Esther Van Dyke
Advisor(s): Larry Norman

Esther is a sixth-year PhD student working on 17th century French theater with Prof. Larry Norman. Her research interests focus on aesthetics in the 17th century, specifically that of the sublime. The sublime was first clearly theorized by Boileau in 1674 as the ineffable effect found in discourse, although it is not linked to any specific rhetorical style. Esther argues that Racine practiced the sublime, bringing it outside of its traditional discursive milieu and into the realm of theater through powerful dramatic effects, including spoken discourse, written word, silence, or even visual representation of the human body on stage.

She is also interested in the role aesthetics play in genre, the intersection of the je ne sais quoi and the sublime, and the power of taste to conduct social change.

Dissertation: Sublime Racine: Theatrical Practices of the Ineffable