William N. West Associate Professor in English and Comparative Literary Studies; Chair of the Department of Classics
Will West (Ph.D., University of Michigan) studies, teaches, and thinks about early modern drama, poetry, and prose. He has taught undergraduate courses on Shakespeare's theater of the senses; the book of love; poetics and aesthetics from Aristotle to Kant; and the story collection from ancient India to modern England, and many other topics. In 2007 he was awarded a place on the ASG Faculty Honor Roll. He is a Fellow of the Humanities Residential College. In 2012-13 he was an NEH Fellow at the Huntington Library.
West is the author of Theatres and Encyclopedias in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge UP, 2002; pbk. 2006) and, more recently, articles or chapters on intertheatricality, that is, how performance reflects on its own histories (Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Early Modern Theatricality, 2013; Theatre Journal, 2013); irony and encyclopedic writing before and after the Enlightenment; and humanism and the resistance to theology (in The Return of Theory in Early Modern Studies, 2011). He contributed an article to the 2013 Venice Biennale catalog and to the Folger Luminary Shakespeare iPad application on A Midsummer Night's Dream. He will be editing Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica with Kevin Killeen and Jessica Wolfe for the new Oxford University Press edition of Browne's Complete Works. He has co-edited (with Helen Higbee) Robert Weimann's book Author's Pen and Actor's Voice: Writing and Playing in Shakespeare's Theatre (Cambridge UP, 2000) and (with Bryan Reynolds) a collection of essays honoring Weimann, Rematerializing Shakespeare: Authority and Representation on the Early Modern Stage (Palgrave, 2005).
With Jeffrey Masten, West is the co-editor of the journal Renaissance Drama (University of Chicago Press). He is currently at work on a book called Understanding and Confusion in the Elizabethan Theaters and on a project reconsidering the Renaissance philology of Angelo Poliziano.