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About Ryan J. Croft

What do Star Wars and Medieval and Renaissance Literature have in common? That is just one of several questions I attempt to answer through both my teaching and research. By having students read Medieval literature alongside the Star Wars films, I am able to have them investigate issues of monstrosity, gender, and religion more deeply than they might otherwise.
Within Renaissance literature, I study how writing was understood as a physical, bodily act, particularly in the genre of the sonnet sequence. I have published articles both on this topic and also on the English Reformation's influence over Elizabethan writers, including Edmund Spenser. Currently, I am working on a monograph about how depictions of writing changed during the 1590s fashion for sonnet sequences.
In my teaching, I not only have students write traditional research papers, but I also have them edit video essays, film selected scenes from Shakespeare, explore wikis, and think critically about video games, such as 'Star Wars: The Old Republic,' from the perspective of theories about gender and play. I also teach students about Renaissance textual production, from manuscript circulation to early printing practices. The aim of all this is to get students thinking about how the medium of a text affects its meaning and the physical experience of encountering it out in the world.


Present Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming

Curriculum Vitae

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  • ENGL 4640: Digital Humanities: Star Wars and Medieval Literature

Contact Information

Twitter: @ryan_j_croft