Getting Started: Summer Brackenridge Journey


Hello everyone! My name is Hailey Palubicki, and I am a rising senior majoring in English Literature and minoring in LGBTQ and Critical Sexuality Studies with a certificate in Public and Professional Writing. Another certificate I hope to pursue while here at the University of Pittsburgh is the Medieval & Renaissance Studies certificate!

My Research

During the Brackenridge Fellowship, I will be conducting research on female spectatorship during the early modern period. When describing spectatorship, or the act of viewing, done by audience members of plays in the early modern theater, the act is often divided into a binary of “good” and “bad” spectatorship. The problem this binary poses is that it disenfranchises the perspectives of those who are considered “bad” spectators. My research will be exploring this binary and its creation to understand how it impacts female spectators from the early modern period who are often referred to as passive viewers or “bad” spectators. My process will include looking at the representation of female spectators and their spectatorship in the plays Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, and The Tempest by William Shakespeare as well as The Knight of the Burning Pestle by Francis Beaumont. Following my work with the above plays, I will move towards using archival pieces as well as historical accounts collected by Andrew Gurr in Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London to explore a broader understanding of female spectatorship that may not be fully accounted for in the information provided by the two authors, Shakespeare and Beaumont. Throughout the fellowship, I will be working with my faculty mentor, Dr. Caro Pirri, a scholar who specializes in English Renaissance Literature as well as English Literature of the Americas.


Through my time in the Brackenridge Fellowship, I hope to work towards a few goals that I have in my research and professional career. During my research, I will be working with both early modern plays as well as archival pieces. This experience with archival pieces in the Brackenridge Fellowship will be one of the larger-scale works I have done with archival material, so the fellowship will provide me an opportunity to see how archival material can be woven into my research in the future. 

Additionally, following graduation, I hope to attend a graduate program in English Literature. Participating in the interdisciplinary Brackenridge Fellowship will give me a chance to work on how I can present my research to those outside my field down the road.

Leave a Reply