2020, BA English, Trinity College Dublin
Isabel (they/them) is a second-year PhD student at the University of North Carolina. Their research examines representations of embodiment and the soul in Middle English, Anglo-Norman, and Latin religious texts, considering how structures between the corporeal, physical self and the sensing, feeling, and immaterial self can be read alongside theories of queer embodiment, affect, and representations.
In this framework, Isabel is concerned with how language informs depictions of physical and metaphysical identity and how these identities are often unsettled and displaced through language. In their reading of queerness in medieval texts, Isabel desires to experiment with how we recognize and interpret ‘queerness’ not as a fixed phenomenon, but an amalgamation of acts, events, and performances in dialogue with identity-formation.
They are currently working on two projects: one entitled ‘I kan nat glose’: Queering Illegible Signification in Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale,’ which analyzes the infamous pear tree sex scene in Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale as a culmination of unintelligible semiotic exchanges of letters and of sexual organs, and the other, “Needle as Queer Instrument of Authorship in Chrétien de Troyes Yvain,” which considers the implications of the textile worker as auctor.
- Joseph Breen Award, UNC Chapel Hill Department of English & Comparative Literature, 2023
- Research Grant, UNC Chapel Hill Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 2023
- Travel Award, UNC Chapel Hill Graduate and Professional Student Government, 2023
- Travel Grant, UNC Chapel Hill Department of English & Comparative Literature, 2022
- CARA Summer Scholarship, Medieval Academy of America, 2022
- First Class Honours in English Studies, Trinity College Dublin, 2020