William N. West
Associate Professor in English and Comparative Literary Studies; Chair of the Department of Classics
- University Hall 306/Kresge 4-305
- Office Hours: Mondays 10-11 & Tuesdays 11-12 in UH; Fridays 10-12 in Kresge
Poetry & Poetics, Theatre & Drama, Early Modern, Classical/Biblical
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; the story collection from ancient India to modern England; and many other topics.
West is the author of Theatres and Encyclopedias in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge UP, 2002; pbk. 2006) and, As If: Essays in As You Like It (punctum, 2016). He has recently written articles or chapters on Aby Warburg and the detail; the life cycles of early modern players across Europe; on theater as the creation of contexts; and other possibilities within Romeo and Juliet. He contributed a short history of encyclopedias before the Enlightenment to the 2013 Venice Biennale catalog and a set of glosses to the Folger Luminary Shakespeare iPad application on A Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition 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).
In 2007 West was awarded a place on the ASG Faculty Honor Roll. In 2012-13 he was an NEH Fellow at the Huntington Library, and in 2015 he was an Invited Professor at the École Normale Superieure-Lyon. In 2016 he presented the Dan S. Collins Lecture at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies. He is currently a Trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America and chair of the Department of Classics at Northwestern.
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.
- “In the Detail.” thresholds 1 (2017)
- “Communities of Production: Lives in and out of the Theater.” A Cultural History of the Theatre. Vol. 3: The Early Modern Age. Ed. Robert Henke. London: Bloomsbury (2017): 127-46.
- “Essays of Virtue, Essays of Bias: As You Like It as Shakespeare’s Essays.” New Perspectives on Shakespeare’s As You Like It. Eds. Sophie Chiari, Sophie Lemercier-Goddard, and Michèle Vignaux. Clermont-Ferrand: Presses Universitaires Blaise-Pascal (2017): 149-58.
- “Playing in Context, Playing out Context.” Shakespeare In Our Time: A Shakespeare Association of America Collection. Eds. Dympna Callaghan and Suzanne Gossett. London: Bloomsbury Arden (2016): 206-10.
- “Romeo and Juliet’s Understudies.” Romeo and Juliet: A Critical Reader. Ed. Julia Reinhard Lupton. London: Bloomsbury Arden (2016): 133-51.
- “Entertainments: Baiting, Dances, Contests.” In The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare. Vol. 1. Shakespeare’s World, 1500-1660. General ed. Bruce R. Smith. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2016): 148-155.
- “Encircling Knowledge.” Renaissance Quarterly 68 (2015): 1327-40.
- “Dreams, Woods, Playhouses, and Other Worlds.” Folger Luminary Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ed. Ellen Mackay. Notre Dame, IN: Luminary Digital Media, 2013. iPad Application.
- “Encyclopedias before L’Encyclopédie/ Le enciclopedie prima dell’Encyclopédie.” The Encyclopedic Palace/ Il Palazzo Enciclopedico. Catalogue of the 55th International Art Exhibition: La Biennale di Venezia. Ed. Massimiliano Gioni. Venice: Marsilio Editore (2013): 43-44.
- “Intertheatricality.” Early Modern Theatricality (Oxford Twenty-first Century Approaches to Literature). Ed. Henry S. Turner. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013): 151-172.
- “Irony and Encyclopedic Writing Before (and After) the Enlightenment.” In Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Eds. Jason König and Greg Woolf. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2013): 482-502.
- With Gina Bloom and Anston Bosman. “Ophelia’s Intertheatricality, or, How Performance is History.” Theatre Journal 65 (2013): 165-82.