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Elizabeth Mazzola

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Elizabeth Mazzola

Director of Undergraduate Studies, English Department

NAC 6/217B
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My primary interests center on disturbances which challenge early modern cultural norms and traditions, but increasingly my work involves looking at medieval texts, too, as a way to explore how rival voices, hidden spaces, abandoned symbols, and unrecognized desires actively shape meaning and structure thought. I write about Shakespeare and Spenser and Sidney as well as early women writers with whom we are less familiar, but I am also interested in the rise of literacy and its changing meanings;the education of young women, including Pocahontas;the clash between Catholic and Reformation habits of imagination during the early modern period;and how different forms of writing--including codes and ciphers, letters, diaries, notebooks, and playscripts--come together or collide in early modern texts. My current project explores female agency and mobility on Shakespeare's stage, proposing that Shakespeare's theater not only describes and insists upon women's uneasy relation to the home, but also represents domestic space as managed and troubled by its abject inmates.

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

Publications and Awards: My publications include four books: Learning and Literacy in Female Hands, 1520-1698 (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: Sacred Remains and Holy Ghosts (Brill, 1998), as well as book chapters and essays in journals like Genre, Exemplaria, Early Modern Women, Critical Survey, The Sidney Journal, and The Huntington Library Quarterly. 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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