Research

Thomas Middleton and the Plural Politics of
Jacobean Drama

The monograph is due for publication in spring 2021. The following is taken from the cover’s description:

Thomas Middleton and the Plural Politics of Jacobean Drama represents the first sustained study of Middleton’s dramatic works as responses to James I’s governance. Through examining Middleton’s poiesis in relation to the political theology of Jacobean London, Kaethler explores early forms of free speech, namely parrhēsia, and rhetorical devices, such as irony and allegory, to elucidate the ways in which Middleton’s plural art exposes the limitations of the monarch’s sovereign image. By drawing upon earlier forms of dramatic intervention, James’s writings, and popular literature that blossomed during the Jacobean period, including news pamphlets, the book surveys a selection of Middleton’s writings, ranging from his first extant play The Phoenix (1604) to his scandalous finale A Game at Chess (1624). In the course of this investigation, the author identifies that although Middleton’s drama spurs political awareness and questions authority, it nevertheless simultaneously promotes alternative structures of power, which manifest as misogyny and white supremacy.

https://www.degruyter.com/view/title/558200

“Walking Texts in Early Modern London”
SSHRC Insight Grant, Co-applicant
Assistant Project Director, Mayoral Shows, MoEML

My work with the Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) at the University of Victoria stems from my investigations of Middleton’s Lord Mayors’ Shows and my graduate coursework on Thomas Dekker’s London’s Tempe (1629). My edition of Dekker’s show reveals textual variants that were previously unaccounted for and offers fresh readings of this sadly neglected event, and will be part of a larger project I am working on with primary investigator Janelle Jenstad and the rest of the MoEML team, namely compiling the first full collection of the mayoral shows in an open access digital anthology. This goal aligns with the SSHRC project’s other aim to publish all the editions of John Stow’s Survey of London in order to illuminate the connections between these works that guided Londoners on polychronic textual walking tours through their city’s past and present.

“Linked Early Modern Drama Online”
SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, Co-applicant

This project, led by primary investigator Janelle Jenstad, brings together a group of international scholars to investigate the critical and pedagogical potential of linked data. Bringing together Internet Shakespeare EditionsDigital Renaissance Editions, Map of Early Modern London, and Queen’s Men Editions, among others, the project seeks to make new contributions to scholarship through considering links as interpretive devices and offering educators new resources by creating an anthology builder.