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Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership - Student Profiles



I completed both my undergraduate and master’s degrees at Cambridge University, achieving double First Class honours and a Distinction, respectively. For my undergraduate results I was awarded the Austin Dobson Prize by the Faculty of English, which recognises distinguished performance in the compulsory elements of the English Tripos, and the Schuldham Plate by Gonville and Caius, given to the college’s best performing graduand that year.

My research interests gravitate around the relationship between cities, sexualities and poetics. As such, my writing to date has focussed upon queer poets and artists in New York City. My doctoral work casts Walt Whitman and Frank O’Hara as central figures, poets writing in the city at vastly different historical moments yet both profoundly interested in the role of the city in realising a queer aesthetic. I am interested particularly in the metaphorically rich locus of ‘walking’, wherein the trope of this quotidian motion through urban space can bring to light elements of performance and performativity in these writers’ poems - which themselves walk their own metrical paths - as well as attesting to their political efficacy as texts.

Other academic interests

AIDS writing from New York, particularly David Wojnarowicz; New York’s Ballroom culture, drag, and its representation in Jennie Livingston’s film Paris is Burning; The dramatic works of Samuel Beckett and Edward Bond; Walter Benjamin, in particular his writing on Baudelaire and the city; The films of John Cassavetes and Shirley Clarke; ’Cruising’ as queer practice and trope; Edwin Denby’s writings on dance; French poetry of the nineteenth and twentieth century, particularly Guillaume Apollinaire, Charles Baudelaire & Arthur Rimbaud; Grindr; Notions of ‘Lyric’; Lyric in performance; Song lyrics as texts for study and performance, in particular the work of Joni Mitchell and Amy Winehouse; The dances of Yvonne Rainer; The music of Arthur Russell and Patti Smith;  Zadie Smith; William Wordsworth.

Name: Jack Parlett
Department: Faculty of English
Supervisor: Dr. Anne Stillman
College: Gonville & Caius
AHRC Subject Area: American Literature
Title of Thesis: Walt Whitman and Frank O’Hara: Walks in New York
 Jack  Parlett