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Dr. Elizabeth Weixel
ENG 381 Survey of English Literature I
ENG 482/G Shakespeare
ENG 468/G Early Modern English Literature
ENG 534 Studies in Genre (Renaissance Tragedy)
My research interests center on early modern genres and the historical and literary forests of sixteenth- seventeenth-century England. I am also interested in country house poetry and in depictions of early modern boyhood.
I earned an undergraduate degree in English at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and a doctorate in English at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, where my dissertation earned the Graduate School’s “Best Dissertation” Award in the Arts and Humanities in 2010. Before joining WKU, I taught courses in Shakespeare at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. I revel in teaching the breadth and depth of early English literature (from Beowulf to Milton), including witty medieval tales, spectacular Renaissance tragedies, and complex country house poems. I also enjoy helping students relate to literature of all types in general education courses, working with students on their writing, and serving as a co-advisor to WKU’s English Club.
As a college instructor, I am continually reminded of the ways my classroom can function, like the popular Renaissance motif, as a “world in miniature,” a space in which literature and writing can draw out students’ consciousness about human problems and human connectedness, challenge them to examine the complexities of experience, and develop a voice by which to engage with the world at large. As a participant in this world in miniature, I think of my teaching in light of three organizing elements: writing as an ongoing practice in intellectual engagement and discovery, analyzing to evaluate ideas and understand texts and contexts, and conversing to bring critical ideas into a communal arena and into consideration with other ideas.
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