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Elizabeth Mazzola

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Elizabeth Mazzola

Professor; Department Chair
Director of Undergraduate Studies, English Department

School/Division
Department
Office
NAC 6/217B
Phone Number: 
212-650-6363
Email: 
emazzola@yahoo.com
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Profile
Description: 

My work explores forces that disturb or challenge early modern cultural norms and traditions—the rival voices of women, the pressure private spaces put on public structures, the ways that Catholic symbols continue to shape meaning and organize desire in the sixteenth century imagination. This study is interdisciplinary, and I frequently draw on research into geography, political science, queer theory, feminist theory, sociology, and anthropology as a way to grasp how early modern writers mapped their world and arranged its claims. Increasingly this work includes looking at medieval texts, too; and sometimes my research brings me over to the New World in an effort to see how ideas about early modern authority and community, God and female agency helped to map the Americas.

I write about Shakespeare and Spenser and Sidney, as well as about early women writers with whom we are less familiar—figures like Margaret Cavendish, Isabella Whitney, Mary Wroth, and Martha Moulsworth. I am also interested in the rise of literacy and its changing meanings; the education of young women, including Pocahontas; the rules of belonging and exclusion articulated on the early modern stage; and how different writing technologies--including codes and ciphers, handlettered alphabets and printed typefaces--come together or collide in early modern texts. My current project explores the radical pressure Shakespeare’s Macbeth puts on early modern ideas about belonging and intimacy, about where life begins and ends, about how communities come together and fall apart.

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Education
Description: 

B.A. University of Virginia
M.A., Ph.D., New York University

 

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Publications
Description: 

My publications include five books, Women and Mobility on Shakespeare’s Stage (Routledge, 2017); Learning and Literacy in Female Hands (Ashgate, 2013); Women’s Wealth and Women’s Writing in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2009); Favorite Sons: The Politics and Poetics of the Sidney Family (Palgrave, 2003); The Pathology of the English Renaissance (Brill, 1998); as well as book chapters and essays in journals like GenreThe Huntington Library QuarterlyCriticism, Shakespeare SurveyEarly Modern Women, and Exemplaria. Awards include a Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship, a fellowship at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, The Isabel MacCaffrey Medal (awarded by The Spenser Society for the Best Essay of the Year on Edmund Spenser), and a City College Outstanding Mentoring Award.

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Research Interests
Description: 

Early women writers, Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney, Orality and Literacy, Genre Theory

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Courses Taught
Description: 

Imagining the Queen: Representations of Elizabeth Tudor

The Dark Lady

Spenser and Milton

Mothers and Monsters in Medieval Literature

Survey of British Literature

Shakespeare: Early and Late Plays

Early Women Writers in England from the 8th – 17th Century

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