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Jesse David Sharpe’s main research interest is in the literature of the English Renaissance. In this, he is primarily focused on the poetry of the early seventeenth century and the paradoxical and problematic relations between the human and divine portrayed in the poems, specifically within the works of John Donne, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, Amelia Lanyer, and Robert Crashaw. A secondary area of research is information ethics, especially in regards to the legal and social understandings for the creation, dissemination, and consumption of printed materials in the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods.
Current research projects include the monograph “Devotional Time: The collapse of the past, present, and future in early modern devotional poetry.” This work discusses how the Incarnation becomes an intermediary transgressing time and space to bring the poet - and reader - into a devotional space in which Eden, the Lord’s Supper, and the final Resurrection of Christians collapse into the devotional space and time of the poem. Dr. Sharpe is also involved in two digital humanities projects for the John Donne Society. He is working with Matthew Sherman (University of Bridgeport) to create an online database of John R. Roberts’ annotated bibliographies of John Donne scholarship. He is also a member of the group performing xml markup of John Donne’s sermons for the Digital Donne project.