Thesis title: Re-Dressing Rape: Sexual Violence in All-Femme Shakespeare
Rachel earned their M.S. in Narrative Medicine and B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Columbia University in New York City. While in New York, Rachel worked as a director, writer, and designer for student and regional theatre companies, eventually leading themheto change career paths from engineering and medicine to the arts and academia. However, Rachel hopes to incorporate their background in the sciences into their work in literature and theatre.
At the University of Edinburgh, Rachel has served as co-editor in chief of FORUM: University of Edinburgh’s Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts and a co-convenor of English Literature Work in Progress. Rachel has also worked with The Show Must Go Online, a pandemic-era theatre company focusing mainly on Shakespeare and classical theatre.
Rachel is a co-founder of Strut Safe, a free, volunteer-run service in Edinburgh dedicated to walking people home safely.
English Literature 1 and 2
Rachel studies sexual violence in Shakespeare as performed by casts of all femmes. Focusing primarily on productions directed by Phyllida Lloyd, they are working to combine the worlds of gender studies and the semiotics of theatre. So far, their primary influences are Judith Butler, Elaine Aston, George Savona, Kier Elam, bell hooks, and Jack Halberstam. Rachel is interested in the intersection of queer and gender theories with audience reception theory, particularly in the ways (feminine) bodies acquire and produce meaning onstage.
Past research interestsIn the past, Rachel has studied queer sexuality in Gothic literature and fanfiction and narratives of suicidality in performance. They have also conducted research in medicine, including the experiences of people with cerebral palsy seeking gynecological care, pain management practices in sub-acute hospital units, depression rates in young women studying for the Collegiate Scholastic Ability Test in South Korea, and iso-volumetric contraction and relaxation times in the left ventricle.
Affiliated research centres
Chung, Rachel. 'Art Thou a Man?': The Performance of Gender in Phyllida Lloyd’s All-Woman Shakespeare. Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting. University of Toronto. March 2019.
Chung, Rachel. ‘The Semiotics of Gender in All-Female Performance.’ British Graduate Student Conference (BritGrad). Shakespeare Institute. May 2018.
Chung, Rachel. ‘Unbecoming: Expressions of Gender in Shakespeare.’ English Literature Work in Progress. University of Edinburgh. Feb 2018.
Chung, Rachel and Sarah Garvey. ‘Narrative Medicine: A Storied Approach to the Clinical Encounter.’ Storytelling: Global Reflections on Narratives. Mansfield College, University of Oxford. Jul 2016.
Chung, Rachel and Sarah Garvey. ‘Singing the World: Narrative Medicine and Storied Existence.’ Storytelling: Global Reflections on Narratives. Brill Publishers: 2019.
Chung, Rachel. ‘“Come, Sir Boy”: Subverting Masculinity Through Cross-Gender Performance.’ Inquiries Journal Vol. 9, No. 11. 2017.
Chung, Rachel. ‘Sex and Sexual Violence in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.’ Inquiries Journal Vol. 9, No. 03. 2017.