Mr Jack Parlett, Gonville and Caius

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Dr A Stillman
Dissertation Title: Frank O'Hara and Walt Whitman

Biographical Information

I completed my undergraduate and master’s degrees at Cambridge, with Double First Class Honours and Distinction respectively. For my undergraduate performance I was awarded the Austin Dobson Prize by the Faculty of English and the Schuldham Plate by Gonville and Caius College. 

In addition to my PhD I have undertaken editing work and written for several online publications, including Dazed & Confused and the Cambridge Humanities Review, and freelance in events production in London (5x15) and New York (Sayers & Doers).

Research Interests

My work lies at the intersection between the study of American literature and queer theory. My thesis project, which is entitled ‘Looking for Right Now: Acts and Portraits in Gay New York’, considers the work of Walt Whitman, Frank O’Hara and David Wojnarowicz as a triptych of poets who share, across their different historical moments, a sense of gay cruising as a form of queer world-making. In their writing the ‘look’ emerges as the means by which one reads, and is read, on the street. In the work of each of these writers, archetype emerges as a form of vocabulary, a mode in which the cruiser makes himself known as sexually available that is enfolded within a flirtatious comportment toward the poems’ readers. Whitman’s fixation upon the ‘roughs’, O’Hara’s Camp love of Hollywood stars and Wojnarowicz’s tendency toward the renegade spirit of Genet and Rimbaud both mediate their descriptions of desirous strangers and emerge as stylistic precedents for their own writing.

Areas of Supervision

Practical Criticism; English Literature 1870-Present; Tragedy; Contemporary Literature; Lyric. 

Recent dissertation topics I've supervised have included Walt Whitman, Frank O'Hara, Allen Ginsberg, Alice Walker, Kate Tempest & Lana Del Rey. 

Selected Publications

'Standing Still and Walking in the Paris Arcades' [forthcoming, with Anne Stillman], Arcade Materials, 1 (2018)  

How to: Brexit: Concise Introductions to the Topics That Matter (ed.) (London: Pan Macmillan, 2016)