Rabb Graduate Center, 244
DegreesNorthwestern University, Ph.D.
University of Missouri, B.A.
Expertise17th- and 18th-century English literary and cultural studies; drama and performance studies; gender, sexuality, and queer studies.
ProfileThomas A. King (Ph.D. Northwestern University) is Associate Professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. With research and teaching interests in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English literature, drama and performance studies, and queer studies, King's courses in literature, culture, and theory range from Remembering and Dismembering: Staging the Body in Early Modern England, to Enlightenment of the Flesh: Reading and Writing Sex in the Eighteenth Century, The Orlando Project, and Queer Readings: Beyond Stonewall.
King is author of _The Gendering of Men 1660-1750_, vol. 1: _The English Phallus_ (University of Wisconsin Press, 2004) and _The Gendering of Men 1660-1750_, vol. 2: _Queer Articulations_ (University of Wisconsin Press, 2007). In Volume One, King has argued that gendered and sexual subjectivities emerged in the early modern period as vehicles of resistance to a traditional economy of corporeal subjection, such that (cisgender) men's love for (cisgender) women (as distinct from their patriarchal mastery over and erotic subordination of women, children, and male servants, slaves, apprentices, and other dependents) became a vehicle for the articulation of a new social ethics of privacy. Men's struggles to claim an emergent and privatized masculinity against a residually public pederasty (the corporeal subjection of lower-ranked to higher-ranked persons, enacted through and/or figured as an erotics of pleasure and pain) produced gender and sexuality as the corporeal scene of contestation over the membership of the modern liberal public sphere. _Queer Articulations_, the second volume of _The Gendering of Men_, offers a performance-centered analysis of theatricality, effeminacy, and publicity as vehicles of queer agency. _Queer Articulations_ investigates theatricality and sodomy as performance practices foreclosed in the formation of gendered privacy and consequently available for resistant uses by male-designated persons who have been positioned, or who have located themselves, outside the universalized public sphere of citizen-subjects. Inviting a performance-centered, interdisciplinary approach to queer/male identities, _Queer Articulations_ develops a model of queerness as processual activity, situated in time and place but irreducible to the individual subject's identifications, desires, and motivations.
King is currently pursuing several studies relating the emergence of modern sexual subjectivities to the cultural and literary effect designated as "voice,"which was both interiorized following increasing skepticism of rhetoric and rhetorical training on stage and in everyday life and made newly conscious of its unpredictable and even unintended performative effects on others. Studies in progress include _Barry's Ear_ (an exploration of the libertine writers Aphra Behn and John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester and their patronage of actor Elizabeth Barry) and _The Subject at the End of the Voice_, which takes Shakespeare's _The Tempest_ as a starting point for renunciations of rhetoric and the emergence of the voice in early modern and eighteenth-century England.
King is a faculty member of two interdisciplinary minors at Brandeis: Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) and Sexuality and Queer Studies (SQS). Webpage
|ENG||1a||Introduction to Literary Studies|
|ENG||4a||The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century|
|ENG||37b||Modern Drama: Theatres of Rupture, Resistance, and Engagement|
|ENG||64b||From Libertinism to Sensibility: Pleasure and the Theater, 1660-1800|
|ENG||87b||Queer Readings: Beyond Stonewall|
|ENG||120a||The Orlando Project|
|ENG||144b||The Body as Text|
|ENG||153a||Enlightenment of the Flesh: Reading and Writing Sex in the Eighteenth Century|
|ENG||201a||Gender and Sexuality Studies|
Awards and Honors
Davis Faculty Fellow (2006)
Hewlett-Packard/Women's Studies Interdisciplinary Course Development Grant (2004)
Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer '69 and Joseph Neubauer Prize for Excellent in Teaching and Mentoring (2004)
Mazer Award for Faculty Research in Creative Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Brandeis University (2004)
Marver & Sheva Bernstein Faculty Fellowship (1996 - 1997)
King, Thomas A. "Masculinity." The Encyclopedia of British Literature 1660-1789.. Ed. Gary Day and Jack Lynch. Chicester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015
Much Ado about Nothing. By William Shakespeare. Co-Director (with Will Jobs and Anneke Reich) and Dramaturg King, Thomas A. Artists Theatre of Boston, Carson Beach, South Boston, MA, 13,14, 20, 21 September 2013.
King, Thomas A. "The Sound of Men in Love." Developments in the Histories of Sexualities: In Search of the Normal, 1600-1800. Ed. Chris Mounsey. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press - Rowman & Littlefield, 2013
King, Thomas A. "“Patricia Simons: The Sex of Men in Premodern Europe: A Cultural History (Review).”." Rev. of The Sex of Men in Premodern Europe: A Cultural History, by Patricia Simons. Renaissance Quarterly vol. 65 Winter 2012: 1277-79.
King, Thomas A and Morris Meyer. "In Defense of Gay/Performance." An Archaeology of Posing: Essays on Camp, Drag, and Sexuality. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press-Macater Press, 2010. 151-81.
King, Thomas A. The Gendering of Men, 1600-1750, vol. 2: Queer Articulations. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008.
King, Thomas A. "How (Not) to Queer Boswell." Queer People: Negotiations and Expressions of Homosexuality, 1700-1800. Ed. Chris Mounsey and Caroline Gonda. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2007. 114-58.
King, Thomas A. "The Subject at the End of the Voice." Considering Calamity: Methods for Performance Research. Ed. Linda Ben-Zvi and Tracy C. Davis. Israel: Assaph Books, 2007. 55-95.
King, Thomas A.. "The Subject at the End of the Voice." Assaph: Studies in the Theatre. Special Issue: Calamity. Ed. Tracy C. Davis and Linda Ben-Zvi. 21. (2007): 55-95.
King, Thomas A. "The Castrato's Castration." SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 46. 3 (2006): 563-84.
King,Thomas A. The Gendering of Men, 1600-1750, vol. 1: The English Phallus. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.
King,Thomas A. "Gender and Modernity: Male Looks and the Performance of Public Pleasures." Monstrous Dreams of Reason: Writing the Body, Self, and Other in the Enlightenment. Ed. Mita Choudhury and Laura J. Rosenthal. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2002. 25-44.
King,Thomas A. "The Fop, The Canting Queen, and the Deferral of Gender." Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early Modern Culture. Ed. Chris Mounsey. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2001. 94-135.
King,Thomas A. "M/S, or Making the Scene: An Erotics of Space." Queen: A Journal of Rhetoric of Power. Special Issue: Sex and Power: Subjection and Subjugation 1. 1 (2000).
King, Thomas A. "Scenes From a Culture of Masochism." Strategic Sex. Ed. D. Travers Scott. New York: Harrington Park-Haworth, 1999. 63-73.
King,Thomas A. "Displacing Masculinity: Edward Kynaston and the Politics of Effeminacy." The Image of Manhood in Early Modern Literature: Viewing the Male. Contributions to the Study of World Literature, No. 95. Ed. Andrew P. Williams. Westport, CT and London: Greenwood, 1999. 119-40.
King,Thomas A. "Performing 'Akimbo': Queer Pride and Epistemological Prejudice." The Politics and Poetics of Camp. Ed. Moe Meyer. London: Routledge, 1994. 23-50.
King,Thomas A. "'As if (she) were made on purpose to put the whole world into good Humour': Reconstructing the First English Actresses." TDR (The Drama Review) Vol 36. No. 3 (1992): 78-102.
King, Thomas A. "Camp as the Dramaturgy of Alterity." Theatre Insight: A Journal of Contemporary Performance Thought 1. 1 (1991): 16-20.