My research focuses on Shakespeare, law and literature, religion, and disability in the English Renaissance. My first book, Communal Justice in Shakespeare’s England (University of Toronto Press, 2021), challenges the notion that “law” was made for and by the professional class. Through a reading of diverse printed and manuscript sources, including assize sermons, jury charges, magistrates’ manuals, and above all drama, the book illuminates just how popular legal culture sustained a belief in “lay legalism” and “participatory justice” during a period of transformative change in the common law. My second project “Disabled by Law” tells the prehistory of ablenationalism through an analysis of representations of disability and ability in early modern legal and literary texts. At Macalester College, I teach intro and advanced Shakespeare, the Brit Lit survey, intro to law and literature, and special topics classes such as Demonology and Disability in the English Renaissance. I am passionate about sharing knowledge with a wider community and welcome the opportunity to do collaborative research, teaching, or service.


PhD and MA in English, University of Southern California

MA in Humanities, University of Chicago

BA (Hons.) in English, University of Toronto

Blog Posts


    American Association of University Professors, Connotations Society for Critical Debate, Modern Language Association, Renaissance Society of America, Shakespeare Association of America

    Penelope Geng

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