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Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Cynthia L. Caywood

Chair, Department of English
Affiliated Professor of Graduate Theatre

Dr. Caywood is the Chair of the Department of English effective July 1, 2013.

Cynthia L. Caywood, PhD, has been a member of the faculty since 1984.  She is currently serves as co-director of the London Summer Program.  In the English department, Caywood offers undergraduate courses on restoration and eighteenth century British literature, world drama, and women's literature and graduate courses in seventeenth and eighteenth century drama.  Her research interests include Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, and August Wilson, with special interests in British and American theatre history, stage production, and feminist theory.

Education

Ph.D., Duke University, English
M.A., University of Exeter, England; English
B.A., University of Kansas, English

Caywood is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Scholarly and Creative Work

Caywood's research has focused on writing theory, seventeenth and eighteenth century women writers, and August Wilson.  Her volume of essays, Teaching Writing:  Pedagogy, Gender and Equity (1987), co-edited with Gillian Overing, addresses the relationship between writing theory, teaching practices, and gender.  Her work on Aphra Behn, which examines Behn's language, rhetorical strategies, and dramaturgy, has appeared in Restoration, Literary London, and Restoration and Eighteenth Century Drama.  Caywood has also served as a dramaturg on restoration and eighteenth century theatre productions, including The Recruiting Officer, Sir Patient Fancy, and Lovers and Executioners.  With Richard James, she was commissioned to adapt Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol for Center Repertory Company, where it is staged annually. Her most recent work, August Wilson, a special issue of College Literature devoted to the great African-American playwright, was edited with Carlton Floyd and published in 2009.

Teaching Interests

Caywood has taught a variety of courses at USD, including composition, surveys in the history of British literature and of the English language as well as courses in seventeenth and eighteenth century drama, fiction and poetry.  In addition to teaching departmental courses,  Caywood has participated in team-taught, interdisciplinary freshman seminars in gender studies.  Other team-teaching projects for the Honors programs have focused on satire, restoration Britain, war in literature and art, and capital punishment.  Caywood is also a former recipient of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies teaching award and USD's Davies Award for Faculty Achievement.  She was awarded a University Professorship in 2001.