Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America

Evan Cheney

Graduate Student

Evan Cheney is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English studying early modern and medieval literature. He is currently working on a dissertation titled “Corporate Voice: The Politics of Personation in Early Modern England” which aims to revitalize the study of personification by considering how one of its forms, personation, enables one to speak for another in a political capacity as proxy, agent, or representative. When untethered from allegory and visual iconography, personation raises complex political concerns which draw upon literary notions such as presence, identity, authenticity, and agency. Cheney argues that early modern authors including Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare variously shape a discussion of the politics of personation within their political fictions—a discussion that was heavily influenced by their understanding of medieval political theology.