B.A. (Victoria, B.C.); Ph.D. (Edinburgh), Professor
Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Milton; early modern dramatic and nondramatic literary forms; early modern philosophy, theology, sciences, and culture; allegory; the sublime; fantasy; mythography; iconography; early modern history of sexuality; ancient and early modern theories of the body and mind; early modern visual and decorative arts; Renaissance humanism; modernism.
Refereed publications include three monographs with presses such as Oxford and Cambridge, five edited or co-edited books, and numerous articles, some the length of short monographs. Invited publications include contributions to leading literary reference works such as The Oxford Handbook of the Sublime, and the Oxford handbooks of Edmund Spenser and Philip Sidney. Research grants include five major external refereed awards from The Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada, such as my current Insight Grant. My interests in early modern literature and culture are diverse, as indicated above, and I am further much attracted to modernism, which some Renaissance modes of creativity prefigure in many ways, as, in effect, “early modernism.” Writers such as Sir Thomas More, Spenser, and Milton do much that technically anticipates modernist practices, though for different reasons and purposes. A prospective fourth monograph addressing the final efflorescence of Spenserian allegory and its complex cultural contexts is well under way.
Visionary Spenser and the Poetics of Early Modern Platonism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017)
Allegory and Epic in English Renaissance Literature: Heroic Form in Sidney, Spenser, and Milton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), xii, 320 pp. Reissued in paperback by Cambridge, 2008.
Spenser’s Poetics of Prophecy in “The Faerie Queene” V (Victoria, BC: University of Victoria Press, 1991), 93 pp.
Spenser and Platonism, ed. Kenneth Borris, Jon Quitslund, Carol Kaske, special guest-edited issue of Spenser Studies, XXIV (2009), viii + 526 pp.
The Sciences of Homosexuality in Early Modern Europe, ed. Kenneth Borris and George Rousseau (New York and London: Routledge, 2007), 296 pp.
Same-Sex Desire in the English Renaissance: A Sourcebook of Texts, 1470-1650 (New York and London: Routledge, 2004), xvi, 424 pp.
The Affectionate Shepherd: Celebrating Richard Barnfield, ed. Kenneth Borris and George Klawitter (Selinsgrove and London: Susquehanna–Associated University Presses, 2001), 388 pp. (collection of critical essays).
Articles and Book Chapters
Essays in Serials and Contributed Volumes
"Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadias," in The Ashgate Research Companion to the Sidneys, 1500-1700, ed. Margaret P. Hannay et al., 2 vols. (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), 2: 89-111.
"Hymnic Epic and The Faerie Queene's Original Printed Format: Canto-Canticles and Psalmic Arguments," Renaissance Quarterly 64.4 (2011): 1148-93. Co-authored with Meredith Donaldson Clark.
“Allegory, Symbol, Emblem,” The Oxford Handbook of Edmund Spenser, ed. Richard A. McCabe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 437-60.
“Introduction: Spenser and Platonism,” by Kenneth Borris, Jon Quitslund, and Carol Kaske, Spenser Studies, XXIV (2009), pp. 1-14.
“Platonism and Spenser’s Poetic: Idealized Imitation, Merlin’s Mirror, and the Florimells,” Spenser Studies, XXIV (2009), pp. 209-68.
“Reassessing Ellrodt: Critias and The Fowre Hymnes in The Faerie Queene,” Spenser Studies, XXIV (2009), pp. 453-80.
“Introduction: The Prehistory of Homosexuality in the Early Modern Sciences,” in The Sciences of Homosexuality in Early Modern Europe, ed. Kenneth Borris and George Rousseau (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 1-40.
“Sodomizing Science: Cocles, Patricio Tricasso, and the Constitutional Morphologies of Renaissance Male Same-Sex Lovers,” in The Sciences of Homosexuality in Early Modern Europe, ed. Kenneth Borris and George Rousseau (London: Routledge, 2008), pp. 137-64.
“Sub Rosa: Pastorella’s Allegorical Homecoming, and Closure in the 1596 Faerie Queene,” Spenser Studies 21 (2006): 133-80.
“Flesh, Spirit, and the Glorified Body: Spenser’s Anthropomorphic Houses of Pride, Holiness, and Temperance,” Spenser Studies 15 (2001): 17-52.
“R[ichard] B[arnfield]’s Homosocial Engineering in Orpheus His Journey to Hell,” in The Affectionate Shepherd: Celebrating Richard Barnfield, ed. Kenneth Borris and George Klawitter (Selinsgrove and London: Susquehanna–Associated University Presses, 2001), pp. 332-60.
“‘Ile hang a bag and a bottle at thy back’”: Barnfield’s Homoerotic Advocacy and the Construction of Homosexuality,” in The Affectionate Shepherd: Celebrating Richard Barnfield, ed. Kenneth Borris and George Klawitter (Selinsgrove and London: Susquehanna–Associated University Presses, 2001), pp. 193-248.
“Milton’s Heterodoxy of the Incarnation and Subjectivity in De Doctrina Christiana and Paradise Lost,” in Living Texts: Interpreting Milton, ed. Charles Durham and Kris Pruitt (Selinsgrove and London: Susquehanna–Associated University Presses, 2000), pp. 264-82.
“Elizabethan Allegorical Epics: The Arcadias as Counterparts of The Faerie Queene,” Spenser Studies 13 (1999): 191-221.
“Union of Mind or in Both One Soul: Allegories of Adam and Eve in Paradise Lost,” Milton Studies, 31 (1995): 45-71.
“Geoffrey Whitney’s Choice of Emblemes: Anglo-Dutch Politics and the Order of Ideal Repatriation,” Emblematica, 8/1 (1994): 81-132.
“Allegory in Paradise Lost: Satan’s Cosmic Journey,” Milton Studies 26 (1991): 101-33. Nominated for the Hanford Award.
“‘Diuelish Ceremonies’: Allegorical Satire of Protestant Extremism in The Faerie Queene VI.viii.31-51,” Spenser Studies, 8 (1990): 173-207. Winner of the Isabel MacCaffrey Prize for the best Spenser article published internationally in 1990.
“Fortune, Occasion, and the Allegory of the Quest in Book Six of The Faerie Queene,” Spenser Studies, 7 (1987): 123-45, 301-9.
“The ‘Problem’ of Homosexuality: Pietro d’Abano (Peter of Abano), Expositio Problematum Aristotelis (Mantua: per . . . Paulum Iohannis de Puzpach [i.e., Butzbach], 1475, Bibl. Osl. 245,” in 75 Books from the Osler Library, ed. Faith Wallis and Pamela Miller (Montreal: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, 2004), pp. 136-7.
“The Sacraments in The Faerie Queene, in “Spenser’s Theology: The Sacraments in The Faerie Queene,” Reformation, 6 (2002): 145-54.
“Critical Introduction: Barnfield’s Reception and Significance,” in The Affectionate Shepherd: Celebrating Richard Barnfield, ed. Kenneth Borris and George Klawitter (Selinsgrove and London: Susquehanna–Associated University Presses, 2001), pp. 13-24.
“Geoffrey Whitney,” in Sixteenth-Century Non-Dramatic Authors, Second Series, Vol. 136 of The Dictionary of Literary Biography, ed. David A. Richardson (Detroit: Bruccoli-Clark-Layman, 1994), pp. 336-40.
“Richard Barnfield,” in Sixteenth-Century Non-Dramatic Authors, Third Series, Vol. 172 of The Dictionary of Literary Biography, ed. David A. Richardson (Detroit: Bruccoli-Clark-Layman, 1996), pp. 10-16.
“Courtesy,” in The Spenser Encyclopedia (Toronto: Unversity of Toronto Press, 1990), pp. 194-5.
“Salvage Man,” in The Spenser Encyclopedia (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990), p. 624.
- SSHRC Standard Research Grants, 1998-2001, 2004-2007, 2011-2014
- Canada Research Fellow, 1987-92
- Senior Fellowships at Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto
- Isabel MacCaffrey Prize, 1990 (best essay on Spenser published that year)
- McGill Humanities Research and Arts Legacy Grants
- SSHRCC Doctoral Fellow, 1982-85
- Commonwealth Doctoral Fellow, 1980-83
I have supervised many MA and doctoral projects and theses in diverse areas of early modern and twentieth-century studies (the latter including Mervyn Peake, H. P. Lovecraft, and contemporary American queer novels). Authors and topics include those listed in “areas of interest” above, and numerous others.
University of Victoria
University of Alberta