Faculty Profiles

Stephen Spiess

  • Assistant Professor
Academic Division: Arts & Humanities
781-239-4401

Bio

Stephen Spiess is assistant professor of literature at Babson College. He specializes in early modern English literature and culture, with particular investments in Shakespeare and the interrelations of sex, language, embodiment, and knowledge in the English Renaissance. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Shakespeare Survey, Renaissance Quarterly, The Review of English Studies, The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race, and Blind Spots of Knowledge in Shakespeare and His World. He is currently completing a book, Shakespeare and the Making of English Whoredom, for Oxford University Press, and co-editing, with Marjorie Rubright, a keywords collection entitled Logomotives: Words that Changed the Premodern World, which will appear as part of the Early Modern Conversions series at Edinburgh University Press. His new book project, Renaissance Undoing, examines an early modern fascination with, and fear of, ‘becoming undone.’

Stephen completed his PhD in English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan (2013), where he also received the David & Linda Moscow Prize for Excellence in Teaching English Composition (2010). Before joining the Babson faculty in 2017, he taught at Stanford University.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D, University of Michigan
  • , University of Michigan
  • MA, University of Michigan
  • MA, Dartmouth College
  • BA, Brown University

Academic Interests

Early Modern English Language, Literature, & Culture; Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama, including Shakespeare; Theories of Embodiment; Cultural Materialism; Feminist Literary Criticism & Theory; History of Sexuality (including Queer Theory); English Lexical Culture (Philology, Lexicography, Keywords)

Awards & Honors

  • 2019 — Mini-Grant, Babson College Research Fund (BFRF), Babson College
  • 2016 — Research Associate, Forms of Conversion: Religion, Culture, and Cognitive Ecologies in Early Modern Europe and its Worlds , SSHRC Research Grant
  • 2016 — Research Seminarian, Theatre and Conversion in Early Modern Europe, McGill University
  • 2014 — Honourable Mention, J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize, Shakespeare Association of America
  • 2013 — Clarence D. Thorpe Dissertation Prize, English Department, University of Michigan
  • 2012 — Robyn A. Thevenet Fellowship, Women’s Studies Department, University of Michigan
  • 2012 — Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan
  • 2012 — Research Grant for Scholarship Focusing on Women and Gender, Institute for the Research of Women and Gender, University of Michigan
  • 2010 — David & Linda Moscow Prize for Excellence in Teaching English Composition, English Department Writing Program, University of Michigan
  • 2010 — Community of Scholars, Institute for the Research of Women and Gender, University of Michigan
  • 2010 — Graduate Mentor Fellowship, English Department Writing Program, University of Michigan
  • 1999 — Rose Writing Fellowship, Brown University
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Courses

  • Degree Courses 2019

    • LVA 2079 THEORIES OF LOVE
  • Degree Courses 2018

    • LVA 2079 THEORIES OF LOVE

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Spiess, S. (2014). The Measure of Sexual Memory. Vol: 67, Page: 310-326. Cambridge University Press. link

Book Chapters

  • Spiess, S. (2019). The Epistemology of Violence in The Comedie of Errors: Blind Spots of Knowledge in Shakespeare’s World: A Conversation. Page: 143-152. Medieval Institute Publications (Refereed).
  • Spiess, S. (2019). Baffling Comedy, Baffling Ourselves (Response to Adam Zucker, "Baffling Terms”): Blind Spots of Knowledge in Shakespeare’s World: A Conversation. Page: 39-41. Medieval Institute Publications (Refereed).
  • Spiess, S. (2019). “Towards an Epistemology of the Stage?" (Response to Supriya Chaudhuri, “Seeing and Knowing in Othello”): Blind Spots of Knowledge in Shakespeare's World: A Conversation. Page: 92-95. Medieval Institute Publications (Refereed).
  • Spiess, S. (2016). "Puzzling Embodiment: Proclamation, La Pucelle, and The firft Part of Henry VI," in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, and Race. Page: 93-111. Oxford University Press. link

Book Reviews

  • Spiess, S. (2017). Review of Jeffrey Masten, Queer Philologies: Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare’s Time . Vol: 68, Issue: 287, Page: 992-4. The Review of English Studies. link
  • Spiess, S. (2016). Review of Duncan Salkeld, Shakespeare Among the Courtesans: Prostitution, Literature, and Drama, 1500-1650 (Ashgate, 2012) and Kay Stanton, Shakespeare’s ‘Whores’: Erotics, Politics, and Poetics (Palgrave, 2014). Vol: 69, Issue: 3, Page: 1199-1202. Renaissance Quarterly.

Presentations

  • Un/Chaste Desires Spiess, S. The Refinery (INVITED), Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst (2019)
  • Turning Chaste: Thomas Dekker, Honest Whores, and the Conversions of English Courtesans Spiess, S. Shakespeare Seminar & Women and Culture in the Early Modern World Seminar (INVITED), Harvard University (2018)
  • Judith Butler and the Queer Affects of Early Modern Intelligibility Spiess, S. Pacific Northwest Renaissance Society, University of British Columbia (2018)
  • Conversion's Queer Times Spiess, S. Early Modern Conversions, McGill University (2018)
  • Macbeth Spiess, S. Tosti-Kharas, J. Macbeth & Leadership, Babson College (2018)
  • What I Wish My Freshman Knew Spiess, S. Senior Class Meeting (INVITED), Wolfeboro, NH (2018)
  • Feeling Impossible Spiess, S. Shakespeare Association of America, Los Angeles, CA (2018)
  • The (Un)Making of English Whoredom Spiess, S. Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (INVITED), Stanford University (2016)
  • Undoing Whoredom: Terms/Language/Othello Spiess, S. Shakespeare Association of America, New Orleans (2016)
  • The Epistemology of Violence in The Comedy of Errors Spiess, S. The World Upside-Down Conference, University of California-Merced (2015)
  • Epistemology and the Early Modern Whore Spiess, S. Renaissance Society of America (INVITED), Berlin, Germany (2015)
  • The Epistemology of Violence in The Comedy of Errors Spiess, S. Shakespeare Association of America, St. Louis (2014)
  • Epistemology and the Whore: Prostitution, Archive, and Knowledge in Early Modern England Spiess, S. Shakespeare Association of America, Toronto (2013)
  • The Terms of Whoredom; Or, the Sex of Early Modern Language Spiess, S. Shakespeare Association of America, Boston (2012)
  • The Measure of Sexual Memory Spiess, S. Shakespeare Association of America, Bellevue (2011)
  • The Prostitution of Poesy Spiess, S. Thinking about Representation in Late Medieval and Renaissance England, Kingston, ONT (2010)
  • Romancing Shakespeare: Gender, Purity, and Author(ity) in the Quest for Pericles Spiess, S. Society for Textual Scholarship (REFEREED), Boston (2008)
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Professional Memberships

  • Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (2017)
  • Modern Language Association (2013)
  • Renaissance Society of America (2012)
  • Shakespeare Association of America (2008)