department of english

114 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– Main Office: 401.874.5931 - Graduate Office: 401.874.4663

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Travis D. Williams

  • Associate Professor
  • Shakespeare; Science and Literature
  • Phone: 401.874.9501, Office: 175C Swan Hall
  • Email:


Travis Williams specializes in Shakespeare and early modern literature and teaches courses on Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, Donne, Milton, Chaucer, Renaissance lyric poetry, and science and literature. His current book project is “Literature, Mathematics, and the Writing Arts in the Age of Shakespeare.” Research interests include: book history, history of mathematics, antitheatricalism, scientific rhetoric, visual rhetoric, source and influence studies.

He has presented papers at the Harvard Shakespearean Studies Seminar and the University of Aberdeen, and at conferences of the Modern Language Association, the Renaissance Society of America, the Shakespeare Association of America, the History of Science Society, the British Society for the History of Mathematics, the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, and the Mathematical Association of America. He has received fellowships from the URI Council for Research, the URI Center for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.


Shakespeare and early modern literature; Book history, history of mathematics, antitheatricalism, scientific rhetoric, visual rhetoric, source and influence studies.


  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
  • M.Phil., University of Oxford
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley


Shakespeare Up Close: Reading Early Modern Texts. Co-edited with an Introduction co-written by Travis D. Williams, Russ McDonald, and Nicholas D. Nace. London: Arden Shakespeare, 2012.

“Mathematical Enargeia: The Rhetoric of Early Modern Mathematical Notation.” Forthcoming in 2016 in Rhetorica.

“The Dialogue of Early Modern Mathematical Subjectivity.” Configurations 21:1 (2013): 53-84.

“Procrustean Marxism and Subjective Rigor: Early Modern Arithmetic and Its Readers.” In“Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron. Ed. Lisa Gitelman. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2013. 41-59.

“The Story of O: Reading Letters in the Prologue to Henry V.” In Shakespeare Up Close. 9-16.

“The Earliest English Printed Arithmetic Books.” The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, ser. 7, 13:2 (2012): 164-84.

“The Bourn Identity: Hamlet and the French of Montaigne’s Essais.” Notes and Queries 58:2 (2011): 254-58.

Review of The Machine in the Text: Science and Literature in the Age of Shakespeare and Galileo, by Howard Marchitello (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Notes and Queries60:2 (2013): 313-15.

Review of Playing Dirty: Sexuality and Waste in Early Modern Comedy, by Will Stockton (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011). Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society 17:1 (2012): 104-7.

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