Jay Zysk

Associate Professor

English & Communication

Director

Office of Faculty Development

508-999-8864

jzysk@umassd.edu

Liberal Arts 343

508-910-6534

jzysk@umassd.edu

Claire T. Carney Library 215

Education

2011Brown UniversityPhD
2007Brown UniversityMA
2005Stonehill CollegeBA

Teaching

  • Shakespeare
  • Early English drama
  • Late medieval and early modern literature
  • The English Reformation
  • Literary theory

Teaching

Programs

Teaching

Courses

A foundation course for all English majors, examining traditions and innovations in literature and in the study of literature in English. Students develop writing and research skills in the discipline and improve their knowledge of literary terms and forms, literary history and conventions, literary influence, and new and emerging forms and approaches. Genres studied include poetry, drama, fiction, and literary (creative) non-fiction. The course also examines key issues in the profession of literary studies, such as the development of departments of literature, canon formation, and the relationship of literary theory to literary practice.

Graduate seminar in World Literature. Topics vary and address seminal texts from different periods and world cultures, including British. Topics may focus on historical periods, movements in world literature, genres, multiethnic and gender studies, or major authors. Through in-depth reading and research, students develop their understanding of cultures other than their own, discover representative themes and issues in the literature of those cultures, make connections among them, and strengthen their skills in literary analysis.

Teaching

Online and Continuing Education Courses

A careful reading of Shakespeare's plays selected from the comedies, tragedies, and histories. The course explores Shakespeare's development as a dramatist, the reasons for his reputation as the greatest poet in the language, and the manner in which his plays reflect Elizabethan custom, attitudes, and beliefs. Some outside readings required in Shakespearean criticism and in the background of the period.
Register for this course.

Graduate seminar in World Literature. Topics vary and address seminal texts from different periods and world cultures, including British. Topics may focus on historical periods, movements in world literature, genres, multiethnic and gender studies, or major authors. Through in-depth reading and research, students develop their understanding of cultures other than their own, discover representative themes and issues in the literature of those cultures, make connections among them, and strengthen their skills in literary analysis.
Register for this course.

Research

Research Activities

  • Participant, Folger Shakespeare Library Colloquium on "Teaching Medieval Drama and Performance"
  • Short Term Fellow, Folger Shakespeare Library
  • Subject Editor, "British Isles and Northern Europe," Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World

Research

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
  • Brokaw, Katherine Steele and Jay Zysk. (2019).
    Sacred and Secular Transactions in the Age of Shakespeare
    Northwestern University Press
  • 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: Eucharistic Controversy and English Drama across the Reformation Divide (University of Notre Dame Press, 2017), and co-editor (with Katherine Steele Brokaw) of Sacred and Secular Transactions in the Age of Shakespeare (Northwestern University Press, 2019).

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. He is currently subject editor ("British Isles and Northern Europe") for the Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World. He also serves as Director of the Office of Faculty Development at UMass Dartmouth.

External links

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