Welcome!

12 Oct
I’m an English Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and I specialize in early modern English literature, particularly drama and prose.

Shakespeare Garden in San Francisco

At the Shakespeare Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park

I just gave a lecture on Shakespeare’s coat of arms & the heraldry wars at the Folger Shakespeare Library in conjunction with its exhibition on heraldry and family history in Shakespeare’s England. Stay tuned for the podcast! The exhibit runs through October, so check it out if you’re in D.C.

My research and teaching interests include Shakespeare, heraldry, historiography, book history & print culture, and composition. My book project focuses on heraldry, a centuries-old symbolic system that was undergoing great change during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. The project explores early modern heraldry as a form of visual and verbal literacy that supported the aspirations and memories of different communities. Following a history of heraldry and its regulation, I discuss official and unofficial responses to the rise of heraldic texts, including readers’ marginalia and early modern drama’s treatment of the topic. My research shows that heraldry was much more than medieval nostalgia or status symbol. Rather, both in text and onstage, it created and thrived on contemporary relationships and conflicts.

I’ll be teaching part-time at Monmouth College in western Illinois this fall. Meanwhile, feel free to get in touch via e-mail at willkath@umich.edu.

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