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Department of


Maura Giles-Watson, PhD

Assistant Professor

Maura Giles-Watson (PhD-English, U of Nebraska-Lincoln; MA-English, U of Massachusetts-Boston;MEd-Cross-Cultural Education, National Univ.; ALB-Classical Studies, Harvard) is an Assistant Professor of English and Keck Faculty Fellow. She teaches courses in medieval and Renaissance drama and performance culture, mythology, ancient tragedy and comedy, as well as the early British literature survey and courses in Henrician literature and culture. During her graduate studies at UNL, Maura designed curricula and taught British Literature to 1800, Linguistics, Shakespeare, and Rhetoric as Argument; during her MA program at UMass-Boston she taught composition and co-taught both Chaucer and Five British Writers. Maura's pedagogical methods are Socratic and blend interdisciplinarity (esp. in drama, music, visual arts, literature, history, and rhetoric) with progressive approaches such as mastery learning in which students are full creative participants.


PhD (English—Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Drama), University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2012

MEd (Cross-Cultural Education), National University, 2005

MA (English—Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Drama, and Rhetoric and Composition) University of Massachusetts-Boston, 2002

ALB (Classical Studies) Harvard, 1996

Scholarly and Creative Work

Maura's essay on disjunctivities in visual, dramatic, and literary representations of Odysseus in antiquity appeared in Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 103 (2007); her work on ‘geosomatic’ women in Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Middleton was included in the selected proceedings of the Newberry Library’s Mapping the Premodern conference (2008); and “The Singing Vice: Music and Mischief in Early English Drama” appeared in Early Theatre 12.2 (2009). Her forthcoming articles (2013-14) focus on the impact of humanism on the work of women performers in England during the 15th and 16th centuries; the repertory for John Rastell’s 1520s public stage; and the lovers’ letters in the versions of the Troilus story by Boccaccio, Chaucer, and Shakespeare.

Teaching Interests

Maura's teaching and research interests encompass early English literature and drama, rhetoric, gender studies, digital humanities, and performance studies; the dramatic activities of the More Circle; early and mid-Tudor household and public performance, repertory, and players; women performers and dramatic representations of women; varieties of presentational and representational performance; classical reception, including Latinity and Anglo-Latin literature and drama; early printing, especially of playbooks and music; early music, particularly in relation to poetry and drama; and theories of performance, improvisation, resonance, rhetoric, and digital editing. Her current book project, Performing Arguments: Debate in Early English Poetry and Drama, combines Patrice Pavis' approach to performance reconstruction analysis with Wai Chi Dimock's theories of "diachronic historicism" and "resonance" to analyze the aesthetics and ethopoeics of argumentation in a range of performance contexts including Middle English debate poetry, medieval drama, Tudor debate plays, Anglo-Latin university drama, and Shakespearean 'problem' comedy. Current major projects include a new edition of John Heywood’s The Four PP (print and digital, Broadview 2014), a digital edition of the Heywood-Rastell play Gentylnes and Nobylyte, and "The Last Minstrel"—a book-length study of John Heywood’s plays and playbooks, as well as his musical and performance activities.