Jeffrey S. Doty, Ph.D. | Department of English

Jeffrey S. Doty, Ph.D.

Associate Professor | Associate Chair
112D Auditorium Bldg

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare, Milton, lyric poetry, and early modern drama. My research, all of which orbits around Shakespeare, focuses on:

· early modern politics, the public sphere and theater culture

· status and social networks

· ethics

· textual studies My book Shakespeare, Popularity and the Public Sphere (Cambridge University Press, 2017) argues that thinking through the problems posed in Shakespeare's plays was good practice for learning how to analyze actual political situations. Ordinary people were discouraged from talking politics in Elizabethan England, but at the same time, Queen Elizabeth I firmed up her position by appealing directly to the people. Shakespeare dramatized this contradiction in political theory and practice. His plays showed that power was dependent upon "popularity" and made the ordinary people who attended his plays aware of their participation in the public. Early portions of this book can be found in Shakespeare Quarterly and English Literary Renaissance.

Musa Gurnis and I have co-written two essays on theater and the public sphere. In "Theater Scene and Theater Public in Early Modern London" in the journal Shakespeare (2018), we show how the theater was bolstered by its "scene"--the alehouses, taverns, and inns that ringed the theaters, in which playgoers traded lines from plays back and forth, gave playwrights advice on how to write their plays, made actors re-perform their favorite parts, and spread the gossip about actors, who were early celebrities. We followed this up with "Local Celebrities--On and Off Stage," in Publicity and the Early Modern Stage (Palgrave 2021), which tracks how playhouses

capitalized on and helped produce the 'local celebrity': ordinary Londoners, famous or notorious, who come to stand in for the myriad city itself. This research on social networks developed further in my 2023 Renaissance Drama article Networks and Dramatic Form in Arden of Faversham.

Another angle of my work on Shakespeare and the early modern sphere has been exploring his investments in popular politics--that is, examining his demystifications of power and his plays' sometime sympathy with the poor and oppressed. This includes an overview in Literature Compass (2013) -- "Shakespeare and Popular Politics", "Experiences of Authority in The Tempest" in Shakespeare and the Politics of Commoners (Oxford UP, 2018), and the forthcoming essay "Shakespeare and the Middle Sorts" in The Routledge Companion to Shakespeare and Politics.

My current work takes up questions of ethics in Shakespeare. Daniel Bloom and I explore how Aristotle's concept of arete might shape a reading of King Lear in Shakespeare and Virtue: A Handbook (Cambridge UP, 2023), while "Blood, Virtue, and Romance in Cymbeline," in published in Shakespeare Quarterly (2022), makes the case that romance is a utopian that turns the nobility of 'blood' into an ethical capacity potentially open to anyone.

I am currently editing Coriolanus for the forthcoming Cambridge Shakespeare Editions.

I taught for seven years at West Texas A&M University in Canyon before coming to UNT in 2016. At UNT, I have served as the English Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Chair. I was the recipient of the prestigious UNT Teacher-Scholar Award in 2021-22.