Renaissance Literature

Faculty List

Hannibal Hamlin, Area Convenor

Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies liason: Hannibal Hamlin
Reading Group coordinators: Dan Knapper and Heather Frazier
Dissertation Seminar coordinator: Alan Farmer
Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Student Association: Carmen Meza

Simply put, the literature of the English Renaissance is as good as literature gets. In this period, covering roughly 1500 to 1660, literary genres and modes flourished, new forms of poetry were invented or revived from classical exemplars, and the theater came to life as an important form of literary expression and popular entertainment. Emergent religious, social, political, scientific, and economic relations, along with a reexamination of ancient and medieval literary forms, helped produced a large and eclectic body of literature. Ohio State’s faculty in Renaissance literature offers a wide range of expertise, from Spenser and Shakespeare to Donne and Jonson to Marvell and Milton. Specialties also include law and legal culture, early modern medicine and science, Caroline drama, the bible and religion, the literature of London, book history, and sexuality/gender studies.

Key Courses

Undergraduate courses:
ENG 2220H: Honors Introduction to Shakespeare (for non-majors)
ENG 4520.01: Shakespeare
ENG 4520.02 Studies in Shakespeare (specialized topics)
ENG 4521: Renaissance Drama
ENG 4522: Renaissance Poetry
ENG 4523: Special Topics in Renaissance Literature and Culture
ENG 4564.01: Studies in a Major Medieval or Renaissance Author
ENG 4590.02H: Honors Seminar in Renaissance Literature

Graduate/Undergraduate courses:

ENG 5720: Topics in Shakespeare

Recent topics have included Shakespeare in History: Theater, Print, and Criticism [Farmer]

ENG 5721: Topics in Renaissance Drama
ENG 5722: Topics in Renaissance Poetry

Recent topics have included Poetry and Prayer: The Religious Lyric [Hamlin]

ENG 5723: Topics in Renaissance Literature

Recent topics have included History of the Book [Farmer]

Graduate courses:

ENG 7820: Topics in Shakespeare

Recent topics have included The Bible in Shakespeare [Hamlin], English Multiple-Text Shakespeare Plays [Farmer], Feminist Approaches to Shakespeare [Higginbotham]

ENG 7827: Topics in Renaissance Literature

Recent topics have included Theatre and Neighborhood in Early Modern England [Highley], Renaissance Pastoral: Literary Form and the Politics of Agrarian Labor [Wilson], Genre and Mode in Renaissance Literature [Wilson], Caroline Drama [Farmer], The Medical Marketplace of Renaissance London [Neville]

Graduate workshops:

Recent workshops have been led by Roland Greene, Randall McLeod, Stephen Orgel, Dympna Callaghan, and Heather Dubrow

Folger Shakespeare Library Consortium

Graduate students have regularly received funding support to participate in Folger Institute seminars, paleography courses, and the dissertation seminar “Researching the Archive”

Affiliated Reading Groups

Renaissance Reading Group –– meets once or twice per term to discuss critical essays and books, unfamiliar primary works, or to read less familiar plays
Renaissance Dissertation Seminar –– a regular forum for the presentation and discussion of graduate student work in progress
Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Student Association
Annual History of the Book Lecture and Reading Group –– an interdepartmental study group featuring presentations/seminars on a variety of topics; the group also sponsors an annual visiting lecture

Lord Denney’s Players 

The English Department’s resident theater program involves undergraduates, graduates students, staff, and faculty collaborating on productions with an emphasis on exploring textual, performance, and historical questions. Productions have included Shakespeare’s Richard II (Spring 2015, in two different texts), The Second Shepherds’ Play (Fall 2015), and Shakespeare’s The Tempest (upcoming in 2017).

Renaissance books