College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English

William Hamlin

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Will Hamlin

(Photo: John Snyder)

I teach Shakespeare, early modern drama, and Renaissance literature more generally; I also have longstanding interests in religion and religious ideology, in the English reception of classical and continental writers, and in the French essayist Montaigne. My undergraduate training was in philosophy and anthropology (Carleton College, 1980), my doctoral work in English literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (University of Washington, 1989). I've been a professor at WSU since 2001.

Selected Publications & Research Interests
My most recent book is Montaigne's English Journey: Reading the Essays in Shakespeare's Day (Oxford University Press, 2013). Based on archival research at more than a hundred libraries in the UK, France, and North America, this study investigates the ways in which Montaigne was understood and appropriated by English readers during the seventeenth century. I'm also the author of Tragedy and Scepticism in Shakespeare's England (Palgrave, 2005) and The Image of America in Montaigne, Spenser, and Shakespeare (St. Martin's Press, 1995). I've published essays on writers and topics ranging from Marlowe and Shakespeare to epistemological skepticism and sixteenth-century ethnography, and I've been the recipient of research grants from the J. S. Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Huntington Library, the Renaissance Society of America, and the British Academy.

Graduate Supervision Interests
Over the years I've supervised about twenty theses and dissertations. A partial list of topics includes Shakespeare's use of Chaucer, early modern masculinity and mourning, pity in Marlowe and Shakespeare, magic and Renaissance drama, Montaigne and the rhetorical paideia, and studies of King Lear, Doctor Faustus, Hamlet, The Revenger's Tragedy, Henry the Fifth, and The Tragedy of Mariam. I'm happy to work with any M.A. or Ph.D. student whose interests lie with Shakespeare, Marlowe, Webster, Renaissance drama more broadly, Montaigne in England, or similar topics in early modern literary studies.


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