Jay Zysk

Assistant Professor

English & Communication


Office of Faculty Development



Liberal Arts 343



Claire T. Carney Library 220


2011Brown UniversityPhD
2007Brown UniversityMA
2005Stonehill CollegeBA


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





Introduction to the College of Arts and Sciences. This course facilitates a smooth transition to college life through academic and life skills enhancement and the development of enduring relationships between students, faculty and advisors, and classmates. Topics include utilizing campus resources, the importance of co-curricular activities, time management, reading and notetaking, information literacy, and career and major/minor exploration.

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.


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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