Tara Dybas

Research Areas: Early Modern Drama: Corpses, Religion, the Supernatural

Research Interests: The corpse is a fun research area because it emblematizes so many disparate cultural attitudes. From the gendered—the Exquisite Corpse, the Necrogaze (Rebecca May)—to its becoming ~the~ symbol of Catholic and Protestant conflict in the Reformation.  Religion and supernatural ideologies converge around the corpse, as religion often dictates funereal and memorial practices, and is thus intrinsically related to demonology, evil possession, spirits, etc. My research is often an attempt to examine the ways corpses are represented in early modern literature and drama. My two more recent projects explore necrophilia in Thomas Middleton’s The Second Maiden’s Tragedy and the 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 Rebecca May, Nancy Caciola, Jonathan Sawday, Caitlin Doughty, and Mary Roach’s Stiff.

If it’s gross, I’m interested.