- PhD, English, University of Southern Mississippi
M. Tyler Sasser holds a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, an MA in English from Georgia Southern University, and a BA in English and Psychology from Mercer University. He specializes in early modern literature and children’s literature, having particular interests in Shakespeare and childhood studies. His teaching and research interests expand to include drama, adaptation studies, masculinity studies, African-American children’s literature, Tennessee Williams, and film. He teaches early British literature (including single-author classes on Shakespeare, Milton, and Donne), composition, the History of the English Language, the Bible as literature, and children’s literature.
His first manuscript, “Shakespearean Boyhood: The Subversive Masculinity of Shakespeare’s Boy Characters,” finds that Shakespeare frequently subverts early modern masculine ideals, such as the chivalrous knight and the humanist man of moderation, through his gendered use of boy characters. Working with a variety of texts, from early modern drama to conduct books, midwifery manuals, and polemic pamphlets, this project questions prevailing critical notions that boys in Shakespeare are trivial and instead proposes that they are central to understanding the playwright’s engagement with a range of masculine ideals. The project contends for a comprehensive analysis of how Shakespearean boyhood engages with historical debates concerning the definition of late medieval boyhood and manhood.
He is an accomplished amateur guitar, mandolin, and dulcimer player, and during his free time, he enjoys paddling on the Black Warrior River.
Sasser directs “UA in Italy: Following Shakespeare,” a study abroad program that takes students throughout Italy (Venice, Verona, Pisa, Florence, Bologna, Ravenna, Rome, Lucca, and Sicily) as they study several of the places where Shakespeare sets his plays.
He also directs the Shakespeare Film Series at the Bama Theatre for the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies.
Refereed Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- “The Bard of Boys’ Life: Shakespeare and the Construction of American Boyhood.” Shakespeare and Geek Culture. Eds. Peter Holland and A.J. Hartley. (forthcoming in Arden, 2020)
- “Moth and the Pedagogical Ideal in Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Queering Childhood in Early Modern English Drama and Culture. Eds. Jennifer Higginbotham and Mark Johnston. New York: Palgrave, 2018. 153-69.
- “Hamlet and Contemporary Boys Fiction.” Shakespeare and Millennial Fiction. Ed. A. J. Hartley. New York: Cambridge UP, 2017. 81-100.
- “‘the boy that I gave Falstaff’: The Page Boy and Early Modern Manhood in 2 Henry IV and Henry V.” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 30 (2017): 147-64.
- “The Binding of Isaac: Jewish and Christian Appropriations of the Akedah (Genesis 22) in Contemporary Picture Books.” Children’s Literature 45 (2017): 138-63.
- “Unraveling ‘the Desdemona thing’ in Tennessee Williams.” The Tennessee Williams Annual Review 15 (2016): 147-63.
- “‘No one queens it like himself.’ Performing Unconventional Boyhood in Historical Shakespearean Fiction.” Children’s Literature in Education 47.1 (2016): 50-65.
- “The Snowy Day in the Civil Rights Era: Peter’s Political Innocence and Unpublished Letters from Langston Hughes, Ellen Tarry, Grace Nail Johnson, and Charlemae Hill Rollins.” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 39.3 (2014): 359-84.*
- *Winner of the 2014 International Children’s Literature Association Graduate Essay Award
Short Articles and Encyclopedia Entries
- “Coffy” (110-12), “Dear White People” (140-42), “The Defiant Ones” (143-44), “Intolerance” (291-96), and “The Wild Bunch” (640-42). Encyclopedia of Racism in American Cinema. Ed. Salvador Murguia. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.
- “William Taylor Adams (Oliver Optic).” Dictionary of Literary Biography: Novelists of the American Civil War 378 (2016): 45-54.
- “The Taming of the Shrew at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 2014.” Shakespeare Bulletin 32.4 (2014): 748-51.
- “The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 2012.” Theatre Journal 65.2 (2013): 281-83.
- “Interview with Drew Reeves as King Edward III.” The Shakespeare Newsletter 62.1 (2012): 19-22 (double column).
- “Edward III and Two Noble Kinsmen by the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, 2010.” Shakespeare Bulletin29.4 (2011): 666-72.
- “Jonson, Shakespeare, and the ‘little eyases’ Who Wrote Hamlet.” Publications of the Mississippi Philological Association 27 (2010): 139-60.
In Renaissance Studies, The Sixteenth Century Journal, The Upstart Crow: A Shakespeare Journal, Early Modern Literary Studies, Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700, Social History, Christianity and Literature, International Research in Children’s Literature, The Lion and the Unicorn, Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, Journal of the Fantastic Arts, South Atlantic Review, M/MLA Journal, and Callaloo.