Curran Kevin

Curran Kevin

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Research areas

English Renaissance Drama, Shakespeare, Early Modern Literature, Theater Studies
I am a specialist in Shakespeare and English Renaissance Drama with broad interests in the relationship between the history of ideas and the material conditions of theater. Central to my work in this area has been a preoccupation with law. My first monograph, Marriage, Performance, and Politics at the Jacobean Court (Ashgate, 2009), which was released in paperback in 2016, considers these matters from a political-historical perspective. My second monograph, Shakespeare's Legal Ecologies: Law and Distributed Selfhood (Northwestern University Press, 2017), addresses law in both philosophical and intellectual-historical terms. The book offers the first sustained study of the relationship between law and selfhood in Shakespeare's writing and dramaturgy. I am also the editor or co-editor of two volumes of essays: a special issue of the journal Criticism on "Shakespeare and Phenomenology" (2012), co-edited with James Kearney, and a book on Shakespeare and Judgment (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). My work has been supported by grants from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Huntington Library, the Bibliographical Society of America, and the Harry Ransom Research Center, among others. In 2017 I was named Distinguished International Visiting Fellow at the Center for the History of Emotions in Australia.

Beyond the university, I serve on the Representative Council of the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Renaissance Society of America Council, and the Executive Committee of the MLA's Law and Humanities Forum. In 2012, I won the Kesterson Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and the Professor of the Year Award.

For a full list of my publications, collaborations, and projects, see my personal website:




Kevin Curran specializes in English Renaissance drama with a particular focus on Shakespeare. He is the editor of the book series “Edinburgh Critical Studies in Shakespeare and Philosophy” and author of Shakespeare’s Legal Ecologies: Law and Distributed Selfhood (2017) and Marriage, Performance, and Politics at the Jacobean Court (2009). He is the editor of Renaissance Personhood (2019), Shakespeare and Judgment (2016), and co-editor of a special issue of the journal Criticism on “Shakespeare and Phenomenology” (2012). In 2017, Prof. Curran was named Distinguished International Visiting Fellow at the Center for the History Of Emotions in Australia. He is the founder and President of the Lausanne Shakespeare Festival.

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