2017 Fellowship Recipient
Dr. John Garrison
Winner of the 2017-2018 Newberry-MMLA Fellowship
Shakespeare and the Afterlife
John's research at the Newberry Library will inform his current book project, "Shakespeare and the Afterlife," which is under contract with Oxford University Press. The idea for this project emerged from research funded by a 2015 Enduring Questions grant from the
National Endowment for the Humanities, which supported my development of a first-year seminar that explores cross-cultural inquiry into "What happens after death?" As I examined diverse literary depictions of the afterlife with my students, I was struck by profound
resonances with debates that circulated in the literature that I study primarily, that of Renaissance England, particularly in the work of Shakespeare. While the plays represent the primary object of study, my book examines the cultural contexts reflected in these literary
representations. Thus, archival materials play a crucial role in helping me trace ideas and discourses that would have influenced not only Shakespeare's writing but also his audience's reception of his works.
Dr. John Garrison is an Associate Professor of English at Grinnell College.