Alexander Paulsson Lash is a PhD Candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, where his research interests are in early modern literature and culture, especially drama, performance, and theater history, as well as the history of science. His dissertation, “Doors, Noises, and Magic Hats: The Tools of Spatial Representation on the Seventeenth-Century Stage,” traces the use of certain deceptively simple technologies for shaping theatrical space, including doors, props, and music. While the introduction of painted scenery at the Restoration is typically taken to mark a break in how location was represented onstage, this dissertation crosses the period divide that typically separates the Shakespearean stage from Restoration theater. In doing so, “Doors, Noises, and Magic Hats” shows how the theater was a powerful site for shaping the spatial perceptions of London playgoers as their city expanded into a global center of power.
Alexander's articles and reviews are published or forthcoming in Shakespeare Studies, Renaissance Quarterly, and The Literary Encyclopedia. He has taught University Writing and Literary Texts, Critical Methods, Columbia's introduction to the English major, as well as assisting in courses on Shakespeare, Metaphysical Poetry, and Gothic Fiction. Alexander currently serves as a Graduate Student Mentor for the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program, where he works with students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Along with supporting them in individual research projects, he also leads discussion sections focused on how to navigate the particular challenges of life at Columbia and in New York City. A dual citizen of Sweden and America, Alexander graduated from Seattle Pacific University magna cum laude, and holds a licence in philosophy (BA equivalent) from the University of Paris 1, Panetheon-Sorbonne, and an MA in English literature from Fordham.
early modern literature and culture; drama; history of science