Brian Chalk

Associate Professor, English


  • PHD, Brandeis University
  • MLITT, University of St. Andrews
  • MA, New York University
  • BA, James Madison University

Courses Taught

ENGL 110      College Writing

ENGL 150      Freshmen Year Seminar

ENGL 150      Roots: Literature

ENGL 245      Introduction to Shakespeare

ENGL 292      Literary London (taught abroad in London)

ENGL 292      Shakespeare, God, and Prison (crosslisted with RELS 292 as part of the E3MC Program) 

ENGL 306      Introduction to Literary Study

ENGL 329      Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Hamlet

ENGL 330      Shakespeare after Hamlet

ENGL 343      Studies in Renaissance Literature: The Art of Dying

ENGL 370      Milton and Seventeenth Century Poetry

ENGL 395      Senior Seminar

ENGL 399      Independent Study: Marlowe and Jonson

  • Research

    Current Research:

    A book length project that examines the relationship among dreaming, sleeping, and theatrical experience in Shakespeare's plays and poems. 

  • Publications and Scholarly Activities


    Sleeping and Dreaming on Shakespeare’s Stage (In progress) 

    Monuments and Literary Posterity in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

    "Middleton's Monument and Theatrical Legacy." Memory and Mortality in the English Renaissance. Eds. William Engel and Grant Williams. Cambridge University Press, 2022.

    Book Review: Chris Fitter, Majesty and the Masses in Shakespeare and Marlowe: Western Anti-monarchism, the Earl of Essex Challenge, and Political Stagecraft (Routledge, 2021), Modern Philology, Volume 119, Number 1 (August 2021).

    “Slumbery Agitations: Sleep Deprivation in Macbeth,” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Volume 20.4 (Fall 2020): 62-88.

     “‘The Heaviness of Sleep’: Monarchical Exhaustion in King Lear.” Forming Sleep: Representing Consciousness in the English Renaissance. Eds. Margaret Simon and Nancy Simpson-Younger. Penn State University Press, 2020. 127-146.

     “Thomas Dekker.” A critical biographical essay. British Writers Supplement XXIV, Ed. Jay Parini. (Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson-Gale, 2017): 91-108

    “Jonson’s Textual Monument,” Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 52.2 (Spring 2012): 387-405.

    “Webster’s ‘Worthyest Monument’: The Problem of Posterity in The Duchess of Malfi,” Studies in Philology 108.3 (Summer 2011): 379-402.

    A portion of this article was reprinted in the critical section of the Norton Edition of John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, ed. Michael Neill. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2015.

    “‘Fearful Meditations’: Pondering Posterity in Shakespeare’s Sonnets,” St. John’s University Humanities Review Spring 2010

    Selected Conference Papers:

    “Prisoners of our Actions: Teaching Hamlet on Rikers Island,” 49th Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, April 2021 (Remote).

    Invited Lecture: “Dreaming of Death in Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra.” Warburg Institute Conference: Memory and Mortality in Early Modern England, London, England, May 2019.

    “Gendered Dreams in Spenser and Shakespeare. Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., April 2019.

    “Middleton’s Monuments.” Renaissance Society of America, New Orleans, LA, March 2018

    “I can no longer hold me patient”: Competing Playwriting Characters in Richard III.” Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, April 2017

    “‘The Heaviness of Sleep’: Monarchical Exhaustion in King Lear.” Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 2016

    “Fletcher’s Monument: Dynasty and Collaborative Posterity in Henry VIII.”, Renaissance Society of America, Berlin, DE, March, 2015. 

    Murdering Sleep’: Macbeth, Dreams, and the Boundaries of Theatrical Reality.” Shakespeare Association of America Meeting, Boston, MA, April 2012

    Invited Lecture: “’Mocking Life’: Preemptive Commemoration in The Winter’s Tale.” James Madison University, October 2011.

    “Staging Monuments in The Winter’s Tale.” Blackfriars Conference, Staunton, VA, October 2011

    “’Mocking Life’: Preemptive Commemoration in The Winter’s Tale.” Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Bellevue, Washington, April 2011

    “’Let all things end’: Marlowe’s Mortality.” 37th Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., April 2009

    “’Here I am my own ghost’: Webster's Symbols of Posterity.” Renaissance Society of America, Chicago, IL, April 2008

    “Jonson’s Roman Originality.” 36th Shakespeare Association of America Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, March 2008

    “Theatrical Authority in Jonson's Sejanus.” Blackfriars Conference, Staunton, VA, October 2007



  • Honors, Awards, and Grants
    • NYU Faculty Seminar Participant, “Shakespeare and Early Modern Globilization”
    • Honorable Mention, J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize, Shakespeare Association of America, 2011
    • Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2009-2010
    • Shakespeare Association of America Travel Award, 2008, 2009
    • Brandeis University Provost’s Dissertation Expense Award, 2008
  • Other
    • Interests: 16th- and 17th-century English literature, including drama, poetry, and prose; Shakespeare; literature and memorialization; origins of the Western Canon; Renaissance dream theory