Board of Exemplaria: Medieval, Early Modern, Theory.

Professor William Franke

William Franke is a philosopher of the humanities and professor of comparative literature at Vanderbilt University. He has also been professor of philosophy at the University of Macao (2013-2016); Fulbright-University of Salzburg Distinguished Chair in Intercultural Theology and the Study of Religion; and Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung research fellow. His books have been published by the university presses of Chicago, Stanford, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Ohio State, and the State University of New York. Franke’s most recent critical theory book is A Theology of Literature: The Bible as Revelation in the Tradition of the Humanities (2017). It follows up on books tracing prophetic poetry from Homer and Vergil to Dante (The Revelation of Imagination, 2015) and then forward in history from Dante through Chaucer, Milton, and Blake to more recent modern classics (Secular Scriptures: Modern Theological Poetics in the Wake of Dante, 2016). In addition to his work on prophetic poetry, Franke has developed what he calls A Philosophy of the Unsayable (2014) reconstructing the apophatic tradition of discourse in On What Cannot Be Said (2007, 2 vols.). His Apophatic Paths from Europe to China: Regions Without Borders (2018) pursues this project as an intercultural philosophy, taking it to sources in Oriental thought.