So Strong; yet so calm: Mary's Choice.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Talk About a Ghost From the Past: Rick Rambuss :Thrilled Life Seems To Be Working Out Great For Him

Richard Rambuss finds meaning in connecting subjects that seem wildly unrelated. Mardi Gras and Milton, for example. He likes that about Brown: “Brown is at the forefront of crossing disciplinary boundaries; old school meets new vanguard approaches.”

Perhaps the best way to describe Richard Rambuss’s research is to say that he has one foot planted firmly in the past and the other in the present. But that’s not a lack of focus. Rambuss seeks to find connections among the disparities. He takes on topics as opposite as Mardi Gras and Milton and pulls them together through fascinating, unexpected historical connections. His other areas of interest are similarly dissimilar and unique: everything from Renaissance literature and the 17th-century metaphysical poets to film and modern media.


My principal historical field is sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature and culture. I'm most interested in Milton, Shakespeare, Spenser, and the metaphysical poets (especially Donne, Herbert, and Crashaw); devotional texts and images; and the Baroque. I also works on film and photography. Kubrick is a particular enthusiasm. Questions about gender, sexuality, and desire--particularly male desire--tend to preoccupy me, whether I'm studying movies or Renaissance poetry.

Before coming to Brown in the Fall of 2011, I taught at Emory University for 15 years, where I had a joint appointment in English and Comparative Literature. I chaired the English Department at Emory from 2009-11. I was the visiting Hudson Strode Professor of Early Modern Studies at the University of Alabama in Spring 2009.

I earned my BA at Amherst and my PhD in English from Johns Hopkins, where I specialized in Renaissance literature. I am the author of two books: Closet Devotions (Duke, 1998) and Spenser's Secret Career (Cambridge, 1993; paperback 2006). My new critical edition of Richard Crashaw's English poetry will be published in 2014 by the University of Minnesota Press. My essays and reviews have appeared in ELH, Camera Obscura, SAQ, boundary 2, Shakespeare Studies, Shakespeare Quarterly, Exemplaria, and GLQ, in addition to many critical anthologies, including a piece on A Midsummer Night's Dream in Shakesqueer. I have lectured at universities and colleges around the U.S., as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, and Europe.


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