Leslie R. Malland

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  • PhD Candidate
  • Graduate Instructor
  • English
  • Professional and Technical Writing
1318 Patterson Office Tower
  • Other Affiliations:
Research Interests:

My interdisciplinary dissertation locates allusions to the biopolitical culture of Early Modern England within popular English texts. Through my examination of the period’s fascination with death—public executions, newly-authorized anatomies—and the ways in which death, as well as the treatment of the dead, was authorized by and supported the ideological aims of the state, my research identifies how those themes carry over into the most popular works of the day, reviewing instances of both verbal and nonverbal rhetoric across genres to find allusions to biopower — or, state control of the biological.

In addition to popular genres such as poetry, prose, and plays, my archive includes anatomy manuals and execution speeches; my works reveals how language from each of these genres bleeds into the dialogue of the others, highlighting death as a literary motif and rhetorical trope that subtly reinforces biopower, or the state’s control of living bodies. My dissertation is organized around the “life” of a corpse; it begins with executions and ends in graveyards. The first chapter, which examines gallows imagery in the sermons of John Donne, argues that Donne uses his pedestal as King James I’s personal appointee to reinforce the right of the sovereign. The second chapter also discusses executions, specifically focusing on the last dying speeches in Thomas Nashe’s The Unfortunate Traveller. My final chapter, which reads Hamlet alongside anatomy manuals, shows how new information produced in the anatomy theatres supported the suppression of women and their bodies. 


Current Projects:

The Spaces of Renaissance Anatomy Theatre, Vernon Press.

“Her Body, His Evidence: Female Subjugation in the Anatomy Theatres,” for the edited collection The Spaces of Renaissance Anatomy Theatre, Vernon Press.

“John Donne’s Appropriations of Biopolitical Rhetoric from the Gallows: An Examination of the Palatinate Sermon,” The International Journal of Literary Humanities, forthcoming.



Town Branch Writing Collection: Fourth Edition, 2018-2019. Revisions and updates. Van-Griner, 2018.

Revisions to “Chapter Two: Rhetorical Situation.” Town Branch Writing Collection: Third Edition, 2017-2018. Van-Griner, 2017: 25-40.

“Realizing A Place in the Field.” Co-author with Dr. Kristi Costello and Skye Roberson. Arkansas English Journal, Winter 2015, pp. 33-43.



“WRD Graduates.” (A collection of four digital documentaries.) Town Branch Writing Collection: Seventh Edition, 2021-2022. Van-Griner, forthcoming.

“The Success of Our Recent Graduates.” Town Branch Writing Collection: Fifth Edition, 2019-2020. Van-Griner, 2019, pp. xix-xx. Republished in the Sixth Edition, pp. xx-xxi.


Chapters and Articles

Introduction, Time, Space, and the Human Body: An Interdisciplinary Look. Co-authored with Dr. Rafael Narváez. Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016, pp. vii-xi.

“Fate’s Commanding Role in Paradise Lost.” Time, Space, and the Human Body: An Interdisciplinary Look. Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016, pp. 147-156.

Rev. of The Rising Water Trilogy by John Biguenet. Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies, vol. 47, no. 2, 2016, pp. 143-5.

Rev. of Visitations by John Bensko. Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies, vol. 46, no. 2, 2015, pp. 155-6.

“Five Year Index, 2003-2007.” Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies, vol. 45, no. 3, 2014, pp. 202-224.



Time, Space, and the Human Body: An Interdisciplinary Look. Co-editor with Dr. Rafael Narváez. Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2016.


Awards and Scholarships

Ben Wathen Black Memorial Graduate Scholarship in British Literature ($1,000), Spring 2019

Excellence in Teaching, WRD Department, University of Kentucky, Spring 2018

Outstanding Teaching Assistant, English Department, University of Kentucky, Spring 2018

Best Editor, Arkansas State University, Spring 2015

Distinguished Teaching Assistant, Arkansas State University, Spring 2015

Leadership Award, Arkansas State University, Fall 2014




“Questions of Citizenship Upon the Scaffold,” The Death and Culture Network, St. John University, University of York, *virtual, Fall 2020.

“‘The Rest is Silence’: Embodied Rhetoric and Anatomy in Hamlet,” The Renaissance Society of America. Spring 2021. Dublin, Ireland.

Past Presentations

“Biopolitics and Early Modern England’s Necro-Culture.” Association of the Rhetoric for Science, Technology, and Medicine preconference of the National Communications Association. Fall 2019. Baltimore, MA.

“The Rhetorical Utilization of Biopower in Early Modern England: Cutwolfe’s Execution in The Unfortunate Traveller.” Rhetoric and Performance, The Renaissance Society of America. Spring 2019. Toronto, ON, CA.

“We Are All Awaiting the Gallows: Gallows Rhetoric in John Donne’s Pulpit Sermons.” Renaissance Society of America. Spring 2018. New Orleans, LA.

“Necropolitical Rhetoric in the Sermons of John Donne.” Midwest Modern Language Association. Fall 2017. Cincinnati, OH.

“Body & Soul in the Western Tradition: The Renaissance Literature,” (Invited Lecturer), Winona State University, Fall 2017 and Spring 2018.

 “The Agency of the Eulogy.” Early Modern Colloquium. Spring 2016 Anne Arbor, MI.

“A Wizarding Competition in Composition Classrooms: Merging Pop Culture Practices in Composition Classrooms.” Convergences, the 2015 UCA/UALR Writing Conference. Spring 2015. Conway, AR.

“Fate’s Commanding Role in Paradise Lost.” 4th Global Conference: Time, Space and Body. Fall 2014. Oxford, UK.

“Opening Our Doors: Using Writing Center Tutor-Facilitated Writing Groups for Strategic Collaboration.” Co-presenter with Airek Beauchamp, Justin Cook, Dr. Kristi Costello, Michal Horton, Skye Roberson, Tabatha Simpson, Mitchell Wells, Grover Welch, and Shalicia Wilson.  International Writing Centers Association. Spring 2014. Indianapolis, IN.


Graduate Certificates

Preparing Future Faculty – College Teaching and Learning, The Graduate School, University of Kentucky

Professional and Technical Writing, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies, University of Kentucky