Julian Wong-Nelson is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the Rutgers-New Brunswick Art History programme. Their research interests include Asian-diasporic performance and video, queer & trans* theory, and cinema studies.
My research examines early modern English poetry and drama in the context of post-Reformation church history. I have working projects on religious nationalism and discrimination in Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and Othello, John Milton's indebtedness in Paradise Lost to Paul's writings on religious mystery as a key way to realize religious "truth" in a faith community, and Edmund Spenser's ambivalence towards religious iconoclasm. I also work on the influence that music theory and media exerts upon early modern English literature. My work on this front includes research on the lyric "Take, o take those lips away," a likely non-Shakespearean song added to his play, Measure for Measure, which invites disruptive associations with popular revenge tragedy entitled Rollo, Duke of Normandy; and a broad reassessment of the status of vocal songs within the poetry of Edmund Spenser.
Sara Sanchez-Zweig is a doctoral candidate in the English department working on theater and performance studies. Her dissertation, "Magic Acts: How Stage Magic Performs the Self," argues that stage magic and performance ritual model spectatorial relationships that disavow the porosity of representational knowledge: how we know the self and the other. Her interest in the voice is rooted in her research on Spiritualist trance-lectures and notions of presence and mediation.
Milan Reynolds is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. He is researching magnetic tape’s influence on music, literature, and social movements in the latter half of the twentieth century, attending to the ways it is both used and imagined. Drawing together sources from Italian, Spanish, and English language contexts, he traces the shifting materiality of sound and symbolic investments in listening. His dissertation explores how the mediations between tape and users shaped notions of voice and subjectivity, representation and intelligibility, music and noise, nature/culture, and who or what constitutes a political actor.
Krysta Herrera is a PhD candidate in the department of Spanish and Portuguese. Prior to Rutgers, she also holds a MM from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied bassoon performance. Her dissertation, “Contrapuntos nacionales: Sound and Alternative National Imaginaries of the River Plate Region,” explores the role of music and sound in performances that reject unifying hegemonic identity discourses in the River Plate region (Argentina and Uruguay). In particular, she is interested in the ways that social actors manipulate sound and space to contest instance of social injustices and affirm strong identificatory claims that are grounded in sonorous memory.
Emmanuel Aprilakis is a PhD candidate in Classics at Rutgers University. His dissertation, “The Figure of the Koryphaios in Ancient Drama,” explores all aspects of the chorus leader on the ancient stage, including their selection, appearance, role, function, and performance. He is interested in the soundscapes of ancient plays and particularly the ability of the choral voice to break the fourth wall and to give agency to typically marginalized groups. In addition to close reading of dramatic texts, Emmanuel employs autopsy of ancient sites and has received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and Fulbright (Bulgaria-Greece) to study the architecture and acoustics of theater spaces across the Mediterranean. He also works on the theater masks of ancient Corinth.