Hometown/country: Emporia, Virginia, USA
Course: PhD English
Research topic: Materializing Rites of Passage in post-Reformation drama
My research investigates the manner in which post-Reformation playwrights engaged with the three major rites of passage – birth, marriage, and death – and the material objects connected with these culturally significant moments of the life-cycle. I hope to explore the relationship between the post-Reformation anxiety for the soul after death, visual culture, including contemporary images of pregnancy and funerary imagery, and the meanings and functions of domestic materials, including textiles and other furniture, which commemorate and extend the three major rites. I will analyze the manner in which dramatists utilized and reconstructed life-cycle rituals onstage through rhetorical manipulation of the semiotics attached to the materiality of domestic life.
Qualifications: B.A. English Language and Literature (The College of William and Mary), M.A. Shakespeare Studies (Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham)
Viewpoint: As an international student, the opportunity to attend graduate school in another country was exciting, but admittedly a bit intimidating. The Shakespeare Institute, however, warmly welcomes students, combining quality teaching, research, and unique course offerings with a supportive and stimulating academic environment. Whether in a formal lecture, supervision, or performance based workshop, whether treading the boards in an Institute Players production, on the "field of dreams" football pitch, or in the pub across the street after a show at the RSC, this close-knit academic community fosters continuous learning and intellectual discussion creating a truly unique setting in which to live and study.