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Ann Christensen

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Associate Professor

  • Phone: (713) 743-2948
  • Email:
  • Office: 223-A Roy Cullen Building
  • CV

Ann C. Christensen teaches and publishes in the fields of early modern (or Renaissance) English studies; Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Empire Studies. Specializing in 16th and 17th-century drama (by writers including Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, Christopher Marlowe, and others), she is completing a book project, Absent Husbands and Un-partnered Wives in English Renaissance Domestic Tragedy, a study of the changing perceptions and representations of travel, commerce, and domesticity in England’s “age of commercial expansion.” The manuscript explores the connection between men’s commercial travel and the new and popular Renaissance form, domestic tragedy. Her aim is to refocus discussion of domestic tragedy around the concept of business travel, shifting the focus from the home to the interactions between the home and the broader economy that are initiated by the husband's travel for business. This focus militates against readings that presume the domestic to be confined, narrow, or less significant—presumptions finding articulation in the early modern period.

A regular presenter at the Shakespeare Association of America and Attending to Women in Early Modern Europe conferences, she has also contributed to the Forum on Women and Mercantilism in the Journal of Early Modern Women. Her most recent articles appear in the Early Modern Studies Journal and in the forthcoming volume, Gendered Routes and Spaces in the Early Modern World. Awards include the University of Houston Provost’s Teaching Excellence Award (2013) and the UH Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program Faculty Summer Research Fellowship (2010). She has served on the University Commission on Women and was the Director of Lower Division Studies in the Department of English. She looks forward to her role as faculty sponsor of the Shakespeare Club on campus, which her students are organizing.


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois
  • M.A., University of Illinois
  • B.A., Quincy College

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Selected Publications

  • Absent Husbands and Un-partnered Wives in English Renaissance Domestic Drama, Book ms. 85,000 words. In progress.
  • “’Thou Hast No Calling’: Labor Crises in Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair.” In progress.
  • “Absent Masters and Husbands in Thomas Heywood’s Citizen Drama.” In progress.
  • 2014 “Guides to Marriage and ‘Needful Travel’ in Early Modern England” in Gendered Routes and Spaces in the Early Modern World. Ashgate Press. Merry E. Wiesner- Hanks, editor. In press. (25 MS pages)
  • 2014 “Words about Women’s Work; The Case of Housewifery in Early Modern England” in Early Modern Studies Journal (EMSJ) formerly Early English Studies (EES). (2014) Volume 6. “Women’s Writing/Women’s Work in Early Modernity”
  • 2012 “Men (Don’t) Leave: Aeneas as Departing Husband in Dido Queen of Carthage.Marlowe Studies Annual. 2 (2012): 5-24.
  • 2008 “Merchant wives, agency, and ambivalence in early modern studies,” Forum I, “The Rise of the Mercantile Economy and Early Modern Women” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 3 (2008): 21-223.
  • 2008 “Being Mistress Eyre in Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday and Deloney’s The Gentle CraftComparative Drama. 42. 3 (Fall 2008): 451-480.
  • 2008 “’Absent, weak, or unserviceable’: The East India Company and the Domestic Economy in The Launching of the Mary, or The Seaman’s Honest Wife” in Global Traffic: Discourses and Practices of Trade in English Literature and Culture from 1550 to 1700, Barbara Sebek and Stephen Deng, eds. (New York: Palgrave, 2008.): 161-192.

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Honors, Awards, and Grants Received

  • 2015-2017 Department of English Houstoun Professorship
  • 2013 University of Houston Provost’s Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2013 Provost’s Quality Enhancement Grant (QUP) funded course redesign: “The Flipped Shakespeare Classroom” (with Lynn Voskuil)
  • 2010 Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, UH Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program

Invited Lectures

  • 2015 Lecture “’You left us both at window’: Troubling Thresholds in Thomas Middleton’s Women Beware Women.”  University of Texas, Austin, May.
  • 2012 Plenary Address. “’Rollin’ in the Deep’: Undergraduates and Feminist Theory” Attending to Women in Early Modern Europe Symposium. University of Wisconsin, June, Milwaukee.
  • 2009 Panelist. “Bringing up Baby: the Bastard Heir of Usury,” round-table “The Current State of Empire Studies” Symposium. University of Houston.
  • 2007 Respondent. ‘Domestic Shakespeares’ (Jessica Slights, organizer). S.A.A. Dallas, April. 2003 Panelist. “The Domestic Worlds of Romeo and Juliet” Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

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  • Shakespeare’s Tragedies: Gender/Nation/Empire; Shakespeare's Comedies and Histories; Gender and/as Performance; Shakespeare on Film

  • Feminist Theory and Methodology (Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies)
  • Graduate Pre-seminar in Renaissance Literature

  • Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama: City, State, and Household on the Elizabethan and Jacobean Stage; New Historicism, Labor and Leisure; Economies; Fair Maids and Dark Ladies: representations of early modern English women; “Traffic on the English stage”
  • Graduate Special Problems courses: Women Writers and Feminist Criticism, Early Modern Women Writers, Gender and Power in Shakespeare's Problem Plays, Shakespeare and Globalization, The History of Sonnet Sequences


  • Freshman Composition; Freshman Honors, The Human Situation
(Antiquity and Modernity)
  • Sophomore level: Introduction to Poetry; 
Writing in the Discipline

  • Upper level: English Renaissance Literature
  • Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama: Drama and Social History; Carnival and Marketplace in Early Modern Drama; Others on the English Stage
  • Senior Seminar: Shakespeare and the Place of the Stage Undergraduate Independent Study: The Shakespearean History Play; Marlowe and Jonson

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