I am an Assistant Professor at Penn State Abington where I teach, research, and write about early modern English literature, book history, and political theory. I have also taught at Scripps College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I received my B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2007 and my Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Cooking in the Archives, the public food history website that I started with Alyssa Connell in 2014, features over sixty updated recipes and has had more than 150,000 visitors.
My current book project “A History, couch’d in a Play”: Historical Futures in Seventeenth-Century Drama, examines seventeenth-century historical drama to argue that playwrights often represented the future as if it were already past to translate political aspiration into compelling historical fact. By forging “historical futures,” playwrights used the unique capacity of literary forms to stage distinctly partisan resolutions to current conflicts about succession, allegiance, and justice.
I am also editing Making Milton: Writing, Publication, Reception with Emma Depledge and John Garrison. Rather than accept the Romantic image of Milton the solitary genius, the essays in this collection instead argue that Milton’s authorial persona needs to be understood in the context of the multifarious, mutually beneficial relationships he enjoyed with contemporary writers, stationers and early readers. Making Milton is under contract with Oxford University Press.
Archival oddities, and modern responses to them, continue to fuel my investment in book history and manuscript studies. You’ll see examples on this blog. And I have also documented some of these materials in my collaborative Cooking in the Archives project, on the group blog Unique@Penn, in my tweets @Nicosia_Marissa, and at the The Appendix: a quarterly journal of experimental and narrative history, where I was a contributing editor.
Through the Andrew W. Mellon- Rare Book School Fellowship in Critical Bibliography, I organized symposia at Scripps and Penn State Abington, took three courses at The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, and continue to explore new approaches to early modern materials with other fellows. I am a member of the Diversity and Outreach Committee for the new Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School. At Penn State Abington, I am an active member of the organizing committee for the Book, Archive & Museum (BAM) program.
My official PSU profile is located here.
A regularly updated PDF of my CV can be found here: