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College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

William Stockton

William Stockton

Professor and Chair

Department of English
Office: 802 Strode

Ph.D. English, Indiana University, Bloomington; M.A. English, Indiana University, Bloomington; B.A. English and Political Theory, University of Virginia

Curriculum Vitae


Research Interests
Renaissance Literature, Queer Theory, Translation, Creative Nonfiction

ENGL 4110: Shakespeare; ENGL 2130: British Literature

Will Stockton has published extensively on Renaissance literature, the history of sexuality, and Christian cultures. His first book, Playing Dirty: Sexuality and Waste in Early Modern Comedy (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), examines works by William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Nashe, Sir John Harington, and Geoffrey Chaucer. It analyzes these writers’ comic constructions of the body politic alongside their expulsion of female, queer, and Jewish bodies. Stockton’s second book, Members of His Body: Shakespeare, Paul, and a Theology of Nonmonogamy (Fordham University Press, 2017), uses four Shakespeare plays – The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and The Winter’s Tale – to explore a lingering post-Reformation Protestant understanding of marriage as a vehicle of salvation, with queer repercussions for notions of fidelity and individuality.

Stockton has co-edited two volumes of scholarship on Renaissance literature and queer reading methods. Backward Gaze: Queer Renaissance Historiography (Ashgate, 2009) advances new methods for historicizing sexuality in the period. Sex Before Sex: Figuring the Act in Early Modern England (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) asks how Renaissance writers represented sex before that term meant sexual intercourse. Stockton has also edited two journals housed at Clemson: Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies (2013-2016) and Early Modern Culture (2015-2019). “Queer Milton,” volume 10 of Early Modern Culture, which Stockton edited with David L. Orvis, won the 2014 Irene Samuel Award from the Milton Society of America.

Stockton’s more recent work has ventured outside Renaissance Studies. He co-authored a book on dc Talk’s 1995 album Jesus Freak for Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series (2018). He also co-edited The 33 1/3 B-Sides: New Essays by 33 1/3 Authors on Beloved and Underrated Albums (2019). He has published several works of translation, including a bilingual edition of Sergio Loo’s Operación al Cuerpo Enfermo (The Operating System, 2019). His translations have further appeared in outlets including Asymptote, Denver Quarterly, and Kenyon Review Online.

Stockton’s creative nonfiction has been featured in journals including Broad Street, Tupelo Quarterly, Foglifter, and Avidly. His essay “Child’s Play," first published in Bennington Review, was reprinted as “Good Guy Dolls” in It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror (Feminist Press, 2022). His essay “A Week of Recreation,” published in Hotel Amerika, received an honorable mention in The Best American Essays 2021.

Stockton's latest book, An Introduction to Queer Literary Studies: Reading Queerly (Routledge, 2022), serves as a guide to queer theory designed specifically for students of literature. Its readings range from the works of Shakespeare to those of Stephen King.


Selected Professional Works

Books (Published)

Author. An Introduction to Queer Literary Studies: Reading Queerly. Routledge, 2022.

Co-editor. The 331/3 B-Sides: New Essays by 331/3 Authors on Beloved and Underrated Albums. With D. Gilson. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Translator. Operation on a Malignant Body / Operación al Cuerpo Enfermo, by Sergio Loo. The Operating System, 2019.

Co-author. Jesus Freak (33 1/3). With D. Gilson. Bloomsbury, 2018.

Author. Members of His Body: Shakespeare, Paul, and a Theology of Nonmonogamy. Fordham University Press, 2017.

Co-editor. Sex Before Sex: Figuring the Act in Early Modern England, With James Bromley. University of Minnesota Press, 2013.

Author. Playing Dirty: Sexuality and Waste in Early Modern Comedy. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

Co-editor. Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze. With Vin Nardizzi and Stephen Guy-Bray. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2009.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)

"Child's Play," The Bennington Review 7 (2020).

"A Week of Recreation," Hotel Amerika 18 (2020): 73-79.

"Survival and the Nonetheless," Bodies on the Verge: Queering Pauline Epistles. Ed. Joe Marchal. Society for Biblical Literature, 2019. 333-343.

“The Fierce Urgency of Now: Queer Theory, Presentism, and Romeo and Juliet,” A Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, Race, ed. Valerie Traub. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 287-301.

“Chasing Chastity: The Case of Desdemona.” Rethinking Feminism: Gender, Race, and Sexuality in the Early Modern World. Eds. Ania Loomba and Melissa E. Sanchez. Farham: Ashgate, 2015. 195-211.

“Shakespeare and Queer Theory.” Shakespeare Quarterly 63.2 (2012): 224-235.

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