Project

Shakespeare's Networks

Program

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships , ACLS Project Development Grants

Abstract

This project argues that Shakespeare's social relationships and institutional affiliations greatly affected the composition of his works. Combining an examination of his intertextual engagements with an investigation of the social contexts through which he knew his fellow authors, it traces how Shakespeare's writing practice grew in a dialectical process with his peers' writing, and how institutional atmospheres such as that of the Middle Temple conditioned this dialectic. The dissertation, contending that we need to study these influences when assessing his literary agenda, reads Shakespeare's works against the backdrop of his social networks in order to achieve a fuller understanding of the works themselves, his writing practice, and his place in early modern literary culture.