Evyan Dale Gainey
Evyan Gainey is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia, specializing in early modern drama. His primary research interests are in the fields of disability studies and the history of disability, as well as queer studies and the history of sexuality. His dissertation, “The Glass of Fashion: The Popularization of Disability on the English Renaissance Stage,” argues that disability was a highly lucrative embodiment for actors and acting companies to stage in early modern England. Disability’s frequent utilization in Renaissance drama—especially in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries—allowed theatre to experiment with the significations of mental and physical impairment, catapulting it beyond the kind of villainy, weakness, worthlessness, and stigma that non-dramatic discourse often defined it by.
Before coming to Columbia, Evyan completed an MA in English Literature from Appalachian State University, after graduating summa cum laude with dual degrees in English and Political Science.