Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies
Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies

Renaissance Graduate Students

Meghan Andrews
Matthew Davies
Greg Foran
Louisa Hall

David Harper
Bradley J. Irish
Jonathan P. Lamb
Jason Leubner

Tom Lindsay
Arlen Nydam
Noël Radley
Michael Roberts

Sara Saylor
Maley Thompson
Tim Turner

Meghan Andrews
MEGHAN ANDREWS holds an AB in English and Religious Studies from Brown University, and arrived at UT in the fall of 2008. Her research interests include the study of different rhetorical strategies employed by various authors in drama and prose, including papers focusing on Edmund Spenser's representation of his own poetic process and on Machiavelli's sophistry; theorizing dramatic English representations of Islam and Judaism (especially fictions set in the Mediterranean), culminating in a paper focusing on a religious triangle reminiscent of a Girardian triangle; classical influences on Renaissance literature, especially the effects of the Virgilian and Ovidian traditions on Renaissance authors; and psychoanalytic studies of gender and sexuality in Renaissance drama. Her Master's Report focuses on the absent father, rhetoric, and the establishment of power and authority in Shakespeare's Henriad.  (Email: meghan_andrews@mail.utexas.edu)
A professional actor in the United Kingdom for fifteen years, MATTHEW DAVIES began his graduate studies at UT in 2004. Although his work has straddled Renaissance and Modern Drama -- he recently published an article on Samuel Beckett in TSLL -- his doctoral thesis, under the direction of Frank Whigham, is thoroughly rooted in the early modern period. Tentatively titled, "Essex and the History Players," his dissertation focuses on the historiographic dramaturgy of William Shakespeare, John Hayward, George Chapman and Samuel Daniel as developed within the intellectual circle of the Earl of Essex. Outside of his studies, Matt continues to act and direct in both the academic and professional communities.  Following his Masters, he took a year's break to pursue directing opportunities at Notre Dames and Rice College, and is a frequent performer for Austin Shakespeare.  (Email: mattd@mail.utexas.edu) Matt Davies
Greg Foran
GREG FORAN arrived at UT in 2002, having earned in B.A. in English from Connecticut College.  He studies seventeenth-century literature, with an emphasis on the Stuart era's competing political theologies.  His dissertation, entitled "King Hereafter: Macbeth and Apocalypse in the Stuart Discourse of Sovereignty," uses the post-Reformation rhetoric of apocalypse to connect Shakesepare's tragedy to the drama and political prose of the British Civil Wars and early Restoration.  These texts together evince the repression and return of a British fantasy of regicide.  Greg will present a portion of this research in a paper on Milton's Tenure of Kings and Magistrates at the 2009 MLA conference. Scotland seems to loom large in Greg's research; his article on the Scottish Chaucerian William Dunbar recently appeared Philological Quarterly.  (Email: gforan@mail.utexas.edu)
LOUISA HALL began her graduate work at UT in 2007 after earning a BA in English from Harvard University.  She studies Renaissance lyric poetry, with a particular interest in how poets imagine their poems as architectural spaces, physically enclosed structures that they can inhabit intimately with their readers.  Her master's report, “An Alternative to the Architectural Poem: Thomas Hardy's Unhoused Poems of 1912-1913,” considers Hardy's obstinately non-architectural elegies. However, it is her intention to specialize in the Renaissance tradition (sustained by poets such as Spenser, Donne, Milton, and Bradstreet) of poems that invoke the shared permanence of stone buildings, by poets whose poetics appeal to architectural qualities and who respond with particular attention to the drastic alterations in building that were visible throughout Renaissance England.  (Email: louisa.hall@mail.utexas.edu) Louisa Hall
Dave Harper
DAVID HARPER, joining the department in Fall 2009, holds an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. As he commences work on his doctoral degree, he plans to continue his ongoing engagement with the poetics of John Milton. His previous publications and presentations on the subject include "'Perhaps More Than Enough:' The Dangers of Mate Idolatry in Milton's Samson Agonistes" (Milton Quarterly, 2003) and "'Be Lowly Wise:' Milton and the Right to Knowledge," presented at the 8th International Milton Symposium in Grenoble France (June 2005). Dave taught English Literature and composition at the United States Military Academy at West Point from 2001 to 2005, and is thrilled to resume his academic career at UT. (Email: dave.harper@mail.utexas.edu)
BRADLEY J. IRISH is a doctoral candidate in English, focusing on Tudor literature and history. His dissertation, “Powerful Feelings: Emotional Structures of the Hereditary Elite in Early Modern Literary Culture,” examines Tudor aristocratic culture via contemporary, cross-disciplinary research on affect and emotion. “Powerful Feelings” explores the operation of emotional solidarity in the Renaissance courtly sphere, by examining such interpersonal networks as the Howard family, the Sidney circle, and the Essex faction. This July, he participated in the Mellon Summer Institute in English Paleography (at the Folger Shakespeare Library) and presented work at “Henry VIII and the Tudor Court, 1509-2009,” a multidisciplinary conference at Hampton Court Palace marking the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession. He has articles forthcoming in Early Theatre and Early Modern Women, and will contribute to The Blackwell Encyclopedia of English Renaissance Literature and The Encyclopedia of Elizabethan England. (Email: birish@mail.utexas.edu) Brad Irish
Jonathan Lamb
JONATHAN P. LAMB is a doctoral candidate who studies Renaissance literary culture, specializing in Shakespeare. His work, best described as “historical formalist,” combines textual studies, linguistics, formalism, and a dash of psychoanalysis. His dissertation, “Shakespeare’s Writing Practice: ‘Literary’ Shakespeare and the Work of Form,” explores how peculiar formal features—ranging from reflexive pronouns to soliloquies—of five Shakespeare plays engage with Renaissance literary culture even as they make meaning within the plays. Lamb holds an ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the 2009-2010 academic year. He has written extensively on Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney, John Milton, and Thomas Middleton. His essay, “Parentheses and Privacy in Philip Sidney’s Arcadia,” will be published this year in Studies in Philology. (Email: jonathanlamb@mail.utexas.edu)
JASON LEUBNER received his M.A. in Comparative Literature before entering the English Department in 2006, and he studies Renaissance lyric poetry. His dissertation, "The Gilded Monuments of Princes: Figuring Antiquity in the English Renaissance Lyric," considers how poems about personal loss and separation draw their energy from the humanist discourse about temporal and cultural distance, accentuating the way sonnets are shaped by the conventions of other genres, especially the (funeral) elegy and the epigram. In the following academic year, he will be presenting preliminary work at the GEMCS and RSA conferences. His article on Petrarch and Du Bellay recently appeared in Modern Language Notes, and he has an article on Wyatt's sonnets currently under review. (Email: jleubner@mail.utexas.edu) Jason Leubner
Tom Lindsay
TOM LINDSAY began his graduate work at UT in 2007 after earning a BA in English from St. Mary's College of Maryland. He studies Shakespeare and Renaissance drama. In his recently completed Master's Report, “Foul Conspiracies: Language Education, Rape, and Prospero's Masque in The Tempest,” he reads the educational relationships between Caliban, Prospero, and Miranda in light of the theory and practice of Renaissance Humanist Latin language teaching. In addition to his own research, Tom is highly invested in his career as a teacher and is particularly excited to be working as an Assistant Instructor in UT's Department of Rhetoric and Writing.
Following undergraduate studies at UCLA, ARLEN NYDAM received his Ph.D. from UT Austin in August 2009. His dissertation, "Speaking Pictures: The Sacramental Vision of Philip Sidney," examines some of the many Catholic ideas and people in Sidney's life and works, thus proposing a new way of thinking about a poet whose Protestantism has been almost uniformly understood to be founded upon anti-Catholicism. Nydam has published an article in African American Review analyzing the survival of Renaissance numerological tradition in Jupiter Hammon, America's first published black poet, and his essay on Sidney's extended family is forthcoming in the Sidney Journal. Other research interests include English recusant history and literature, and William Alabaster. Arlen Nydam
Noel Radley
NOËL CLARE RADLEY came to the UT program after earning her BA in English from the University of Notre Dame. She studies English Reformation poetry with a focus on images and iconoclasm. Using theories of corporeal subjectivity, such as that of Elizabeth Grosz, Noël reads poetic images as evidence of renaissance bio-politics. In the lyrics of Tudor poet Sir Thomas Wyatt, for example, iconoclastic depictions of human and animal bodies can be seen as a proto-scientific view of the English body, displacing the supernatural bodies and objects of medieval literatures. Noël also theorizes the role of book culture in creating new affects and embodiments. Her research interests include Chaucer, hagiography, devotional art, psalm translations, print illustration, early English bibles, Thomas Wyatt, and Shakespeare's sonnets. She also works with network theory and theories of objects from the social sciences. Noël teaches courses in literature, visual studies, writing, and technology. (Email: noelradley@mail.utexas.edu)
SARA SAYLOR holds a BA in English from the University of South Carolina. She arrived at UT in 2008. She is pursuing a comparative, historicist approach to early modern English and Iberian literature. considering poetry, drama and travel narratives in relation to the history of ideas. She is particularly interested in literature's intersections with emerging discourses of colonial exploration, science, and skepticism. She has also written on sixteenth-century religious conflict, with an emphasis on shifting concepts of conscience, repentance, and redemption; her recent writing tracks these shifts in Shakespeare's Richard II and book 6 of Spenser's The Faerie Queene. Sara also maintains an active interest in American literature; she has recently researched Emerson's writing on the skepticism of Montaigne, and plans to continue investigating early modern literature as a shaping force in transcendentalist and American Renaissance thought. (Email: sarasaylor@gmail.com) Sara Saylor
Michael Roberts
MICHAEL ROBERTS                                                                                               
After earning a 2006 BA in English from Vanderbilt, MALEY THOMPSON worked in publishing for several years in New York City, and comes to UT in the fall of 2009. Her primary interests include the expressions and consequences of transgressive desire, trauma, murder and mystery, narcissism and tragedy, symbolic and literal abortion, and the maternal/sexual body. Her undergraduate honors thesis, entitled "Sibling Incest in Renaissance Revenge Tragedy," explored the incest motif as a mechanism to express class anxiety and kinship rivalry in Jacobean tragic drama. (Email: maleythompson@gmail.com) Maley Thompson
Tim Turner
TIM TURNER is a doctoral candidate currently completing his dissertation, “Elizabethan Torture and the Drama of Emergency c. 1570-1603.” Tim's project explores the legal and political questions raised by torture in the wake of Elizabeth's excommunication and the Jesuit mission to England. His chapters weave discussions of historical documents, including Tudor propaganda and Catholic apologia, together with reconsiderations of Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, Marlowe's 1 and 2 Tamburlaine, and Shakespeare's King Lear. His research interests include religion and violence, political philosophy, and law. Tim has taught courses on rhetoric and the war on terror, gay and lesbian literature and culture, and crisis rhetoric. He has also been awarded a Crow Scholarship in Geoffrey Chaucer Studies, was a co-recipient of the Mastery of Electronic Media in Education award, and received the Maureen Healy Decherd '73 Teaching Endowment for English.  (Email: timturner@mail.utexas.edu)

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