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    About

    Ari Friedlander is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Rogue Sexuality in Early Modern English Literature: Desire, Status and Biopolitics, published by Oxford University Press in 2022. For JEMCS: Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, he co-edited and wrote the introduction to a special issue called “Desiring History and Historicizing Desire.” Other publications on sexuality, gender, class, and disability, have appeared or are forthcoming in SEL: Studies in English Literature, The Oxford Handbook on Shakespeare and Embodiment, and Logomotives: Words that Change the Premodern World (Edinburgh University Press, 2023). His research has been supported by the Huntington Library, the Mellon Foundation, and the Volkswagen Stiftung.

    He is currently at work on a second book, entitled Inventing Impotence: Disability, Sex, and Labor in Early Modern England, which uses the early modern legal category of impotence, the statutory standard that qualified one for parish poor relief, to reevaluate contemporary accounts of the evolution of disabled identity. The project makes two related claims: First, that a strong legal and political category of disabled identity began earlier than generally acknowledged, based in the Elizabethan poor laws and their cultural reception. Second, I argue that this notion of classed disability is intimately tied to the history of sexuality, as the poor were disciplined to perform sexual and economic potency. The project contends that disabled identity was a key part of the development of the multi-faceted modern political subjectivity: the invention of self-disciplined citizens that desire the kind of work, bodies, and political and economic outcomes amenable to the burgeoning modern state. In chapters on early modern legal anthologies, popular ballads, Shakespeare’s King Lear and second tetralogy, colonial literature and Richard Brome’s The Antipodes, and Milton’s poetry, impotence provides fuel to imagine and promote structures of desire and identity in depictions of socioeconomic difference, nationalism, religious devotion, and colonialism.

    Education

    Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, English Language and Literature, 2011
    M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, English Language and Literature, 2005
    B.A., Columbia University, English Literature, 2003

    Publications

    Books

    Rogue Sexuality in Early Modern English Literature: Desire, Status, Biopolitics (Oxford University Press)

    Inventing Impotence: Disability, Sex, and Labor Early Modern England (in progress)

    Edited Volume

    “Desiring History and Historicizing Desire,” Special issue, JEMCS: Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 16.2 (Spring 2016), co-edited with Melissa Sanchez and Will Stockton

    Peer Reviewed Articles and Chapters

    “Impotence,” Logomotives: Words that Change the Early Modern World, ed. Marjorie Rubright and Stephen Spiess (under contract with Edinburgh University Press)

    “Roguery and Reproduction in The Winter’s Tale,” A Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, Race, ed. Valerie Traub, Oxford University Press, 2016

    “Introduction: Desiring History and Historicizing Desire,” Special issue, JEMCS: Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 16.2 (Spring 2016)

    “Mastery, Masculinity, and Sexual Cozening in Ben Jonson’s Epicoene,” SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, 53.2 (Spring 2013)

    Essays in Progress

    “Asexuality, Disability, and Imperial Desire in Richard Brome’s The Antipodes,” in Early Modern Asexualities, ed. Liza Blake, Cat Clifford, and Aly O’Mara

    “‘An Epitome of Time’: Queer Chronographia and Temporal Drag in Richard Brome’s A Jovial Crew

    Public Scholarship

    “Paradise Lost: Book Four,” Promiscuous Listening: A John Milton Podcast, Episode 4, Interview with Marissa Greenberg (October 2021)

    “Five Myths About William Shakespeare,” The Washington Post, 4 September 2015, B3

    “Boning Richard III,” Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, in “Finding Richard: A Forum–Art, Archaeology, Disability, Temporality” (August 2013)

    Book and Theater Reviews

    Rev. of Jeff Masten, Queer Philologies: Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare’s Time, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016, Shakespeare Studies, 45 (2017)

    “The Tragedy of Richard II by Lord Denney’s Players,” Shakespeare Bulletin, 33.4 (Winter 2015)

    Rev. of James Bromley and Will Stockton, Sex Before Sex: Figuring the Act in Early Modern England, University of Minnesota Press, 2013, JEMCS: Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, 15.1 (Winter 2015)

    Blog Posts

      Memberships

      Modern Language Association
      Renaissance Society of America
      Shakespeare Association of America
      World Shakespeare Congress

      Ari Friedlander

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