Richard H., Jr. ’60 and Joan K. Sell Chair in the Humanities
303 Pardee Hall
(610) 330-5568


  • Ph.D., Columbia

Teaching Interests

Shakespeare, Renaissance and Early Modern Drama, Early Modern Race Studies, Race Theory, Queer Studies, Modern and Contemporary Drama, International Literature, Contemporary Fiction.

Research Interests

Shakespeare and Race, Early Modern Blackface, Race Theory, Classical and Early Modern Rhetoric, Postcolonial Theory, Non-Canonical Race Texts, Gender and Sexuality.

Current Research Projects

Black Shakespeare. Book length study that examines Shakespeare’s pervasive interest in blackness as a social and political identity.

Dressed in Black: Racial Cross-Dressing on the Early Modern Stage. Book length study that examines early modern “blackface” and the material significance of the prosthetics of racial impersonation.

Selected Recent Publications

Race and Rhetoric in Renaissance England: Barbarian Errors. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

“We are Othello: Speaking of Race in Early Modern Studies.” Shakespeare Quarterly 67.1 (2016): 104-24.

“The Textile Black Body: Race and ‘shadowed livery’ in The Merchant of Venice.” In The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race. Edited by Valerie Traub. 170-85. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

“Seeing Blackness, Reading Race in Othello.” In The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy. Edited by Michael Neill and David Schalkwyk. 405-20. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

“Speaking of Race.” In Shakespeare in Our Time: A Shakespeare Association of America Collection. Edited by Dympna Callaghan and Suzanne Gossett. 118-22. New York: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2016.

“Shakespeare and Blackface Performance”; “Shakespeare and the Caribbean”; “Aimé Césaire”; and “Ubu roi.” In The Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia. Edited by Patricia Parker. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.

“Managing Fear: The Commerce in Blackness and the London Lord Mayors’ Shows.” In Historical Affects and the Early Modern Theater. Edited by Ronda Arab, Michelle Dowd, and Adam Zucker. Routledge Advances in Theatre and Performance Studies. 211-19. New York: Routledge, 2015.

“Othello’s Black Handkerchief.” Shakespeare Quarterly 64.1 (2013): 1-25.

“The Queer Moor: Bodies, Borders and Barbary Inns.” In A Companion to the Global Renaissance 1550-1660: English Culture and Literature in the Era of Expansion. Edited by Jyotsna Singh. 190-204. Oxford: Blackwell, 2009; paperback edition 2013.

Artists’ Book

Othello Re-imagined in Sepia. Collaborators, Curlee Holton and Ian Smith. Book introduction by Ian Smith. Easton: EPI, 2012.


“Teach Him How to Tell My Story: Shakespeare and Blackface.” Shakespeare Unlimited: 50. Shakespeare Unlimited Podcast Series, published June 14, 2016, by the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Additional profile