Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies
"Bringing the Globe to Alabama"
The Strode Program is a privately endowed program to promote the study of English literature from Skelton to Milton. The endowment provides for lectures and residencies by distinguished scholars and fellowships for graduate study at the University of Alabama in the field of English Renaissance Literature.
Hudson Strode served on the University of Alabama faculty from 1916 to 1963. He was a prolific author and celebrated teacher of Shakespeare and of creative writing. The Strode program was endowed by Professor Strode and his wife, Thérèse.
Focus: The Graduate Student
The intellectual work and educational activities sponsored by the Strode Program, from fellowships to lecture series, from the Strode Seminar to summer research awards, converge upon a single focus: the graduate student. We have a lively and talented group of students specializing in English Renaissance literature in preparation for careers in colleges and universities, or for other professional or personal goals. The faculty is committed not only to teaching students but also to mentoring them, fostering a community of future scholars.
Our students have won departmental and college awards for teaching and they have won university-wide fellowships for dissertation research. A recent Ph.D. received the College of Arts and Sciences annual award for best dissertation. Topics treated in the dissertations produced by our students are diverse—from readings of Spenser which deploy the theories of Derrida and Lacan to studies of the representation of female sexuality which draw upon seventeenth-century London court records; from adaptations of Shakespeare for teen films to performance criticism of regional and university theatrical productions. Essays written by our students—on Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, on the agency of the letter in Hamlet, on class conflict in Coriolanus, on Leo Africanus and early modern imperialism, and on queer kinship in The Merchant of Venice—have appeared in Early Modern Literary Studies, English Literary History, English Literary Renaissance, Studies in English Literature, and Shakespeare, among other journals and essay collections.
We have an excellent record of placing Ph.D.s in tenure-track professorships. In the past ten years, 100% of our Ph.D. graduates who went on the academic job market eventually landed tenure-track jobs. Recent graduates have joined the faculty at Cornell College, High Point University, Mercer University, Stephen F. Austin State University, Xavier University, and Youngstown State University. M.A. students have matriculated to Ph.D. programs at Emory, Northwestern, Rutgers, University of California, University of Georgia, University of Oxford, University of Tennessee, and University of Washington, to name a few. Other M.A. students have gone on to law school, library school, the Peace Corps, high school teaching, or other opportunities.
Please click on the links below for more information about individual faculty members.
Michelle M. Dowd, Professor and Director of the Program (PhD Columbia): Shakespeare, Renaissance Drama, Early Modern Women’s Writing, Feminist Theory and Gender Studies, Economic Criticism
Sharon O'Dair, Professor (PhD U.C. Berkeley): Shakespeare, Renaissance Drama, Literary Theory, Ecocriticism, Sociology of Literature and the Profession
David Ainsworth, Associate Professor (PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison): Milton, Seventeenth-Century Poetry and Prose, Religion and Heresy
Alexandra Cook, Associate Professor (PhD U.C. Santa Barbara): Medieval Literature, Psychoanalytic Theory
Jennifer Drouin, Associate Professor (PhD McGill): Shakespeare, Renaissance Drama, Adaptation, Gender and Sexuality, Nationalism
Tricia McElroy, Associate Professor (DPhil University of Oxford): Scottish Studies, Shakespeare, Renaissance Literature, Manuscript and Print Culture, Political Thought and Literature
Cassander Smith, Associate Professor (PhD Purdue): Early Atlantic Studies, Black Africans and the early Caribbean, African American Literature, Race Theory
Emma Wilson, Assistant Professor & Digital Scholarship Librarian (PhD University of St. Andrews): Early Modern Literary and Intellectual Networks
Colleagues in UA's Honors College who specialize in early modern literature also participate actively in the Strode program:
Paul Phelps, Honors College Visiting Assistant Professor (PhD University of Oxford): Sidney, Spenser
Brad Tuggle, Honors College Assistant Professor (PhD University of Virginia): Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare
The interdisciplinary character of the program is enhanced by graduate courses in the departments of Art History, History, Modern Languages and Classics, Music, and Theatre and Dance, which students are also encouraged to take. Faculty who teach these interdisciplinary courses include:
Steve Burch (PhD Wisconsin): Department of Theatre and Dance.
Barbara Godorecci (PhD NYU): Department of Modern Languages.
Maurizio Godorecci (PhD NYU): Department of Modern Languages.
George McClure (PhD Michigan): Department of History.
Seth Panitch (MFA Washington): Department of Theatre and Dance.