Jennifer M. Park
Ph.D. English Renaissance Literature, UNC Chapel Hill
M.A. English Renaissance Literature, UNC Chapel Hill
B.A. English Language and Literature, Yale University

Research specialization in early modern drama, food and culinary history,
Renaissance recipes, race and transcultural studies, the history of science and medicine.

“Immortal Longings: Towards a Poetics of Preservation on the Early Modern Stage”

Ideas of preservation both attracted and repulsed the early moderns. Caught up in the powder of embalmed bodies or trapped in the philosopher’s stone were worries over the inevitable decline of all physical matter. My dissertation turns to the source of these conflicting energies to unsettle established notions of preservation, alteration, permanence, and vitality, bringing the body and physiology in dialogue with performance. Theatre is especially resonant here because it enables recursive flexibility—a chance for do overs—to see preservation maintained, transformation enacted, and stasis secured. Preservative theatre provides a fertile site for thinking about the anxiety over decay and the promise of renewal. 

Department of English & Comparative Literature
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
jmpark (at) email (dot) unc (dot) edu