Department of English
University of Delaware
Newark DE 19716
Julian Yates received his B.A. (Hons.) from St. Anne's College, Oxford and PhD in English Literature from UCLA. He is interested generally in the critical languages developed to examine material culture and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on subjects such as "Fetish," "Trash," and "Literary Cultures of Food."
His first book, Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003) examined the social and textual lives of what contemporaries named "cunning" of "curious conveyances"—that is manufactured objects whose effects appeared to exceed the powers of the human agents that made them (relics, portrait miniatures, the printed page, and secret hiding places). Error, Misuse Failure was a finalist for the MLA Best First Book Prize in 2003.
His recent work focuses on adapting the critical language of material culture studies to deal with "things" that were once alive (plants, animals, fungi) and is evolving into a book with the working title "Renaissance Organics." Research for this project has been supported by a long-term NEH fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC (2006-2007), a Francis Bacon Foundation award at the Huntington Library in San Marino CA (2007), and a Franklin Research Award from the American Philosophical Society (2007). Two essays deriving from this project are available at the following sites: