Roy C. Moose Distinguished Professsor of Renaissance Studies
Ph.D., Princeton University (1975)
M.Phil., Oxford University (1971)
B.A., University of Nebraska, Lincoln (1968)
The central focus of my career from 1988-2005 was administrative. In that period, I worked to strengthen the University’s programs in the arts and humanities on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. At the undergraduate level I helped to initiate a first-year seminar program and a new distinguished scholarship program, worked to diversify our faculty and enable current faculty to teach more effectively in classrooms that enroll an increasingly diverse student population. My participation in those projects was informed in part by the learning represented in a volume of essays I co-edited with Barbara Herrnstein Smith, The Politics of Liberal Education (Duke University Press, 1991). Work on that edition, together with the influence of brilliant students and colleagues, led me to re-focus my scholarly interests on for a time on early modern cross-cultural contacts as well as the educational challenges and opportunities occasioned by increasing racial, ethnic, and other kinds of diversity in university classrooms.
Having returned full time to teaching and scholarship in 2005, I have also returned to earlier areas of interest, represented by a variety of articles and a pair of books. This first is a study of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure in its theological, philosophical, and political meanings and contexts (Princeton University Press, 1979), and the second a study of the theological implications of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, Interpretation and Theology in Spenser, Cambridge University Press, 1994. The latter book describes the variety of complex and often apparently or actually contradictory ideas contained within sixteenth-century Protestant orthodoxy, explores that diversity’s implications for reading literature from doctrinal points of view, provides a detailed analysis of The Faerie Queene, Book I and suggests how the implications of Book 1 might enrich readings of the subsequent books.
I now have under way a set of articles that focus once again on religious figures in Shakespeare, methods of biblical interpretation employed by religious thinkers in England, and echoes of those methods in Shakespeare, Spenser, and (perhaps) other Elizabethan authors
RESEARCH AND TEACHING GROUP