Twitter: @DrJeffreyWilson



Ph.D.: University of California, Irvine (2012)

English, Critical Theory Emphasis

Dissertation: Stigma in Shakespeare, directed by Julia Reinhard Lupton (co-chair), Victoria Silver (co-chair), and Ian Munro


M.A.: University of California, Irvine (2006)


B.A.: San Diego State University (2004)



Preceptor in Expository Writing (2014-Pres.)

Harvard College Writing Program

Harvard University


Writing Lecturer (2012-13)

Department of Criminal Justice

California State University, Long Beach



Shakespeare and Trump. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, forthcoming in April 2020.

Shakespeare and Game of Thrones. New York, NY: Routledge, forthcoming.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Why Shakespeare? Irony and Liberalism in Canonization.” Modern Language Quarterly 81.1 (2020): 33-64.

“Tragic Foundationalism.” Mosaic 54.2 (2019): 91-108.

“‘Redeeming time’: The Dramatization of Desistance in 1 Henry IV.” Shakespeare On Stage and Off. Ed. Kenneth Graham and Alysia Kolentsis. Kingston, Ontario: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019. 139-55.

“The Meaning of Death in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.” ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews(2019):

“Historicizing Presentism: Toward the Creation of a Journal of the Public Humanities.” Profession (Spring 2019):

“Tragic Excess in Hamlet.” Literary Imagination 21.2 (2019): 107-19.

Macbeth and Criminology.” College Literature 46.2 (Spring 2019): 453-85.

“Horatio as Author: Storytelling and Stoic Tragedy in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.” Hamlet and Emotions. Ed. Paul Megna, Bríd Phillips, and Bob White. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019. 201-11.

“The Figure of Stigma in Shakespeare’s Drama.” Genre 51.3 (2018): 237-66.

“Shakestats: Writing About Shakespeare Between the Humanities and the Social Sciences.” Early Modern Literary Studies 20.2 (2018):

“‘Savage and deformed’: Stigma as Drama in The Tempest.” Mediaeval and Renaissance Drama in England 31 (2018): 146-77.

“‘As a stranger give it welcome’: Shakespeare’s Advice for First-Year College Students.” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 50.5 (Nov. 2018): 60-62.

“‘You must needs be strangers’: Stigma and Sympathetic Imagination in Shakespeare’s Sir Thomas More.” Making Strangers: Outsiders, Aliens, and Foreigners. Ed. Abbes Maazaoui. Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press 2018. 1-11.

“‘When evil deeds have their permissive pass’: Broken Windows in William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.” Law and the Humanities 11.2 (2017): 160-83.

“‘To be, or not to be’: Shakespeare Against Philosophy.” Shakespeare 14.4 (2017): 341-59. [French Trans. “Être ou ne pas être’: Shakespeare contre la philosophie.” Trans. Oliver Norman. Shakespeare au Risque de la Philosophie. Ed. Pascale Drouet et Philippe Grosos. Paris, France: Éditions Hermann. 419-44.]

“The Trouble with Disability in Shakespeare Studies.” Disability Studies Quarterly 37.2 (Spring 2017):

“The Hamlet Syndrome” (with Henry F. Fradella). Law, Culture, and the Humanities: forthcoming, online before print (2016):

“Violent Crime as Revenge Tragedy; Or, How Christopher Dorner Led Criminologists at CSU Long Beach to Shakespeare.” This Rough Magic (June 2016):

“Why We Write in College.” Writing on the Edge 26.1 (Fall 2015): 89-92.

“The Word ‘Criminology’: A Philology and a Definition.” Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society 16.3 (Dec. 2015): 61-82. [Russian trans. “Слово «криминология»: филологическое исследование и определение.” Actual Problems of Economics and Law 10.3 (2016): 227-51.]

“Shakespeare and Criminology.” Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal 10.2 (2014): 97-114.

“Hath Not a Jew a Nose? Or, the Danger of Deformity in Comedy.” New Readings of the Merchant of Venice. Ed. Horacio Sierra. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. 131-61.

“Interpretive Community.” The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences. Ed. Patrick Colm Hogan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010. 405.


Public Writing

“10 Scenes from Shakespeare that Fit Donald Trump’s Presidency — Streaming Now,” MarketWatch (April 17, 2020):

“Which of Shakespeare’s Tragic Heroes is Donald Trump?” New York Daily News (April 13, 2020):

“Public Shakespeare in Public Seminar.” Public Seminar (June 17, 2019):

“Trump is Satan: Paradise Lost in Washington, DC.” The Spectator USA (May 10, 2019),

“How Game of Thrones Will End: Spoilers from the Fifteenth Century.” Public Seminar (April 24, 2019),

“Something is Rotten in the United States of America: Mass Shootings as Tragedy.” The Smart Set (July 19, 2018):

“What Shakespeare Says About Sending Our Children Off to College.” Academe 102.3 (May/June 2016):

“Writing in College: An Example and an Explanation.” Academe Blog (25 May 2016):

“‘It started like a guilty thing’: The Beginning of Hamlet and the Beginning of Modern Politics.” CounterPunch (24 July 2015):

“Why I Write on My Mobile Phone.” The Chronicle Review 61.22 (13 Feb. 2015): B20.


Invited Lectures

“An Oral History of Public Shakespeare.” Emerging Scholar Keynote. Owens College: Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference, Oct. 2020.

“Reading King Lear at ‘Fourscore and Upwards’.” Cambridge, MA: Harvard College Class of Class of 1955 65thReunion, May 2020.

“The Tragedy of Donald Trump, According to Shakespeare.” Keynote Address. American International College: 18th Annual New England Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference, April 2020.

“Toward a Journal of the Public Humanities.” UMass Boston: North Eastern Public Humanities Symposium, April 2019.

“Villainy and Complicity in Drama, Television, and Politics: Shakespeare’s Richard III, House of Cards, and the 2016 US Election.” Lowell, MA: Lowell High School, Oct. 2017.

“Shakespeare and Trump.” Lowell, MA: Moses Greeley Parker Lectures, Sept. 2017.

“Shakespeare Across the Curriculum.” Gallaudet University and the Folger Shakespeare Library: First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, Aug. 2016.

“‘To be, or not to be’: Shakespeare Against Philosophy.” Hatfield, England: Shakespeare the Philosopher II, July 2016.

“‘To be, or not to be’: Shakespeare Against Philosophy.” Poitiers, France: Subjecting Shakespeare to the Risks of Philosophy, March 2016.

“The Figure of Stigma in Shakespeare’s Drama.” Harvard University: Renaissance Colloquium, Sept. 2014.

“Richard’s Deformities.” UC Irvine: English and Comparative Literature Graduate Dissertation Colloquium, Nov. 2011.



“5 Shakespeare Scholars on the Past, Present, and Future of Theater Amid COVID-19.” Literary Hub (April 23, 2020):

“Interview with Harvard Professor Jeffrey Wilson.” The Bard Blogger, Feb. 2020.

“Shakespeare and Trump.” Interview with Neema Parvini, Shakespeare and Contemporary Theory, Nov. 2016.

“You Must Re-Think This: What The Bard Tells Us About Broken Windows and Policing.” Washington DC: National Public Radio: Weekend in Washington, Nov. 2014.


Conference Papers

“Shakespeare’s Invention of Stigma: Richard’s Deformity, Aaron’s Race, Faulconbridge’s Bastardy, and Beyond.” Early Intersectionalities. Seattle, WA: MLA Annual Convention, Jan. 2020.

"What Shakespeare Scholars Can Learn from Theater-Makers about Public Engagement." Public Shakespeare / Public Humanities. San Diego, CA: PAMLA Convention, Nov. 2019.

“Ophelia’s Songs: Moral Agency, Manipulation, and the Metaphor of Music in Hamlet.” Shakespeare and Music. Rome, IT: European Shakespeare Research Association Conference, July 2019. 

“The Anthropology of Audience in Shakespeare Studies.” British Shakespeare Conference at Queen’s University, Belfast, U.K.: Shakespeare Studies Today, June 2018. 

“Shakespeare for Cops.” Teaching Shakespeare In and Beyond the Classroom. Tuscaloosa, AL: Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama, Feb. 2018.

“Pluperfect Presentism.” Strategic Presentism. New York, NY: MLA Annual Convention, Jan. 2018.

“Public Shakespeareanism: The Bard in the 2016 American Presidential Election.” Baldwin Wallace University: 41st Annual Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference, Oct. 2017.

“Shakestats: Writing About Shakespeare Between the Humanities and the Social Sciences.” Teaching Shakespeare: New Digital Challenges and Solutions. Philadelphia, PA: MLA Annual Convention, Jan. 2017. 

“Shakespeare on the Classics, Shakespeare as a Classic: A Reading of Aeneas’s Tale to Dido.” British Shakespeare Conference at the University of Hull, U.K.: Shakespearean Transformations: Death, Life, and Afterlives, Sept. 2016.

“Why Shakespeare? Irony and Liberalism in the Canonization Process.” British Shakespeare Conference at the University of Hull, U.K.: Shakespearean Transformations: Death, Life, and Afterlives, Sept. 2016.

“Stigma as Drama, Stigma as Rhetoric: From Shakespeare to Goffman and Back and then Forward.” Signs, Symptoms, Stigmata. Harvard University: ACLA Annual Convention, March 2016.

“Stigma in Shakespeare.” Case Western Reserve University: Evil Incarnate: Manifestations of Villains and Villainy, July 2014.

“The Figure of Stigma in Shakespeare's 3 Henry VI: Abnormality, Villainy, Irony, Tragicomedy.” Shakespeare I. San Diego, CA: Renaissance Society of America, April 2013.

“The Ugly Truth: Thersites and the Satire of the Poetomachia.” Early Modern Disabled Bodies and Cultural Discourses. Seattle, WA: MLA Annual Convention, Jan. 2012. 

“Deforming Richard III in the Sixteenth Century: The Rhetoric of Disfigurement up to Shakespeare’s 2 Henry VI.” Poetry and Disability. Claremont, CA: Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference, Nov. 2011.

“The Figure of Physical Deformity in Shakespeare’s Drama.” Discursive Bodies in Renaissance Drama. CSU Long Beach: The Third Annual Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Student Conference, April 2011.

“Shylock’s Nose.” UC Irvine: The Merchant of Venice: An Open Invitation?, Feb. 2011.

“The Advent and the Adventure: The Poetics of Imperfection in Revelationand The Faerie Queene.” Ends of Time: Apocalypses Ancient and Modern.Los Angeles, CA: MLA Convention, Jan. 2011.

“The Unnatural Age of Margaret: Antiquating the Dramatic Ontology of Richard III.” Shakespeare.Albuquerque, NM: Rocky Mountain MLA Convention, Oct. 2010.

“Giving up the Ghost: Naturalizing the Supernatural and Staging the Causal Interpretation of Richard’s Deformity, 1777-1899.” Monstrosity and the Other. San Diego State University: Crisis Carnival: Spectacle! The Seduction of Illusion, April 2010.

“How Milton Ought to Change After September 11: Samson Agonistesand Revenge Tragedy.” 9/11 and War on Terror. University of California, Riverside: (Dis)junctions: States of Crisis: 17thAnnual Graduate Student Conference, April 2010.

“The Contingency of Virtue: Nominal Ethics and the Irony of Compliment in Chaucer's Religious Pilgrims.” Postures of Contagion. Concordia University: Communicating Illness: 8thAnnual Concordia Graduate English Colloquium, March 2010.

“The Advent and the Adventure: The Poetics of Imperfection in Revelationand The Faerie Queene.” Revealing and Revelation. Indiana University: The End?: An International Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, March 2010.

Teratain the Age of Kalokagathia: Ancient Models for the Interpretation of Physical Deformity.” Cultures. Boston University: Ancient Chimeras: 2ndAnnual Classics Graduate Student Conference, March 2010.

“Shakespeare Within the Limits of Reason Alone: The Shape of Interpretation and the Anthropology of Audience.” The Progress of Consciousness. CSU Northridge: Paths of Progress (?): Associated Graduate Students of English Conference, Feb. 2010.

“Anti-Figural Rhetoric and the Death of Physiognomy: Physical Deformity During the Philosophical Enlightenment.” Disability Studies and Eighteenth-Century British Literature and Culture. Salt Lake City, UT: South Central Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 35thAnnual Meeting, Feb. 2010.

“‘I am determined’: The Richardian Chimera and the History of Evil.” Examining the Influence of the Non-Textual. CSU Fullerton: Parallax: Annual Graduate Conference of the Acacia Group, Feb. 2010.

“Straightening Out the Tudor Myth: Politics, Law, and the Modern Audience of Shakespeare’s History Plays.” Narrative and Adjudication. UC Irvine: Legal Fictions in Early Cultures: 2ndAnnual Graduate Student Conference, Nov. 2009.


Fellowships, Grants, and Awards

2014-18 Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning (Harvard x3)

2014-18 Fuerbringer Summer Research Grants (Harvard x5)

2016 Grant from the Office of Undergraduate Education for “‘To be, or not to be’: Shakespeare Against Philosophy” (Harvard)

2013 Grant from the College of Health and Human Services for Online Curriculum Development for Criminal Justice 304, “Criminological Theory” (CSU Long Beach)

2011 MLA Travel Grant (MLA)

2011 Graduate Student Conference Travel Grants (UC Irvine x2)

2009-10 Dissertation Year Fellowship (UC Irvine)

2008 Center in Law, Society and Culture Grant for the Political Theology Reading Group (UC Irvine)

2007-08 Humanities Associates Graduate Student Teaching Award, English Department Nominee (UC Irvine)

2007 Critical Theory Emphasis’ Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory Fellowship for Cartographies of the Theological-Political (UC Irvine)

2006-08 Research Assistantship for Stanley Fish (Florida International University)

2005-06 Chancellor’s Fellowship (UC Irvine)

2003 Roberta Borkat Essay Contest Winner for “Milton, Satan, and Galileo: The Infernal Triad of Paradise Lost” (SDSU)


Professional Activities and Services

2017-19 Steering Committee Member, New England Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference 

2014-16 Exposé Selection Committee (Harvard)

2014-15 Director, Master of Liberal Arts Thesis (Harvard)

2012 Writing Successful Fellowship and Grant Applications Workshop (UC Irvine)

2011 Reader and Contributor for The Anteater’s Guide to Writing and Rhetoric (UC Irvine)

2008-10 Chair, The Group for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (UC Irvine)

2008-09 Graduate Committee Representative, English Graduate Student Association (UC Irvine) 

2008 Panel Member, Experienced Teachers of Lower-Division English (UC Irvine)

2007-08 Graduate Student Representative, Renaissance Literature Faculty Member Search Committee (UC Irvine)

2007-08 Co-Organizer, The English Graduate Student Colloquium (UC Irvine)

2007-08 Organizer, The Group for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Weekly Reading Group (UC Irvine)

2007 Co-Organizer, “What is a Law School? A Symposium” (UC Irvine)

2007-09 Organizer, The English Department’s Annual Marathon Reading (UC Irvine)

2006-08 Chair of Development, English Graduate Student Association (UC Irvine)


Areas of Specialization


British Literature, 1485-1674 (esp. verse and drama)

The English Epic (esp. Chaucer, Spenser, and Milton)

Critical Theory



Teaching Experience

Harvard University

EXPOS 20 (Freshman Composition): “Why Shakespeare?” (29 Sections)

MUSE S-102 (Graduate): Writing Skills for Museum Studies Scholars and Professionals (2 Sections)


California State University, Long Beach

2012-14 CCJ 110 (Lower-Division): “Introduction to Criminal Justice Research, Writing, and Reasoning” (11 Sections)

2012-14 CCJ 304 (Upper-Division): “Criminological Theory” (Team Taught; 5 sections)


University of California, Irvine

2011-12 WR 139 (Upper-Division): “Form and Deformity: Physical and Academic Norms and Abnormalities” (3 Sections)

Spring 2012 WR 39C (Freshman Composition): “Research and Writing on Health and Medicine”

Spring 2011 ENG 102B (Upper-Division): “Pastoral and the English Civil War” (TA for Prof. Victoria Silver)

Winter 2011 WR 39B (Freshman Composition): “Physical Form and Deformity”

Fall 2010 WR 139 (Upper-Division): “‘This great argument’: A Puritanical Pilgrimage to Advanced Research Methods and Academic Prose”

Summer 2009 ENG 28B (Lower-Division): “The Campus and the Stage: Dramatic Representations of Higher Education”

Spring 2009 WR 39B (Freshman Composition): “Epic and Empire”

Winter 2009 WR 39C (Freshman Composition): “The Philosophy and Rhetoric of Terrorism”

Fall 2008 ENG 28A (Lower-Division): “An Introduction to Poetry: Convention, Conversation, and Self-Consciousness in the Anglophone Tradition”

Summer 2008 ENG 230 (Graduate): “Hamlet and Revenge Tragedy (TA for Prof. Victoria Silver)

Summer 2008 ENG 102A (Upper-Division): “The Renaissance Self” (TA for Prof. Victoria Silver)

Spring 2008 ENG 28B(Lower-Division): “The Human Tragedy and the Divine Comedy: Religion and Theology in English Drama up to 1642”

Winter 2008 ENG 103 / REL STD 100 (Upper-Division): “God: A Literary Introduction” (TA for Prof. Jack Miles)

Fall 2007 WR 39A (Freshman Composition): “The Fundamentals of Composition” 

Spring 2007 WR 39B (Freshman Composition): “The Rhetoric of the Culture Wars” 

Winter 2007 WR 39B (Freshman Composition): “The Rhetoric of Education Reform” 

Fall 2006 WR 39B (Freshman Composition): “Critical Reading and Rhetoric”