Past Speakers


February 2017

Paul Kottman (New School for Social Research)

“Why Shakespeare Stopped Writing Tragedies

 Tuesday, February 20th, 4pm

Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

Paul A. Kottman is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the New School for Social Research, and Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts. He is a member of the Committee on Liberal Studies, and is affiliated with the Philosophy Department. He holds the Abilitazione, Professore Ordinario in Filosofia, Estetica (Professor of Philosophy, Aesthetics) in Italy. He has held Visiting Professorships at the University of Tokyo; the Università degli studi di Verona; Instituto per gli studi filosofici, Naples; and the International Chair in Political Languages, Dipartimento di Politiche Pubbliche e Scelte Colletive (POLIS), Università del Piemonte Orientale. He has been awarded residential fellowships at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Institute for Research in the Humanities) and Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Universität zu Köln.



December 2017

Patricia Akhimie (Rutgers University—Newark)

“Conduct and the Cultivation of Difference

 Tuesday, December 5th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

This event is co-sponsored by the English Department's Visiting Writers Committee

Patricia Akhimie is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark, where she teaches Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, and early modern women’s travel writing. She is the author of Shakespeare and the Cultivation of Difference: Race and Conduct in the Early Modern World(Routledge, forthcoming 2018). She is co-editor, with Bernadette Andrea of Traveling/Travailing Women: Early Modern England and the Wider World (U of Nebraska, forthcoming 2018).  Her most recent publications include “‘Bruised with Adversity’: Reading Race in The Comedy of Errors,” in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race, and “Galleries and Soft Power: The Gallery in The Winter’sTale” in Early Modern Diplomacy, Theatre and Soft Power: The Making of Peace



November 2017

Christopher M. Bellitto (Kean University)

Luther and Church Reform:

Catholic and Protestant Perspectives”


Wednesday, November 8th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 120


Christopher M. Bellitto is Professor of History at Kean University, where he specializes in the study of church history and reform. He is the author of ten books, including the companion volumes Renewing Christianity: A History of Church Reform (2001) and The General Councils (2002).  He also serves as Academic Editor at Large of Paulist Press and series Editor in Chief of Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, and he is the past recipient of grants from the Fulbright Program and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A member of the Public Scholar Speakers Bureau of the NJ Council for the Humanities and frequent media commentator on church history and contemporary Catholicism, his latest book is Ageless Wisdom: Lifetime Lessons from the Bible (2016).



October 2017

Meghan Robison (Montclair State University)


Bartholomeus van der Helst, The Celebration of the Peace of Münster (1648)


Moving Limbs: On the Movement of Life in Hobbes' Leviathan 

Wednesday, October 11th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

Meghan Robison is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Montclair State University. She received her PhD from The New School for Social Research in 2016. Her work mainly focuses on political philosophy, early modern philosophy, and aesthetics. She is currently at work on a book on Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan which offers an original reading of the exit from the State of Nature by reexamining the role of Hobbes’ conception of life as “a motion of limbs,” and its connection to the contracts that form the basis of the Commonwealth. Her talk will be drawn from this work.


September 2017


Ann Marie Rasmussen (University of Waterloo)


The Polyfunctionality of Script on Medieval Badges 

Wednesday, September 27th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Room 110

Ann Marie Rasmussen joined the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) on January 1, 2015 as the John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies after having been a faculty member in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literature at Duke University in North Carolina for twenty-five years. She was born and raised in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon and received her BA from the University of Oregon and her PhD from Yale University, both in the field of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Her areas of expertise are medieval studies, German studies, and gender studies. She is the author of Mothers and Daughters in Medieval German Literature (1997); and coeditor of Medieval Woman’s Song (with Anne Klinck, 2002); Ladies, Whores, and Holy Women: A Sourcebook in Courtly, Religious, and Urban Cultures of Late Medieval Germany, with Introductory Essays (with Sarah Westphal-Wihl, 2010), and Visuality and Materiality in the Story of Tristan and Isolde (with Jutta Eming and Kathryn Starkey, 2012), as well as numerous essays. Her monograph on medieval badges is under review at a scholarly press.



May 2017


Daniel Shore (Georgetown University)


“Making Bacon: A Digital Reconstruction of the Early Modern Social Network 

Tuesday, May 2nd, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Daniel Shore, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of English at Georgetown University, is currently completing his second book project, Cyberformalism, which will be out with Johns Hopkins University Press later this year. His first book, Milton and the Art of Rhetoric, appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2012, and he has published articles in such journals as PMLACritical InquiryModern PhilologyShakespeare QuarterlyMilton StudiesDHQ, and others.  His research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, and he is the co-founder of the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon project, which has been funded by Google, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the NEH.  



April 2017


Caroline Castiglione (Brown University)



“A Death is a Death:  Monuments to Loss and Solutions to Domestic Abuse in Moderata Fonte's The Worth of Women 

Tuesday, April 18th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Caroline Castiglione is a Professor of Italian Studies and History at Brown University.  She received her Ph.D from Harvard University.  Her research interests are political, legal, gender, and women's history in Italy and Europe between 1500-1800.  Her first book, Patrons and Adversaries: Nobles and Villagers in Italian Politics, 1650-1760 (Oxford University Press, 2005) won the Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies in 2006.  Her second book, Accounting for Affection: Mothering and Politics in Rome, 1630-1730 (Palsgrave Macmillan, 2015) examines the symbiotic evolution of politics and mothering in early modern Rome. Seminar conveners: Alison Beringer (Classics and General Humanities), Raul Galoppe (Spanish and Italian), Kathleen Loysen (Modern Languages and Literatures), Jeffrey Alan Miller (English), Megan Moran (History), and Adam Rzepka (English).



March 2017


Markus Cruse (Arizona State University)



“Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages 

Wednesday, March 22nd, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Mark Cruse received his PhD from New York University and is Associate Professor and Head of the French and Italian Faculty in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. His publications cover topics including medieval theater manuscripts, ivory writing tablets, heraldry, the senses in medieval culture, the Louvre of Charles V, and Haitian literature. His first book was a study of an illuminated copy of the Old French Romance of Alexander. His current book project focuses on the Old French manuscripts of Marco Polo's description of the world.

Seminar conveners: Alison Beringer (Classics and General Humanities), Raul Galoppe (Spanish and Italian), Kathleen Loysen (Modern Languages and Literatures), Jeffrey Alan Miller (English), Megan Moran (History), and Adam Rzepka (English).



November 2016


Jorge Latorre (Universidad de Navarra)



“Don Quixote: A Bridge Between the Far East and the Wild West 

Wednesday, November 30th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Jorge Latorre is Associate Professor of Visual Culture at the Universidad de Navarra and currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University.  He as published five books and more than 100 articles about the history of photography, the arts, film and media in general, with a special focus on Spanish culture and its presence throughout the world.  

Seminar conveners: Alison Beringer (Classics and General Humanities), Raul Galoppe (Spanish and Italian), Kathleen Loysen (Modern Languages and Literatures), Jeffrey Alan Miller (English), Megan Moran (History), and Adam Rzepka (English).



October 2016


Elizabeth Valdez del Álamo (Montclair State University)



“Mourning and Remembrance in the Twelfth Century: The Sarcophagus of Queen Blanca of Nájera 

Wednesday, October 19th, 4-5:30 p.m.
Schmitt Hall, Room 104

Elizabeth Valdez del Álamo is Professor of Art History, Emeritus, at Montclair State University.  Her many publications include Palace of the Mind: The Cloister of Silos and Spanish Sculpture of the Twelfth Century (Brepols, 2012), along with numerous articles and book chapters on medieval Spain, monasticism, the funerary arts, and audience reception.  She also co-edited the collections of essays Memory and the Medieval Tomb (Ashgate, 2000) and Decorations for the Holy Dead: Visual Embellishments on Tombs and Shrines of Saints (Brepols, 2002).  She was honored as the Montclair State University Distinguished Scholar in 2014.


September 2016


Naomi Conn Liebler (Montclair State University)



‘Unless ...’: Prospero, Gonzalo, and the Shakespearean Monument in The Tempest


Wednesday, September 28th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Schmitt Hall, Room 104


Naomi Conn Liebler is Professor of English and a University Distinguished Scholar at Montclair State University.  She is the author of Shakespeare’s Festive Tragedy: The Ritual Foundations of Genre (Routledge, 1995); co-editor with John Drakakis  of Tragedy, a theory reader (Longman, 1998); and editor of The Female Tragic Hero in English Renaissance Drama (Palgrave, 2002) and Early Modern Prose Fiction: The Cultural Politics of Reading (Routledge, 2007).  She is currently editing the volume on the Renaissance for A Cultural History of Tragedy (Bloomsbury/Methuen) and is also at work on a monograph concerning “Shakespeare’s Geezers.”



 May 2016


Graduate Student Panel



Carole Reading (MSU, English) 

       "'What hinders then / To reach and feed at once both body and mind?': Temptation and the Moral Emotions in Milton”

Cameron Smith (MSU, History) 

       “Vlad Tepes, his military campaign against the Ottoman Empire in 1462, and the forging of a Romanian national identity”

Reyther Ortega (MSU, Spanish and Italian)

        “Writing the Wardrobe, Fashioning the Text: A Study of the Armor in Don Quixote”


Wednesday, May 4th, 4-5:30 p.m.




February 2016

Jeremy Lopez

University of Toronto

Shakespeare's Life


Wednesday, February 17th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Schmitt Hall 104

Jeremy Lopez teaches and writes about the drama of Shakespeare and  his contemporaries. His most recent book is Constructing the Canon  of Early Modern Drama (Cambridge 2014), a history of the early  modern dramatic canon from the eighteenth century to the present.  He is the general editor of the Routledge Anthology of Early Modern  Drama (forthcoming 2019), which will be the first entirely  revisionary anthology of its kind in over a century. Other current  work in progress includes a monograph on the intersection of  biography, biographical criticism, and dramatic form in the study  of early modern drama. 



November 2015 

Elizabeth Hyde

Of Monarchical Climates and Republican Soil: André Michaux and Franco-American Botany in the Eighteenth Century

Wednesday, November 18th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Schmitt Hall 104

Elizabeth Hyde is Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of the History Department at Kean University. Her first book, Cultivated Power: Flowers, Culture, and Politics in the Reign of Louis XIV (2005), was the recipient of the 2007 Society of Architectural Historians' Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Award. She was an editor and contributor to A Cultural History of Gardens in the Renaissance, 1400-1650 (2013) and is currently working on a new book, Of Monarchial Climates and Republican Soil: Nature, Nation, and Botanical Diplomacy in the Franco-American Atlantic World. This book explores the cultural and political dimensions of trans-Atlantic botanical exchange of plants, trees, and knowledge in the eighteenth century through the work of French botanist Andre Michaux and his American counterparts.



October 2015

Richard Strier

"Paleness versus Eloquence: The Ideologies of Style in the English Renaissance"

Othello and Iago. H.C. Selous, 1830. 

Wednesday, October 28th, 3:30-5 p.m.

Schmitt Hall 104

Richard Strier, Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor emeritus from the English Department, Divinity School, and the College of the University of Chicago, is the author of The Unrepentant Renaissance from Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton (2011) – which won the Robert Penn Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award for Literary Criticism -- Resistant Structures:  Particularity, Radicalism, and Renaissance Texts (1995); and Love Known: Theology and Experience in George Herbert's Poetry (1983).  He has co-edited a number of interdisciplinary collections, including, most recently, Shakespeare and the Law:  A Conversation Among Disciplines and Professions (with Bradin Cormack and Martha Nussbaum); Writing and Political Engagement in Seventeenth-Century England (with Derek Hirst); Religion, Literature and Politics in Post-Reformation England, 1540-1688 (with Donna Hamilton); The Theatrical City:  Culture, Theatre and Politics in London, 1576-1649 (with David L. Smith and David Bevington); and The Historical Renaissance:  New Essays in Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture (with Heather Dubrow).  He has published essays on Shakespeare, Donne, Luther, Montaigne, and Milton, on formalism and historicism, and on twentieth-century poetry and critical theory.



September 2015

Alan Cottrell

"Hippolytus Restored: Angelo Poliziano and Creating Classical Scholarship

  in the Italian Renaissance"

Zaccharia in the Temple (detail). Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1486-90. 

Wednesday, September 30th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Schmitt Hall 104

Alan Cottrell is Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Professor of History. A past National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, he has published articles in Mediaeval Studies and Manuscripta. His research concerns the intellectual history of the Middle Ages and Italian Renaissance, with a focus on the history of classical scholarship and learning, specifically the work of the Quattrocento Florentine humanist, Angelo Poliziano. He has recently submitted a Latin edition and English translation of Poliziano's masterwork, the Miscellanea, as a volume in the I Tatti Renaissance Library series; the pioneering methodology evidenced in the Miscellanea will be the focus of this presentation.



April 2015

Graduate Student Panel












 Tiffany Errickson (MSU, English)

       “The Lady’s Logos:  Speech as Action in Comus

Séraphine N’zue-Agbadou (MSU, Modern Languages and Literatures)

       “How Did the Reformation Influence 16th-Century French Literature?”

 Beth Tippenreiter (MSU, English)

       “Hot and Bothered:  The Beelzebub-Satan Consort Relationship in John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Wednesday, April 15th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Dickson Hall, Room 179



March 2015

Julia Landweber

"Embracing the 'Queen of Beans': How Coffee was Adopted into French Fashion, Medicine, and Diet, 1660-1780"

Charles-André van Loo, Portrait of de Pompadour as a Sultana Taking Coffee 

Wednesday, March 18th, 4-5:30 p.m.

Dickson 179

Julie Landweber is Assistant Professor of History and of Women’s and Gender Studies at Montclair State University. She received her Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University. Her work examines the impact relations between France and the Ottoman Empire had upon old regime French culture and identity formation. She has published articles on the Franco-Ottoman connection in the Journal of Ottoman Studies, the International History ReviewRomance Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. She has an article about the adoption of coffee in France appearing in French Historical Studies in April 2015. It is part of a larger book project called: Embracing the Queen of Beans: How Coffee was Adopted into French Medicine, Fashion, and Diet, 1660-1789.



February 2015

Bradin Cormack

"In the Time of Example: Being Unruly in Shakespeare"

Poems, written by Wil. Shake-speare. Gent. (1640). Folger Shakespeare Library 

Thursday, February 26th, 5-6:30 p.m.

Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall

Bradin Cormack is Professor of English at Princeton University.  He is author of A Power to Do Justice: Jurisdiction, English Literature, and the Rise of Common Law, 1509-1625 (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and co-editor, most recently, of Shakespeare and the Law: A Conversation among the Disciplines and Professions.  He has published on issues of sovereignty in Shakespeare Quarterly, and he is currently working on the philosophical dimension of Shakespeare’s poems and plays.



December 2014


March 2014


February 2014