Jeffrey B. Griswold

Jeffrey B. Griswold

Jeffrey B. Griswold

Postdoctoral R & T Fellow

Literature: early modern literature and political philosophy

Jeffrey B. Griswold is a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow in the English Department at George Mason University. His teaching and research focus on the literature and political philosophy of the English Renaissance. His book project, entitled Human Insufficiency: Natural Slavery and the Racialization of Vulnerability in Early Modern England, seeks to understand why early modern writers frequently described the human as the weakest and most vulnerable of all animals. By tracing depictions of Man as the insufficient animal through early modern literature and political philosophy, this project recovers an ideological history of race and slavery grounded in a surprising object: the fragile human body. Broadly, his scholarship explores issues of race, political belonging, consent, embodiment, the human, and allegory.

Selected Publications

“Human Vulnerability and Natural Slavery in The Faerie Queene.” Exemplaria (forthcoming).

“Homo Homini Lupus: Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and the Vicissitudes of a Political Adage.” Studies in Philology (forthcoming).

“Political Ecology and the Mutabilitie Cantos.” Special section on “Spenserian Ecological Futures,” eds. Tiffany Werth & Kirsten Schuhmacher. The Spenser Review 50.3 (Fall 2020):

“Human Insufficiency and the Politics of Accommodation in King Lear.” Renaissance Drama 47.1 (Spring 2019): 73-94.

“The False Florimell and Nonhuman Consent.” The Spenser Review 49.1 (Winter 2019):

“Macbeth’s Thick Night and the Political Ecology of a Dark Scotland.” Critical Survey 31.3 (Autumn 2019): 31-43.

“Allegorical Consent: The Faerie Queene and the Politics of Erotic Subjection.” Spenser Studies 29 (2014): 219-237.

Courses Taught

English Poetry and Prose of the Sixteenth Century (ENGH 321)

Reading the Past: What is Justice? (HNRS 240)

Theory and Inquiry: Fictions of the Human (ENGH 308)

English Renaissance Drama (ENGH 324)

Early Modern Literature and the Limits of the Human (ENGH 431)

Shakespeare (ENGH 322)

Texts and Contexts: Shakespeare (ENGH 202)


PhD in English, University of Maryland, College Park