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 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, examines how Renaissance representations of embodied weakness were part of a race-making strategy to justify slavery. By depicting the human political subject as exceptionally vulnerable, literary and philosophical writers portrayed the English as needing care from bodies imagined to be less than human in their physical sufficiency and therefore predisposed to servitude.

Selected Publications

“Human Vulnerability and Natural Slavery in The Faerie Queene.” Exemplaria 34.1 (2022): 66-86.

“Homo Homini Lupus: Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and the Vicissitudes of a Political Adage.” Studies in Philology 119.1 (2022): 170-190.

“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

Early Modern Fictions of the Human (ENGH 421)

Texts and Contexts: Literature and Justice (ENGH 202)

Shakespeare and Race (ENGH 323)

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

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

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

English Renaissance Drama (ENGH 324)

Shakespeare (ENGH 322)

Texts and Contexts: Shakespeare (ENGH 202)


PhD in English, University of Maryland, College Park