Where Early Modern British Lit Crosses Paths with Asian Studies

Marla Lunderberg, Ph.D. | Associate Professor of English

“After college, I taught English in Taiwan, and years later I had the opportunity to teach in the Hope College–Meiji Gakuin University faculty exchange program in Japan. Those experiences ignited my interest in intercultural relationships.

I love teaching Shakespeare, especially with a focus on Shakespeare’s view of how society imagines outsiders. Take a play like The Tempest. Shakespeare writes in a way that really problematizes the relationship between Europeans and others. He’s acknowledging the real interest that Europeans had in ‘otherness.’

Our thinking about God seems shaped by the time and place that we’re in. When I think about how God is so much bigger than I, as a human being, can imagine, I want to say with deep humility, This is the vision of God I’ve been given in this time and place. This is the way I have of living out my Christian faith in this time and place.

The English metaphysical poet John Donne (1572–1631) is Dr. Lunderberg’s primary focus as a scholar; she’s at work on an analysis of his satirical dream vision “Ignatius His Conclave.” Another writing project will lay out how she integrates the history of a 14th-century Chinese maritime leader into her cultural heritage course. Dr. Lunderberg has led three Hope May Term trips to Japan. In 2018, the college honored her for her dedication to the students she advises.

Photographer: Steve Herppich