The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

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Abstract

This paper addresses the notion of a persona as an expression of office, rather than as a person adopting a role. It argues that against a background of ubiquitous institutionalised office-holding, those in early modern England who wished to assert an identity or authenticate an informal social practice, such as poetry or philosophy, made claims to office. In doing so, they employed a general vocabulary of commendation and reassurance and conversely one of condemnation and critique. The general lineaments of this vocabulary were shared across and sometimes helped to confuse intellectual disciplines. After some initial comments on the assumed office of the player, in part to illustrate the difference between persona and role-player, the paper deals with the vocabulary of office as it was shared between the personae of rhetor, poet and philosopher

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