Jonathan Gil Harris

Jonathan Gil Harris

Professor of English
Room 755
Address: Rome Hall
Phone: 202-994-6920


Professor of English

Current Research

Professor Harris specializes in the literature and culture of early modern England, particularly the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as well as European travel narratives about the early modern orient and the Americas. He is interested in early modern understandings of globalization and the foreign, and how these have helped shape our knowledge and experiences of bodies, disease, commerce, travel, religious difference, material culture, and temporality. He is especially interested in things in motion: infectious diseases, foreign commodities, moveable stage properties, Shakespeare relics, and all sorts of other unexpected travelers in space and time. His current book project, Becoming Indian: The Event of Travel in the Time of Shakespeare, examines the embodied/out-of-body experiences of European travelers to India in the seventeenth century; he is additionally editing a collection of essays entitled Indography: Writing the “Indian” in Early Modern Europe. Professor Harris is also the associate editor of Shakespeare Quarterly.


Ph.D., University of Sussex, England.

B.A., M.A. [Hons], University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Placing Michael Neill: Issues of Place in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture, Shakespearean International Yearbook 11 (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, forthcoming 2011).

Shakespeare and Literary Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Untimely Matter in the Time of Shakespeare (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).

Thomas Dekker, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, 3rd ed. (New York and London: New Mermaids, 2008).

Sick Economies: Drama, Mercantilism and Disease in Shakespeare’s England (Philadelphia: U Penn P, 2004).

Staged Properties in Early Modern English Drama, ed. with Natasha Korda (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2002; paperback, 2006).

Foreign Bodies and the Body Politic: Discourses of Social Pathology in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998; paperback, 2006).

“Sickening India: On Explosive Enjoyment in Early Modern English Travel Writing and Drama,” Shakespearean International Yearbook 11 (forthcoming 2011).

“Mechanical Turks, Mammet Tricks, Messianic Time,” Postmedieval 1:2 (2010).

 “Ludgate Time: Simon Eyre’s Oath and the Temporal Economies of The Shoemaker’s Holiday,” Huntington Library Quarterly 71 (2008): 11-35.

“The Smell of Macbeth,” Shakespeare Quarterly 58:4 (2007): 465-86.

Untimely Mediations,” Early Modern Culture: An Electronic Seminar 6 (2007).

“The Time of Shakespeare’s Jewry,” Shakespeare Studies 35 (2007).

“All Swell That End Swell: Dropsy, Phantom Pregnancy, and the Sound of Deconception in All’s Well That Ends Well,” Renaissance Drama 35 (2006): 169-89. 

“[Po]X Marks the Spot: How to ‘Read’ ‘Early Modern’ ‘Syphilis’ in The Three Ladies of London,” in Kevin Siena (ed.), Sins of the Flesh: Responses to Sexually Transmitted Disease in Renaissance Europe (Toronto: Center for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, 2005).

“Greenblatt’s ‘X’-Files: The Rhetoric of Containment and Invasive Disease in ‘Invisible Bullets’ and ‘The Sources of Soviet Conduct,’” in Peter C. Herman (ed.), Historicizing Theory (Buffalo: State University of New York Press, 2003), 137-57.

“Afterword: Walk Like An Egyptian,” in Bryan Reynolds et al., Performing Transversally: Reimagining Shakespeare and the Critical Future (New York: Palgrave, 2003), 271-86.

“Hollywood’s Pacific Junk: The Wreckage of Colonial History in Six Days and Seven Nights and Rapa Nui,” co-written with Anna Neill, in Gay Hawkins and Stephen Muecke (eds.), Culture and Waste: The Creation and Destruction of Value (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 85-101.

“Shakespeare’s Hair: Staging the Object of Material Culture,” Shakespeare Quarterly 52 (2001).

“‘Narcissus in thy face’: Roman Desire and the Difference It Fakes in Anthony and Cleopatra,” Shakespeare Quarterly 45 (1994).


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