B.A. Rhodes College (2011)
I study early modern literature, with a particular focus on poetic style and taste in England. My dissertation, Afflicted Styles: Vulgar Humanism and Minor Affects in the English Renaissance, examines the close and conflicted bond between English literature and Renaissance humanism. In readings focused on John Skelton, the first English translators of Senecan tragedy, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare in collaboration with John Fletcher, I show how these authors’ stylistic eccentricities cannot be separated from the humanist norms they seem to reject. Revising our familiar sense of the Renaissance’s melancholic longing for the classical past, my project instead explores the minor and petty affects that tied early modern authors to eloquent antiquity and its humanist mediators. Reading for these bad feelings reveals how vernacular style in the period is defined by a series of awkward, distressed, and partial reconciliations with humanism’s stylistic imperatives.
At Princeton, I have taught Shakespeare I and II, speculative fiction, and American cinema as an assistant in instruction. Elsewhere, I have designed and taught a comparative survey of Renaissance literature in England, Italy, Spain, and France. My other teaching interests include the continuities between the medieval and early modern periods and the reception of classical literature.
“Spenser’s Shameful Shepheardes Calender,” ELH, forthcoming