Associate Professor of English
Chair of English Department
Massachusetts Hall - 202
Intermediate Seminar. How does “race” signify in the English Renaissance, a period that witnessed the emergence of the Atlantic slave trade, intensified urbanization in European capital cities, and the development of new global trade route? Explores a range of literary strategies Renaissance authors use to represent ethnic, religious, and cultural otherness. Considers how literary and dramatic works might critique, justify, and reproduce racial ideologies. Texts include sonnets by Sidney and Shakespeare; plays by Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Middleton; masques by Ben Jonson; poetry by John Donne and William Herbert; and the first English “novel,” Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko.” Note: Fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.
Traces the emergence of new modes and genres of theater in the decades following the construction of the first permanent English commercial theater in 1576. Analyzes popular genres like revenge tragedy, domestic tragedy, and city comedy as expressions of political and cultural desires of the age. Topics include the politics and poetics of racial, gendered, and national identity; the use of language as a form of action; and the relation of drama to other forms of art in the period. Working in small groups, students select and study one scene that they perform for the class at the end of the semester. Authors include Thomas Kyd, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, and John Webster.
Aaron Kitch earned a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Yale before taking an M.A. in English literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, where he wrote his dissertation on Renaissance drama under the direction of David Bevington, Carla Mazzio, and Richard Strier.
He has been at Bowdoin since 2002, teaching courses in Renaissance literature, the history of the book, the idea of utopia, literature and metamorphosis, and race in early modern English literature and culture. He organizes the Medieval and Renaissance Faculty Seminar at Bowdoin and has recently received a grant from the Mellon Foundation to extend the interdisciplinary research seminar to Colby and Bates.
Professor Kitch has published essays on Renaissance literature, economics, and culture in journals such as Renaissance Drama, Studies in English Literature, and Religion and Literature. He has recently completed a manuscript entitled Poetry and Political Economy in Early Modern England.
Alchemical Sexualities in Early Modern England (in progress)
Political Economy and the States of Literature in Early Modern England (London: Ashgate Publishing Group, 2009
"Hamlet's Disenchanted Materialism," in Enchantments and Dis-Enchantments in Early Modern England, ed. Nick Davis and Nandini Das (Routledge, forthcoming)
"The "Ingendered" Stone: The Ripley Scrolls and the Generative Science of Alchemy," Huntington Library Quarterly 78:1(2015): 87-125 (Access article in PDF)
“The City’s Money: Made, Lost, Stolen, Lent, Invested,” in Thomas Middleton in Context, ed. Suzanne Gossett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
"Shylock's Sacred Nation," Shakespeare Quarterly 59 (2008): 131-55. (Access article in PDF)
"Medwall's 'Condycion': Fulgens and Lucrece and the New Tudor Drama," Cahiers Elisabethains 68 (2005):1-8
"Printing Bastards: Monstrous Birth Broadsides in Early Modern England," in Parenting and Printing in Early Modern England, ed. Douglas Brooks, Women and Gender in the Early Modern World series (London: Ashgate, 2005), 221-36.
"Bastards and Broadsides in The Winter's Tale," Renaissance Drama 30 (2001): 43-71. (Access article in PDF)
"The Character of Credit and the Problem of Belief in Middleton's City Comedies," SEL - Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 47:2 (Spring 2007): 403-426. (Access article in PDF)
"Golden Muse: Protestantism, Mercantilism, and the Uses of Ovid in Marlowe's Hero and Leander," Religion and Literature 38:3 (Autumn 2006): 157-176. (Access article in PDF)
Julia Reinhard Lupton, Citizen-Saints: Shakespeare and Political Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), for Upstart Crow, vol. 29 (2010)
The Martin Marprelate Tracts: A Modern and Annotated Edition, ed. Joseph L. Black (Cambridge University Press, 2008), for Renaissance Quarterly 62 (Summer, 2009): 584-5
Valerie Forman, Tragicomic Redemptions: Global Economies and the Early Modern English Stage (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), for Shakespeare Quarterly 61 (2010): 607-9.
Blair Hoxby, Mammon’s Music: Literature and Economics in the Age of Milton (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), for the Journal of Early Modern History (2007)
Julie Crawford, Marvelous Protestantism: Monstrous Births in Post-Reformation England (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), for Shakespeare Yearbook (2007).
Christopher Kendrick, Utopia, Carnival, and Commonwealth in Renaissance England (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), for English Studies in Canada (2006)
Invited Respondent, “Service Relations in Early Modern England,” Shakespeare Association of America, Boston, MA (April 7 – 12, 2012)
“Atomic Love: Marlowe and the Erotics of Epicurean Materialism,” Shakespeare Association of America, Seattle, WA (April 7 – 10, 2011)
“Eco-Calvin,” “Nature and Human Nature in Early Modern England” panel at the Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Dallas, TX (October 22 – 25, 2009)
Chair, “Sidney’s Elizabeth, Montgomerie’s Rosnard, and the Heart of Middleton,” Renaissance Society of America, Los Angeles, CA (March 19 – 21, 2009)
Organizer (with Blair Hoxby) of "Religion and Economics in Early Modern England" seminar, Shakespeare Association of America, Dallas, TX (March 13-15, 2008)
"Mimetic Rivalry: Jonson's Late Masques and the Civic Pageants of Munday, Middleton, and Dekker," MLA, Chicago, IL (December 28, 2007)
"Aesthetics and Renaissance Historicisms: Afterimages of Empirical Life" Renaissance Society of America (March 22-24, 2007)
"The Religious Politics of Female Sexuality in the English Epyllion, 1588-1603" Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (February 15-17, 2007)
"Shylock's 'Sacred Nation': Citizenship, Sovereignty, and Merciful Capitalism in The Merchant of Venice"
Shakespeare Association of America, Bermuda (March 17 - 19, 2005)
"Believing in Middleton: The Credit Economy of the City Comedies"
Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Orlando, FL (November 17 - 21, 2004)
"Henry Medwall and the New 'Condycion' of Tudor Drama"
Shakespeare Association of America, New Orleans (April 7 - 11, 2004)
"Gutenberg Galaxy Revisited: Print, Drama, and the English Reformation"
Faculty Workshop, Bowdoin College (November, 2003)
"Paper Stages: John Rastell's Adaptation of Fernando de Rojas's Celestina for the English Stage," Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing
(SHARP) panel, Renaissance Society of America, Toronto, (March 27 - 29, 2003)
"The Stationers' Company and the Regulation of the Broadside Ballad, 1557-1585"
Midwest Modern Language Association, Cleveland, OH (November 1 - 3, 2001)
"The News at Court: Jonson's Late Masques"
Center for Renaissance Studies, Newberry Library, Chicago (June 7 - 9, 2001)
"'The Well-Spoken Nobody': The Printed Broadside and Early Modern Literacy"
Modern Language Association, Washington, D.C. (2000)
"Timely Matter: The Sixteenth-Century Broadside Ballad"
Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies, New Orleans, LA (November 17, 2000)