Tara Dybas

Research Areas: Corpses, Gender, Religious Culture, and the Supernatural in Early Modern Drama.

Research Interests: It is my understanding that all culture revolves around death and the corpse. The corpse is gendered, racialized; the corpse has class status. Cultures spring up around beliefs about the afterlife and often develop rituals based on burial of the corpse. As such, my research is often an attempt to examine the ways corpses are represented in early modern literature and drama, and how the corpse emblematizes cultural beliefs in high medieval, Reformation era, and (earlier) early modern literatures. Some of my more recent projects explore necrophilia in Thomas Middleton’s “The Second Maiden’s Tragedy,” the dead as ethnographic landscape in Mandeville’s “Travels,” and the changing Reformation culture of death in William Baldwin’s “Beware the Cat.” More generally, I typically work with Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Webster. I sometimes work with horror and film. I’m particularly influenced by Susan Zimmerman, Jane Bennett, Caroline Walker Bynum, Gail Kern Paster, Nancy Caciola, Jonathan Sawday, and Peter Marshall.

If it’s gross, I’m interested.