Help the Dead

Comparative Literature/Classics/Poetry/Theater

At Radcliffe I will begin a new series of interdisciplinary art works. These projects want to queer death: to create new references, vocabularies, and aesthetics with which to reorient our approach to surviving and dying on the planet in our contemporary times. Central to this task is the function of narrative in creating socialites and norms. I am particularly interested in the stories told about death and dying: the journeys undertook to the underworld (cross the river), the poetics of sitting vigil, etc. . . . I will be working with my research partner to dig deep and wide into the history of literature to find both core and marginal texts that have done this storytelling work through the generations.

As my research partner, you will be engaging in research, bibliographic development, literature review, annotation, indexing, and analysis. I will task you with finding texts from diverse transhistorical contexts: from the ancient Greeks to Audre Lorde and Essex Hemphill, from Shakespeare to Brecht.

As this is the beginning of the series, the student will have the chance to be a part of building the initial questions, vocabularies, and methodologies, from initial idea through to presentation. Collaboration has long been a central component of my practice; I enjoy working with others to develop questions and new vocabularies, so my research partner(s) will be thoroughly engaged. The project will benefit greatly from the student’s work. The bibliographic profile will be much more thorough with a research assistant. The student with whom I'd like to work would have a curious mind, be able to make creative leaps in thought, and have strong skills in research and writing. Knowledge of theater and theater history a plus.