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Ann Christensen

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Department Chair and Professor of English

Ann C. Christensen is professor and chair of English, a faculty affiliate in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGSS) and founding member of the Empire Studies Research Collective at UH. Specializing in the literature and culture of early modern England, Professor Christensen teaches and writes on the theatre of William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Heywood and others, using feminist historicist methods and attending to economic structures — from kitchen labor to global traffic.

Christensen’s new book is a modern critical edition of "A Warning for Fair Women," a 1599 play that deserves to be read, taught and performed — and thanks to her edition, it is! "A Warning for Fair Women: Adultery and Murder in Shakespeare's Theater" is available in paperback and e-book in the Early Modern Cultural Studies Series from the University of Nebraska Press (2021). Her first monograph, "Separation Scenes: Domestic Drama in Early Modern England 1590-1630" (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), argues that the popular genre of domestic tragedy deliberated the ways in which the increase in men’s commercial travel impacted the home.

Christensen’s work on such topics as the ambivalent roles of tradesmen’s wives in city comedy, adaptations of the Aeneas and Dido story from Virgil to Marlowe, representations of women’s work, the discursive and labor practices of the East India Company and the history of economic criticism in the field has appeared in Early Modern Studies Journal, SEL, Marlowe Studies Annual and Early Modern Women as well as the collections, "Gendered Routes and Spaces in the Early Modern World" (Ashgate, 2015) and "Global Traffic: Discourses and Practices of Trade in English Literature and Culture from 1550-1700" (Palgrave, 2008).

Education

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

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Selected Publications

Books

  • "A Warning for Fair Women: Adultery and Murder in Shakespeare's Theater" (University of Nebraska Press, 2021).
  • “Separation Scenes: Domestic Drama in Early Modern England 1590-1630”  (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). 

Chapters and Essays

  • (2021) With Laura Turchi, “Editing the Renaissance for an Anti-Racist Classroom”, in "Teaching Race in the Renaissance", edited by Matthieu Chapman and Anna Wainwright, forthcoming from Arizona Center of Medieval and Renaissance Studies Press.  
  • (2020) “Settled and Unsettling: Home and Mobility in Heywood’s King Edward IV (1599)" Early Modern Literary Studies (ISSN 1201-2459). Special Issue 29: “Door-Bolts, Thresholds, and Peep-Holes: Liminality and Domestic Spaces in Early Modern England” Edited by R. W. Daniel and Iman Sheeha. 1-27. 
  • (2019) “’Parting is such…’: Those who stay and those who go in early modern drama.” Special issue of Early Modern Literary Studies. Co-authored with Jessica Slights, Acadia University, Canada.  
  • (2018-2019)  Column Editor with Laura Turchi, “Teaching Shakespeare” English Journal (publication of NCTE). 6 issues September 2018-July 2019 
  • (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.  
  • (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. 

Work in progress 

  • “Student-Friendly Editions — a Pedagogical and Scholarly Experiment with A Warning for Fair Women” forthcoming special issue of Studies in the Literary Imagination  “Death and Domesticity: Reassessing Domestic Dramas in the Renaissance” volume 53, number 1, Spring 2020. edited by Brent Griffin. 

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Recent Honors, Awards, and Grants Received

  • (2020) Department of English Houstoun grant (book subvention) $2,500 
  • (2018) CLASS Project completion grant: “A Warning for Fair Women” performance and videography $3,000 (professional theatrical production of the play I edited).  
  • (2018) Department of English Houston grant: $5,000 “A Warning for Fair Women” performance and videography $4,000 
  • (2017-2018) TIP grant ($40,000) Chair and convener of the department’s OME (Online Minor in English) Planning Group. Served as PI, recruited staff, created ad hoc committee, met with campus-wide constituents, organized and help conduct workshops (I continue to consult on this.) 
  • (2017) Division of Research Small Grant “Teaching Shakespeare in Houston” (with Laura Turchi, College of Education ($4,900).  

Invited Lectures and Conference Presentations

  • “The Loss of Gloss: Re-Editing the Renaissance”, Executive Committee for the MLA Forum on Shakespeare, January 2020.
  •  “New Approaches to Domestic Drama I: Space, Stage and Colony”, Durham Early Modern Studies Conference, July 2019
  •  “A Warning for Fair Women in Performance—a view, an interview, and a review” Durham Early Modern Studies Conference, July 2019 
  • “What a Lord Chamberlain’s Men Playwright Did with Sources”, Shakespeare Association of America (SAA), April 2018.
  • Collaboration with Resurgens Theatre Company, Atlanta, GA. Production of “A Warning for Fair Women”, November 2018. 
  • “Shakespeare for Teachers Workshops” (with Laura Turchi), Humanities Texas, April 2018.  
  • "Pedagogical Shakespeare: Text, Performance, and Digitalization", Modern Language Association, (MLA)) January, 2016. 
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Teaching

Graduate

  • 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 
  • Empire Studies: England Before Empire  

Undergraduate 

  • First-year Composition I and II; 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;  England Before Empire. Undergraduate Independent Studies and fellowships: “Here Enter Murder,’” The Shakespearean History Play; Marlowe and Jonson. 

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