Professor, Department of English
Director, Nicholson Center for British Studies
Office: Walker 512
Phone: (773) 702-8910
I specialize in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British literature, with a focus on poetry and drama as they relate to early legal culture. My first book, A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509–1625, concerns the various ways in which imaginative literature engaged the principle of jurisdiction at a time when, at the expense of other tribunals and other laws, the central courts were consolidating the common law’s institutional identity and its claims on the state and subject. I have recently edited, with Leonard Barkan and Sean Keilen, a volume of essays under the title The Forms of Renaissance Thought: New Essays on Literature and Culture. At the moment I am working on two book projects: a monograph on Shakespeare and law; and a study of Shakespeare’s sonnets, under the title Shakespeare’s Substance.
In addition to drama, poetry, and law, my teaching and research interests include political theory, early nationalism and imperialism, the material history of the book, the history of disciplinarity, and gender and sexuality.
Since coming to Chicago in 2000, I have taught a lecture class on Shakespeare, undergraduate surveys of early modern poetry and drama, as well as advanced seminars on Shakespeare, Spenser, the poetry of the 1590s, and Utopianism from More to Le Corbusier. At the graduate level, I have taught seminars on early modern literature’s relation to law, on British nationalism, on the material and textual history of the learned disciplines, and on lyric narrative.
Graduate: Shakespeare and the Law; Classical Authorship: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson; Shakespeare’s Sonnets; Literature, the Learned Disciplines and the Renaissance Book; Spenser and Shakespeare; The Invention of Britain in Early Modern Literature; The Matter of Law in Early Modern English Literature; Book Learning, Knowledge Forms; Marlowe and the 1590s; Lyric Narration; Lyric, Prosody, Form: Wyatt to Marvell; The Other Shakespeare
Undergraduate: Shakespeare’s Sonnets; Renaissance Lyric; Writing and the Early Modern Court; English Poetry from Wyatt to Milton; Place and Interpretation in Renaissance Literature; Media Aesthetics; Shakespeare: Tragedies and Romances; Shakespeare I: Histories and Comedies; Utopia: Text and Possibility; The Early Modern Sonnet Sequence; Lyric, Prosody, Form: Wyatt to Marvell
- A Power to Do Justice: Jurisidiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509–1625 (University of Chicago Press, 2007).
- The Forms of Renaissance Thought: New Essays on Literature and Culture. Edited with Leonard Barkan and Sean Keilen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).
- Book Use, Book Theory: 1500–1700. Authored with Carla Mazzio (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago, 2005).
- “Shakespeare’s Other Sovereignty: On Particularity and Violence in The Winter’s Tale and the Sonnets.” Shakespeare Quarterly 62.4 (2011): 485–513.
- “Law: Poetry and Jurisdiction.” A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture. Ed. Michael Hattaway. 2nd. ed. London: Blackwell, 2010.
- “On Will: Time and Voluntary Action in Coriolanus and the Sonnets.” Shakespeare 5.3 (2009): 253–70.
- “Locating The Comedy of Errors: Revels Jurisdiction at the Inns of Court.” The Intellectual and Culture World of the Inns of Court. Ed. Jayne Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, and Sarah Knight. Manchester University Press, 2010.
- “In the Labyrinth: Gunn’s Greville.” Afterword. The Selected Poems of Fulke Greville. Ed. Thom Gunn. Second Printing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. 161–77.
- “Shakespeare’s Narcissus, Sonnet’s Echo,” in The Forms of Renaissance Thought, ed. Barkan, Cormack, and Keilen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). 127–49.
- “Shakespeare Possessed: Legal Affect and the Time of Holding.” Shakespeare and the Law. Ed. Paul Raffield and Gary Watt. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2008. 83–100.
- “Strange Love: Or, Holding Lands,” Law and Humanities 1.2 (2007): 31–48.
- “Tender Distance: Latinity and Desire in Shakespeare’s Sonnets,” in A Companion to Shakespeare’s Sonnets, ed. Michael Schoenfeldt (Blackwell Publishing, 2006). 242–60.
- “Practicing Law and Literature in Early Modern Studies,” review article, Modern Philology 101 (2003): 79–91.
- “Pericles and the Idea of Jurisdiction,” in Literature, Mapping and the Politics of Space in Early Modern Britain, edited by Bernhard Klein and Andrew Gordon (Cambridge University Press, 2001). 155–180.
Ph.D., Stanford University, 2001. Teaching at Chicago since 2000.