Jay Zysk

Assistant Professor

English & Communication


Office of Faculty Development



Liberal Arts 343



Claire T. Carney Library 215


2011Brown UniversityPhD
2007Brown UniversityMA
2005Stonehill CollegeBA


  • Shakespeare
  • early English drama
  • English Renaissance literature
  • Literature and the Reformation
  • literary theory





A study of British literature from Beowulf to 1798, with attention given to the cultural and historical context.


Online and Continuing Education Courses

A foundation course for English majors in the literature concentration. Introduce students to literary criticism, as well as critical thinking and writing in English Studies. Emphasis in on the application of principles and methods of literary study to selected texts, which prepares students to examine and respond to texts from a variety of critical perspectives.
Register for this course.


Research Activities

  • Participant, Folger Shakespeare Library Colloquium on "Teaching Medieval Drama and Performance"
  • Short Term Fellow, Folger Shakespeare Library


Research Interests

  • Shakespeare
  • medieval early modern literature
  • Reformation history and culture
  • history of the body
  • periodization studies

Select publications

  • Jay Zysk (2017).
    Shadow and Substance: Eucharistic Controversy and English Drama across the Reformation Divide; University of Notre Dame Press
  • Jay Zysk (2017).
    "In the Name of the Father: Revenge and Unsacramental Death in Hamlet"
    Christianity and Literature, 66.3, 422-443.
  • Jay Zysk (2015).
    Relics and Unreliable Bodies in The Changeling
    English Literary Renaissance, 45.3, 400-424.

Jay Zysk received his Ph.D. in English literature from Brown University. His research and teaching focus on early British literature, Shakespeare, early modern drama, and medieval drama. His current work focuses on intersections between theology and drama, as well as between religion and secularity, across the medieval/early modern divide. He is the author of Shadow and Substance: The Eucharist in Medieval and Early Modern Drama (University of Notre Dame Press, 2017), and is co-editor (with Katherine Steele Brokaw) of a collection of essays on Shakespeare and secularization, which is under contract with Northwestern University Press.

In addition, Professor Zysk has published several essays on Shakespeare and early modern drama in Christianity and Literature, English Literary Renaissance, postmedieval, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and a number of edited book collections. In 2014, he received a short-term fellowship from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and in 2016 participated in a yearlong colloquium on “Teaching Medieval Drama” at the Folger. Before arriving at UMass Dartmouth, Professor Zysk taught at the University of South Florida and the University of New Hampshire.

External links

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