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The Graduate Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies is a group of interdisciplinary graduate faculty and graduate students from the Departments of Art History, Classics, Communication, English, History, Languages, and Theatre.


Amanda Bailey specializes in Shakespeare, early modern drama, early modern legal studies, political theory, economic history, and the history of masculinity in literature.  Her most recent monograph, Of Bondage: Debt, Property, and Personhood in Early Modern England, examines dramatic literature's contribution to the developing narrative of possessed persons, deepening our understanding of creditor-debtor relations in the period and shedding new light on the conceptual conditions for the institutions of indentured servitude and African slavery.  Her current  book explores political affect in the early modern period.

Sabrina Alcorn Baron (Department of History) has published on censorship, book collectors, the book trade, and news writing, as well as the history of reading, the material culture of the book and the culture of publication in seventeenth-century England. Baron co-edited (with Brendan Dooley) The Politics of Information in Early Modern Europe (2001). Also in 2001 she was guest curator for the Folger Shakespeare Library Exhibition, The Reader Revealed, and compiled and edited the exhibition catalog of the same name.  In 2007 she co-edited a book with Eleanor F. Sherlin and Eric N. Lindquist, Agent of Change: Print Culture Studies after Elizabeth L. Eisenstein. She has published influential essays in other collections, as well as thirteen biographies in the online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004); and was an editor/researcher/author for The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1603-1629 (2011).

Ralph Bauer has been with the University of Maryland since 1998, specializing in the literatures and cultures of the early Americas, comparative literature, the history of science, as well as hemispheric American and early modern Atlantic studies. He is the general editor of the Early Americas Digital Archive. He has also taught at Yale University, New York University, the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, and the University of Tuebingen.

Carmen Benito-Vessels is a Professor of Spanish and Portuguese. A specialist in Medieval Spanish Literature and Cultures, Medieval Historiography, Women and Ethnic Diversity in Medieval Spain, and History of the Spanish Language, her latest book examines, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, the perception and interpretation of language in Spanish literature, from the middle ages to modern times: "La palabra en el tiempo de las letras. Una historia heterodoxa." ('The Word in the Time of Letters. An Unorthodox History’).

Janna Bianchini is Assistant Professor of the European High Middle Ages. Her research interests include the history of power, women, and religious conflict, particularly in medieval Iberia but across Western Europe as well. Her book, "The Queen’s Hand: Power and Authority in the Reign of Berenguela of Castile,” will be published in 2012 by University of Pennsylvania Press. Dr. Bianchini has held fellowships from the Fulbright Association, the Medieval Academy of America, the Program for Cultural Cooperation Between Spain and United States Universities, and the Real Colegio Complutense. She is currently researching a book project on the Infantazgo, lands in western Iberia that became the dominion of royal women between c. 1000 and 1300.

Hervé Campangne is an Associate Professor of French and Italian. His research focus is renaissance French literature.  His current research interests are travel narratives, rhetoric, eloquence and the theater in early modern France, as well as the short story in sixteenth century France.  Campangne has published several books including Mythologie et rhétorique aux XVème et XVIème siècles en France and Ronsard, figure de la variete.

Alejandro Cañeque is a specialist in the history of colonial Latin America, early modern Spain, and the Spanish empire. He has researched and taught in the UK, Mexico, Peru, Spain and the USA. His main area of research is the political and religious cultures of the early modern Spanish world, with an emphasis on colonial Spanish America and the Spanish Atlantic world. He is the author of The King’s Living Image: The Culture and Politics of Viceregal Power in Colonial Mexico (2004), a study of the Spanish colonial and imperial political culture. He has also participated in a bilingual edition of Juan de Palafox’s The Virtues of the Indian. He is currently working on a study of the culture of martyrdom that developed around the Spanish empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Anthony Colantuono is a Professor of Art History. He is a specialist in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian, French and Spanish art, with particular emphasis on the study of early art-theoretical and art-critical writings, interpretative methodology and the interaction between the visual and literary arts. He is the author of Guido Reni's ‘Abduction of Helen': The Politics and Rhetoric of Painting in Seventeenth-Century Europe, and his most recent book, Titian, Colonna and the Renaissance Science of Procreation: Equicola's Seasons of Desire (2010).

Kimberly Anne Coles is an Associate Professor in the Department of English. Her recent book, Religion, Reform, and Women’s Writing in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2008; pbk 2010) examines the influence of women writers on religious identity and its cultural expression in the sixteenth century. She has published articles in ELR, Modern Philology, and RES on the topics of women’s writing, gender, and religious ideology. Her current book project, “ 'A fault of humour': the constitution of belief in Early Modern England" contends with the physiological and philosophical context that makes moral constitution (the framework within which religious ideology is understood) a feature of the blood. The project appreciates how the soul could be understood to have agency in physical technologies in the early modern period—and the implications of this thinking for both religious and racial identification.

Theresa Coletti (Professor, Department of English) specializes in medieval literature. Her research and teaching interests include medieval drama, women’s writing, religion and spirituality, and medievalism. She is the author of Naming the Rose: Eco, Medieval Signs, and Modern Theory (Cornell UP 1988), Mary Magdalene and the Drama of Saints: Theater, Gender, and Religion in Late Medieval England (U Penn, 2004), and over fifty articles and reviews in leading journals and edited collections. She is currently preparing an edition of the Digby Play of Mary Magdalene for the TEAMS series.  In fall 2011 she is convening a seminar at the Folger Institute on the subject, “Periodization and Its Discontents: Pathways between Medieval and Early Modern.”

Jane Donawerth is a professor of English and affiliate faculty in Women's Studies at the University of Maryland. She has won five student-nominated teaching awards and is a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher. She has published Shakespeare and the Sixteenth Century Study of Language and Conversational Rhetoric: The Rise and Fall of a Women's Tradition, 1600 to 1900; and she has co-edited with several students Women, Writing, and the Reproduction of Culture in Tudor and Stuart Britain. She has co-translated the prize-winning Letters, Orations, and Selected Rhetorical Dialogues by Madeleine de Scudéry and published articles in PMLA and Shakespeare Quarterly. She has twice been an NEH Fellow and won both the Bainton Literary Essay Award from Sixteenth Century Studies and the Best Essay Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women for her essay on Margaret Fell's literacy. She helped found The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and the conference,"Attending to Early Modern Women", and is a founding co-editor of the CELJ prize-winning Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal (in its sixth volume). She is currently editing with Rebecca Lush, a former UM student, selected works by Margaret Fell for The Other Voice Series.

Andrea Frisch (Associate Professor of French and Director of the Graduate Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies) specializes in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century, and she is the author of The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France (University of North Carolina P, 2004).  Her work has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals including Representations, Modern Language Quarterly, Montaigne Studies, Romanic Review, Discourse, and Esprit créateur, as well as in edited volumes on Rabelais; Foucault; and Agrippa d'Aubigné.  Andrea has received fellowships from the Newberry Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Center, and the Center for Advanced Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where she recently completed a new book, Forgetting Differences: Tragedy, Historiography and the French Wars of Religion (Edinburgh UP 2015).

Robert Gaines is a Professor of Communication. His research is concerned with history of rhetoric and textual scholarship. Gaines' research projects include creating a new Greek text and English translation for Philodemus' On Rhetoric 4 based on microscopic autopsy of the extant Herculanean papyri; this work is part of the NEH-funded Philodemus Translation Project. He also edits Advances in the History of Rhetoric.

Meredith J. Gill is a historian of Italian art and architecture from the late medieval era through the sixteenth century.  Her scholarly interests focus on the intersections of art and spirituality, with an emphasis on theology and philosophy.  She is the author of "Augustine in the Italian Renaissance: Art and Philosophy from Petrarch to Michelangelo" (Cambridge), and she has recently co-edited "Augustine Beyond the Book" (Brill), a collection of interdisciplinary studies on Augustine’s reception (forthcoming).  She is currently completing her study, "Flights of Angels: The Order of Heaven in Medieval and Renaissance Italy."  In her teaching, Professor Gill also concentrates on interdisciplinary themes that address social history, the history of science, and gender in the visual arts.

Barbara Haggh-Huglo, Professor of Music (Musicology), is the author/editor of more than seventy studies spanning topics of the ninth to sixteenth centuries, which include offices for medieval saints, music treatises, urban music in the Low Countries, individual music manuscripts, composers or compositions, and music for the Burgundian Order of the Golden Fleece. She recently published a collection of essays, 'Ars musica septentrionalis,' (Paris, 2011), and is completing a book which traces the history of a Marian office from its initial composition in the fifteenth century to Vatican II. She has co-authored a number of articles with her husband, the musicologist Michel Huglo.

Franklin Hildy is a Professor of Theatre History and Director of the PhD Program in Theatre and Performance Studies in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, is a specialist in theatre architecture and stage technology. Since 1984 he has been an adviser to Shakespeare's Globe in London. He is co-author, with Oscar G. Brockett,of History of the Theatre, now in its 11th edition, and was awarded two fellowships by the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities to develop, a comprehensive world-wide guide to all theatres over 100 years old. He is an elected member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.

Theodore Leinwand teaches early modern drama in the UMCP English department.  He is the author of The City Staged: Jacobean Drama 1603-1613 and Theatre, Finance and Society in Early Modern England.  He has edited Thomas Middleton’s Michaelmas Term and he been writing an ongoing series of essays on writers—Keats, Coleridge, Woolf, Berryman, Hughes, Olson—reading Shakespeare. He has served on the Folger Institute board and he is Consulting Editor at Shakespeare Quarterly.

Yelena Luckert is a Collection Management Librarian for History, Jewish Studies, Slavic Studies and Women's Studies. Her expertise includes the building and maintaining of library collections in History, Judaica, Slavica and Women's Studies, and assisting faculty and students in their research in above disciplines.

Gerard Passannante specializes in Renaissance literature, intellectual history, and the histories of science and the book. His first book, The Lucretian Renaissance, argues that, long before it took on its familiar shape during the Scientific Revolution, the ancient philosophy of atoms and the void reemerged in the Renaissance as a story about reading and letters. He is currently at work on a second project, Earthquakes of the Mind, a history of the disastrous imagination in literature and philosophy.

Kellie Robertson writes about medieval literature and culture; she is the author of The Laborer’s Two Bodies: Labor and the ‘Work’ of the Text in Medieval Britain, 1350-1500 and co-editor (with Michael Uebel) of a collection of essays entitled The Middle Ages at Work: Practicing Labor in Late Medieval England. Her current book project, Nature Speaks: Medieval Literature and Aristotelian Natural Philosophy, examines late medieval poetry in the context of its physics, arguing that both domains struggled over how to represent nature in the wake of Aristotelian science. Whether or not nature can speak in an autonomous voice is a problem with which modern environmental politics still struggles, and Robertson’s book argues that there is value in returning to medieval models of how the human was understood in relation to the rest of the nonhuman world.

Philip Soergel is the author of Wondrous in His Saints: Counter-Reformation Propaganda in Bavaria (1993) and the forthcoming Miracles and the Protestant Imagination.  He has also written a number of articles and essays and edited two collections of essays in the series, Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History.  A devoted teacher, Soergel has also published two textbooks in the series, Arts and Humanities through the Eras. Over the years he has received a number of grants, among which are awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. During 1993-1995, he served as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and he has also been on several occasions a fellow of the Duke August Library, Wolfenbuettel and a visiting professor at the University of Bielefeld, Germany.  At Maryland, he teaches courses on the Renaissance, early-modern Europe, and Reformation Germany.

Scott A. Trudell (Assistant Professor, Department of English) specializes in Renaissance poetry, drama, music and media theory. He is currently writing a book about the development of verse with a musical dimension in the poetic and theatrical cultures of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, beginning with the renewed interest in musical humanism among Philip Sidney and his peers, and continuing through John Milton’s fascination with musical language and experience.

Graduate Student Affiliates

Jonathan Allen is a second-year PhD student in History studying late medieval and early modern Islamic religious, intellectual, and socio-cultural history, with a primary focus on the 17th and 18th century Ottoman Empire. His research interests include Sufism and other forms of mystical philosophy and practice, exegesis, 'popular' religion, currents of reform, and the interaction of various confessional communities in the Ottoman Empire.

Jeffrey B. Griswold is a PhD student in the Department of English with a concentration on sixteenth and seventeen century literature. While his research generally examines the relationship between poetry and political theory, his current project considers the relationship between consent and allegory in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

Chris Maffuccio, Doctoral Candidate and the Graduate Field Committee's 2013-14 Graduate Assistant, is pursuing her PhD in English. Her research interests include medieval and early modern poetry and drama, as well as theories of reading, conceptions of literary tradition, literary form, and cultural studies. Her dissertation analyzes the convergence of poet laureateship and low culture in the works of Thomas Hoccleve, John Skelton, and Ben Jonson.

Adam Neff is a PhD student in the Department of English. His work explores the relationship between form, representations of causality, and knowledge creation in Renaissance poetics and natural philosophy.

Shaun Russell is a second-year Master's student in the Department of English. His primary research interests include historicist approaches to race theory in early modern drama, as well as material culture and the history of the book more generally.

Rob Wakeman is a PhD Candidate in English. His research examines the status of food, animals, and agricultural labor in medieval and early modern drama. He is particularly interested in the process of turning animals into meat as represented in plays by Shakespeare, Jonson, and the playwrights of the Chester, York, and Towneley Manuscript biblical drama.