Sarah Mayo is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English, where she studies Renaissance Literature with a particular focus on medical history and occult philosophy. Her current dissertation project, "Medical Practice, Medical Performance: Mountebanks in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century England," explores the rhetorical and theatrical practices of "mountebanks," quack doctors who performed medicine on public stages and lured in patients and audience members through elaborate spectacles that might include the handling of snakes or (according to one report) pulling out patients' teeth using the tip of a sword. Sarah's dissertation investigates the ways such practitioners staged rituals of healing in order to exploit the faith and fear of their patients for profit.
Outside of her research and teaching responsibilities, Sarah has worked as an editorial assistant for the peer-reviewed, online journal Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation. She also operated as a project manager for the 2015 conference Appropriation in an Age of Global Shakespeare celebrating Borrowers and Lenders' 10th anniversary. During the same year, she co-organized a “400th Death-iversary Shakespeare Film Series” hosted through the UGA Libraries.
Sarah's second passion, next to teaching and studying literature, is watching B-movie horror and sci-fi. Someday (she whispers to herself), she will find a way to integrate Renaissance literary studies and low-budget sci-fi films into a single scholarly work.
B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2013
Primary research interests include all things weird, witchy, and wacky in English Renaissance culture and natural philosophy. In addition, Sarah has written on Renaissance women's writing and epistemological reflections.
2015 - Robert E. Park Essay Award, Department of English
2015 - Best Graduate Student Conference Paper of 2014, Society for the Study of Early Modern Women
2017 - Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship
2017 - Renaissance Society of America – Bodleian Library Fellowship
2017 - Franklin College-University of Liverpool Short-Term International Research Fellowship
2016 - Willson Graduate Center Research Award
2016 - Grant-in-Aid, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Folger Shakespeare Library Intensive Skills Course - Introduction to Paleography
“‘What witchcraft is this!’: The Postcolonial Translation of Shakespeare and Sangomas in Welcome Msomi’s uMabatha.” Postcolonial Interventions 1.2 (2016)
“Grotesque Sex: Hermaphroditism and Castration in Jonson’s Volpone.” Renaissance Papers 53 (2014)