Courtney Naum Scuro

Dissertation Committee:

Heidi Brayman (chair), Deborah Willis, Emma Stapely

Research Areas:

Early Modern Literature, Time, Theories of History, Material Print Culture, Queer Studies, Shakespeare in Performance

Research Interests:

What time is it? For many early modern English writers, such a question asks after not only the hour, but raises concerns around how the time one keeps might serve to make and to break self- and community-constituting political constructs. In my dissertation project, “I pray you, what is ’t o’clock?”: Temporal Ethics, Timely Matters, and English Textuality Around the Turn of the Seventeenth Century, I argue that by exploring early moderns’ intensely somatic sense of time, we uncover the power, privilege, and possibilities inscribed into that embodied time’s capacity to make and also to challenge dominant social values within an early modern milieu. How and why does time matter to early moderns? How does time help to construct a sense of body, or community, or world and with it, of one’s own belonging in and to each? Such questions reverberate through many early modern texts as their engagements with time—and concerns over the terms by which one keeps it—query time’s place in formulating perceptions of the possible. From literary works to popular ephemera, writers call on us to consider time’s matter—ideologically, somatically, materially, politically—and whether time’s meaningful matterings make time a phenomenon in need of ethical critique.

I am also interested in exploring the place where what has come to be dubbed as high theory meets early modern studies. One facet of that work is querying the applicability of recent theorists’ work within the historical contexts of sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Another aspect of that work is exploring the place early modern literature, and Shakespeare in particular, has within more contemporary critical and philosophical movements. I am currently finishing an article tentatively entitled “‘The rest is [never] silence”: Textual Returns, Spectral Retrievals, and Time’s Disjunctive Subject in Derrida and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In it, I consider how to situate Derrida-meets-Shakespeare (and equally, the other way around) within the milieu of contemporary thought and especially, am interested in how we might productively think through their relation within the much more limited sphere of critical practice today.

With a professional background in the performing arts, I am also interested in the history of Shakespeare in performance as well as the benefits to be gleaned by integrating performance, media, and other artistic practices into teaching Shakespeare.

Recent Activity:

Awards:
2016/2017 Outstanding T.A., UWP, UCR
Graduate Student Paper Prize, 2015/16, English Department, UCR
Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship Award, Fall 2015, UCR
2014 M/MLA Graduate Student Paper Prize for “ Placing and Playing the Past: History, Politics, and Spatial Ambiguity in Richard Mulcaster’s The Queen’s Majesty’s Passage”

Selected Presentations:

“‘Swifter than the moon’s sphere’: Imagining Time’s Magical Matter in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Shakespeare Association of America, Seminar, March 2019.

“All the King’s Dishes: Heraldic Food, Consuming Symbolism and the Space(s) of the Body in John Lydgate’s ‘The Soteltes at the Coronation Banquet of Henry VI’”: PAMLA Conference (Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association) November 2015, Portland, Oregon

“Placing and Playing the Past: History, Politics, and Spatial Ambiguity in Richard Mulcaster’s The Queen’s Majesty’s Passage”: Midwest/MLA Conference, November 2014, Detroit, Michigan