Academic Interests

    Recent Commons Activity

    About

    Ari Friedlander is Associate 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. Rogue Sexuality was shortlisted for awards from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and from the Shakespeare Association of America. 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, 2024). His research has been supported by grants from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, the Mellon Foundation, and the Volkswagen Stiftung.

    He is currently at work on a second book, entitled Impotent: A Sexual History of Early Capitalism, which combines sexuality studies with disability studies to reevaluate historical narratives of labor, race, and the development of capitalism in early modern England. I use “impotence,” the legal category by which one qualified for parish poor relief, to recast early modern accounts of disabled identity with two related claims. First, Elizabethan poor laws and their cultural reception demonstrate the emergence of a legal and political category of disabled identity earlier than generally acknowledged. Contrary to prevailing historical arguments that locate this identity in medical discourses, I show it was originally a socioeconomic category with socioeconomic ramifications. Second, this notion of classed disability is intimately tied to the history of sexuality, since the regulation of sexuality was a lever of state used to discipline English citizens of all classes into performing socio-economic and racial fitness. Disability was thus instrumental in the development of modern political subjectivity, i.e., self-disciplined citizens that desire the kinds of laboring bodies and political and economic outcomes amenable to the burgeoning imperialist nation-state. I situate this argument in the early history of capitalism’s efforts to transform human labor into human capital, a process that takes places at the level of individual subjectivity (the disciplining of people and their desires) as well as collective structures (the formation of medical, legal, and economic discourses that regulate social relations).

    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, 2022)

    Impotent: A Sexual History of Early Capitalism

    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

      Profile picture of Ari Friedlander

      @ari_friedlander

      Active 4 months, 2 weeks ago