Graduate Students

Michael Berlin (Comp Lit) Research interests: Greek and Latin lyric poetry and its modern reception; Philology, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction, and materialisms old and new.

Danilo Caputo (English) Research interests: representations of nature in early modern literature, particularly the ways in which multiple scales of existence and interconnection are expressed in Shakespearean drama and pastoral poetry. 

Peter Cibula (English) Dissertation topic: vulnerability and social grace in medieval and early modern England.

Thomas Cosgrove (English) Research interests: Shakespeare, primitive accumulation, early modern economies, historical phenomenology, and early modern self-experience.

Tracy Cummings (English) Dissertation title (awarded 2017): A Call to Act, Witness, Testimony, and Political Renewal in Shakespeare's Plays. Dissertation topic: phenomenological exploration of confrontations between subjects and their kings in a set of plays that cross genres and eras in Shakespeare's works.

Sonia Desai (Drama) Dissertation topic: uses the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries to develop a theory of phenomenology that is particularly attuned to issues of gender and representation; uses the queer space of the Early Modern theatre, with the cross-dressing boy actors and female protagonists, to intervene in the field of Early Modern phenomenology and reorient the overwhelmingly male gaze to attend to individuals and subjects outside of the heteronormative patriarchy.

Sarah Fugfugosh-Munoz (Visual Studies) Research interests: Early modern art, visual culture and gender studies in Italy and France. Early modern subjectivity, social identity construction and corporeality in art, literature and natural philosophy; 16th and 17th century female artistic production, portraiture, and epistolary culture.

James Biddinger Funk (English) Dissertation title: Defective Unity: The Figure of the Monarch in Early Modern British Literature. Dissertation topic: exploration of the relationship between figural language and kingship in early modern England.

Ryan Gurney (Visual Studies) Dissertation title: The Manner of the Country: Dutch Cityscape Paintings and Urban Citizenship in the Seventeenth-Century. Dissertation topic: traces the compositional development of cityscape paintings of Amsterdam to argue that Dutch urban citizenship evolved to encourage individual participation in the mechanisms of municipal government as well as voluntary collective action in the decades following the end of the Dutch Revolt.

Laura Hatch  (Comp Lit) Research interests: intersections between vision and perspective and genres such as romance, dream visions, and drama in the Middle Ages and Renaissance; special interest in issues of trust and deception and how characters within texts construct narratives to navigate and make sense of their relationship to the world.

Shieba Kian Kaufman (Drama) Dissertation title (awarded 2016): The Hospitable Globe: Persia and the Early Modern English Stage.

Kimberlee Nichelle (English) Research interests: medieval and early modern theological topics, including monasticism, contemptus mundi, possession and exorcism, demonology, and the treatment/use of Satan; additionally, medieval and early modern conceptions of masculinity, monstrosity, and queerness.

Amy E. Shine (Drama) Dissertation topic: intersection of English women’s text and performance in the long-17th century, particularly the way they stage initial female self-representations that are now present in Western popular, mass media.

Margaret Speer (English with Visual Studies and Critical Theory emphases) Dissertation topic: a project in Queer Time that brings feminist thought and queer theory to bear on literature and history (Renaissance and 19th century). She is also organizer of the Queer Theory Reading Group.

Shaina Trapedo (English) Dissertation title: From Scripture to Script: David, Daniel, Esther and the Performance of Early Modern Identity. Dissertation topic: an interdisciplinary study examining three figures from scripture whose exegetical and dramatic treatment offer paradigms for early modern conceptions of performed identity: David (as sovereign/subject), Daniel (as prophet/pedagogue), and Esther (as hostage/hostess). Drawing the works of Renaissance playwrights like Peele, Shakespeare, and Fletcher into dialogue with religious discourse of the period, the dissertation explores drama as a mode of exegesis and exegesis as a dramatic activity and argues that works indebted to biblical narratives reveal a cultural anxiety about the authority ascribed to scripture and the potentially devastating consequences of hermeneutic malpractice.

Shane Wood (Drama) Research interests: depictions of Medieval Mystic women and their Early Modern Theatrical representations.