Professor, Director of Graduate Studies and Editor of Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature. Renaissance Literature; Shakespeare.
My research and teaching interests cover a wide range of authors, genres, and ideas from sixteenth and seventeenth-century England. My earlier research concerned the Renaissance English sense of the past and the theological questions that separated Protestants and Catholics. My book Roman Invasions: The British History, Protestant Anti-Romanism, and the Historical Imagination in England 1530-1660 (University of Delaware Press, 2002) explores the connection between these two areas, by tracing the link between an attraction to medieval historiography and a growing Protestant nationalism. In this project I was able to combine a general interest in the ways the Renaissance holds onto and departs from its medieval heritage with a focus on literary issues such as the development of historical drama and epic, and the thinking of such writers as Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. My second book, Hamlet, Protestantism, and the Mourning of Contingency: Not To Be (Ashgate, 2006), deals with how religious controversies of the time, especially regarding Calvinistic Protestantism, tell on Shakespeare’s enormously complicated play. More recently, I have been investigating how theology and history, but also rhetoric, logic, humors psychology, and astrology, informed concepts of personhood and the dramatic portrayal of specific persons. This effort has culminated in my third book, Character and the Individual Personality in English Renaissance Drama: Tragedy, History, Tragicomedy (University of Delaware Press/Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).
Though I have been concentrating on drama for some time, I am currently beginning a return to epic literature. Marquette's program has allowed this variety to be reflected in my teaching. While always keeping my attention on Shakespeare, I have been able to pursue my fascination with non-Shakespearean Renaissance drama, as well as delve into Milton, Spenser, and other sixteenth-century and medieval authors. I have in addition enjoyed the opportunities our Introduction to Literature and our Honors courses offer to examine the literatures of other periods and countries.
Comparative Drama 43 (2009):317-54.
in English Literature 49.2(2009):285-309.