Sarah Linwick is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Michigan. Her research examines a variety of intersecting challenges to categorical thinking in early modern England. In her dissertation, “Ecologies of Kind in Early Modern England,” she explores how drama, poetry, and prose romance—performances and texts that we may comfortably classify as “literary” today—participate in the period’s sociopolitical and scientific discourse about nature qua nature.
Specifically, she attends to how these works complicate categorical distinctions between nature, society, and art and, in doing so, how they negotiate the deconstruction and reconstruction of class, gender, race, sex, and species kinds (kinds being variously construed as categories of nature, society, and art). A primary goal of this project, then, is to shed light on how some of the period’s unstable, contingent notions of nature contribute to the transformation of certain identity categories.