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Daniel J Vitkus


Ph.D. (Columbia University)

Professor of English
Rebeca Hickel Chair in Elizabethan Literature

Office Hours

2014-2014 Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellow

Daniel Vitkus earned his Master's Degree in English Language and Literature at Oxford University (Hertford College) and his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.  His interests include Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, travel writing, cultural studies, literary theory, postcolonial literature, Islamic culture and its representation in the West, economic history, global theory, the origins of capitalism, and the cultural history of empire.
  • “Decolonizing Early Modern Travel: Racial Capitalism, Intersectionality, and Early Modern Travel Studies” in Decolonizing Travel Studies, Hakluyt Society Studies in the History of Travel, ed. Natalya Din-Kariuki and Guido van Meersbergen [forthcoming, Routledge, 2024].
  • “Red-Green Intersectionality beyond the New Materialism: An Eco-Socialist Approach to Shakespeare’s The Tempest” in Intersectionalities of Class in Early Modern English Literature, ed. Ronda Arab and Laurie Ellinghausen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023).
  • “The Perverse Eco-Politics of Object-Oriented Criticism: Money, Magical Thinking, and the New Materialism” in Money and Magic in Early Modern Drama, ed. David Hawkes, Bloomsbury, 2023, pp. 17-36.
  • Associate Editor and “Core Contributor” for The Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, 5 vols. Ed. Patricia Parker. Stanford University Press. Assisted with editing and wrote 26 articles, including those on “Globalism,” “Levant,” “Turk,” and “Venice.” [open access, in production, online beginning 2024]
  • “’All the Kingdoms of the World’: Global Visions of Empire and War in Milton’s Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained” in 1650-1850: Ideas, Aesthetics, and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, vol. 27, special issue on “Worldmaking and Other Worlds: Restoration to Romantic,” ed. Elizabeth Sauer and Betty Joseph (Bucknell University Press, 2022), pp. 37-54.
  • “Radical Neo-Paganism: The Transmission of Discontinuous Identity from Plutarch to Montaigne to Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra” in Shakespeare and Montaigne. Ed. Lars Engel, Patrick Gray, and William Hamlin. (Edinburgh University Press, 2021), pp. 246-62.
  • Othello, Islam, and the Noble Moor: Spiritual Identity and the Performance of Blackness on the Early Modern Stage  in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Religion. Ed. Hannibal Hamlin. (Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 218-33.
  • “How the 1% Came to Rule the World: Shakespeare, Long-Term Historical Narrative, and the Origins of Capitalism” in Shakespeare and the 99%: Literary Studies, The Profession, and the Production of Inequity. Ed. Sharon O’Dair and Timothy Francisco. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 161-81.
  • "Unkind Dealings: English Captivity Narratives, Commercial Transformation, and the Economy of Unfree Labor in the Early Modern Period." Piracy and Captivity in the Mediterranean, 1550-1810. Ed. Mario Klarer. (Routledge, 2019), pp. 56-75.
  • "Rogue Cosmopolitans on the Early Modern Stage: John Ward, Thomas Stukeley and the Sherley Brothers" in   Travel and Drama in Early Modern England: The Journeying Play. Ed. David McInnis and Claire Jowitt. (Oxford University Press, 2018), pp. 128-49.
  • “Trade” in Cultural History of Western Empires. Vol. 3 of 6. A Cultural History of Western Empires in the Renaissance (1450-1650). Ed. Ania Loomba. (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), pp. 49-76.
  • “Drama and Globalization in Early Modern England.” Chapter 8 in Early Modern British Literature in Transition, 1557-1623. Ed. Kristen Poole and Lauren Shohet. (Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 141-60.
  • “'People of Bad Disposition': The Failed French Colony at Fort Caroline as a Site of Local Conflict within a Trans‐Imperial System” in Journal of Transnational American Studies 8.1 (2017): 1-15.
  • “Turning Tricks: Erotic Commodification, Cross‐Cultural Conversion, and the Bed‐Trick on the English Stage, 1580‐1630.” Ed. Helen Smith and Simon Ditchfield. Conversions: Gender and Religious Change in Early Modern Europe  (Manchester University Press, 2017), 236-57.
  • “Indicating Commodities in Early English Discovery Narratives” in The Book in History, The Book as History. Ed. Zachary Lesser, Heidi Brayman Hackel, and Jesse Lander (Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Yale University Press, 2016), pp. 181-201.
  • “Circumnavigation, Shakespeare, and the Origins of Globalization” in Shakespeare in Our Time. Ed. Dympna Callaghan and Suzanne Gossett. (London: Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare, 2016), pp. 167-75.
  • Article on “Islam” in Bruce E. Smith, ed. The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare. 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • “‘Consider the lamentable cry of the poor’: Foreign Parasites, English Usurers, and Economic Crisis in The Three Ladies of London,  Performance as Research in Early English Theatre Studies: The Three Ladies of London in Context. Ed. Helen Ostovich. McMaster University, 2015. <>
  • "Labor and Travel on the Early Modern Stage: Representing the Travail of Travel in Dekker's Old Fortunatus  and Shakespeare's Pericles" in Working Subjects in Early Modern English Drama.  Ed. Michelle Dowd and Natasha Korda (Ashgate, 2010).
  • "The New Globalism: Transcultural Commerce, Global Systems Theory, and Spenser's Mammon" in A Companion to the Global Renaissance: English Literature and Culture in the Era of Expansion. Ed. Jyotsna Singh (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) 31-49.
  • "'The Common Market of All the World': English Theater, the Global System, and the Ottoman Empire in the Early Modern Period" in Global Traffic: Discourses and Practices of Trade in English Literature and Culture from 1550 to 1700.  Ed. Stephen Deng and Barbara Sebek (Palgrave, 2008): 19-37.
  • Critical edition of William Shakespeare's Othello. Barnes & Noble, 2007.
  • "Adventuring Heroes in the Mediterranean: Mapping the Boundaries of Anglo-Islamic Exchange on the Early Modern Stage" in a special issue of The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies on Mapping the Mediterranean, guest edited by Valeria Finucci and Grant Parker (37.1, winter, 2007).
  • Poisoned Figs, or The Traveler's Religion: Travel, Trade, and Conversion in Early Modern English Culture" in Re-Mapping the Mediterranean World in Early Modern English Writings. Ed. Goran Stanivukovic (Palgrave Macmillan, January, 2007).
  • "Turks and Jews in The Jew of Malta" in Early Modern English Drama: A Critical Companion,  ed. Patrick Cheney, Andrew Hadfield, and Garrett Sullivan, Jr. (Oxford UP, 2006).
  • Turning Turk: English Theater and the Multicultural Mediterranean, 1570-1630, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, 244 pp.
  • "'Meaner Ministers': Theatrical Labor, Mastery, and Bondage in The Tempest" in The Blackwell Companion to Shakespeare's Works: The Poems, Problem Comedies and Late Plays, ed. Jean E. Howard and Richard Dutton, Blackwell, 2003, 408-26.
  • Piracy, Slavery, and Redemption: Barbary Captivity Narratives from Early Modern England, selected and edited by Daniel Vitkus. Columbia University Press, 2001, 376 pp.
  • "The 'O' in Othello: Tropes of Damnation and Nothingness" in New Critical Essays on Othello, ed. Philip C. Kolin (Routledge, 2001) 347-62.
  • "The Circulation of Bodies: Slavery, Maritime Commerce, and English Captivity Narratives in the Early Modern Period" in   Colonial and Postcolonial Incarceration, ed. Graeme Harper, Continuum, 2001, 23-37.
  • Guest Co-Editor with Jyotsna Singh, special issue of Journal X  6.1, Autumn 2001, on "Rethinking Postcoloniality", Introduction, pp. 1-18.
  • Critical edition of Three Turk Plays from Early Modern England: Selimus, Emperor of the Turks; A Christian Turned Turk;and The Renegado, Columbia University Press, 2000, 358 pp.
  • "Trafficking with the Turk: English Travelers in the Ottoman Empire during the Seventeenth Century" in Travel Knowledge: European Witnesses to "Navigations, Traffiques, and Discoveries" in the Early Modern Period, ed. Jyotsna G. Singh and Ivo Kamps, NY: St. Martin's Press, 2000, 35-52.
  • "Early Modern Orientalism: Representations of Islam in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Europe," Western Views of Islam in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. D. Blanks and M. Frassetto, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1999, 207-30.
  • "Turning Turk in Othello: The Conversion and Damnation of the Moor" Shakespeare Quarterly 48: 2, Summer, 1997: 145-76.
Coming soon...