Alice Dailey, "How to Do Things with Dead People: History, Technology, and Temporality from Shakespeare to Warhol" (Cornell UP, 2022)


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Alice Dailey’s How to Do Things with Dead People: History, Technology, and Temporality from Shakespeare to Warhol (Cornell University Press, 2022) is an exploration of Shakespeare’s chronicle plays through the theoretical rubric of modern technology. Dailey is Professor of English at Villanova University and is the author of the monograph The English Martyr from Reformation to Revolution (from Notre Dame Press).

How to Do Things with Dead People is a study of the representational strategies of the porous boundary between past and present, and dead and undead, in Shakespeare’s history plays. Drawing on Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Lee Edelman, Peggy Phelan, and Derrida, Dailey creates new space for how we might think about the unruly interrelationships of the present, the past, and the future, including how twentieth-century technology can reanimate our engagement with early modern theories of kingship, ableism, and reproductive futurity.

John Yargo recently received his PhD in English literature from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in the environmental humanities and early modern culture. His articles have been published or are forthcoming in the Journal for Early Modern Culture Studies, Studies in Philology, and Shakespeare Studies.

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