Nancy Marck Cantwell

English Department

Associate Professor and Chair
British Literature, Shakespeare, Women Writers, the Novel, and Narrative Theory

I enjoy teaching British literature from a historical and cultural perspective, exploring the events and ideas influencing the production of the literary texts we study.  I offer survey courses as well as more advanced courses in Shakespeare, the gothic, Victorian literature, and literary criticism and theory.  I am interested in film adaptations of literary texts, so I use film clips to illustrate staging issues in Shakespeare, and I also offer a course on film adaptations of English novels, considering the interplay between the texts and their counterpart films.  My course on the Gothic Imagination examines a subversive literary genre as it develops over three centuries, while major author classes on Jane Austen and Charles Dickens allow for the in-depth study of works produced by one writer in one historical period. 

My scholarly work investigates texts produced by nineteenth-century novelists from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.  Recent publications include articles in Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies and Études Irlandaises; book chapters in Jane Austen and Philosophy, The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel, and Biographical Misrepresentations of Women Writers: A Hall of Mirrors; and entries in The Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth Century Novel, 1660-1820.  My current projects include an article on Bram Stoker’s The Snake’s Pass and another on tourism in works by Sydney Owenson and Susan Ferrier.  At present, I am working on a book-length study of nationalism in 19th-century novels by Four Nations women.

Some of my favorite experiences as a faculty member have taken place outside the classroom—my Literature of London course includes a Spring Break study abroad experience to visit literary sites in London and, as part of my ongoing digital humanities research, the ALBUS Project, I lead an annual student research trip to London.  I enjoy helping students make connections between the literary works we read and the places and times that we read about—for instance, Shakespeare’s plays may seem difficult to read, but students immediately get caught up in the action when they visit the Globe Theatre.  I also oversee the English Department’s Shakespeare Banquet, a Renaissance feast with entertainment produced by students.