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Richard McCoy
Position: Distinguished Professor, Queens College. English.
Campus Affiliation: Queens College
Phone: 212-817-8332
Room Number: 4406.10
Office Hours: By appointment
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley.
Research Interests: Late medieval and early modern periods; 16th- and 17th-century English literature; Skelton, More, Sidney, Shakespeare, Spenser, Milton; Renaissance and Reformation politics, religion, and culture; ritual and iconography; new historicism and cultural poetics; early modern stage and performance theory.
Specialization: Early Modern Literature|Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature


Selected Publications:

  • “Awakening Faith in The Winter’s Tale,” Shakespeare and Early Modern Religion, eds. David Loewenstein and Michael Witmore (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014)
  • “Miracles and Mysteries in The Comedy of Errors,” Shakespeare and Religion: Early Modern and Postmodern Perspectives, ed. Ken Jackson and Arthur Marotti (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame
    Press, 2011), 79-96.
  • “Law Sports and the Night of Errors: Shakespeare and the Inns of Court,” The Intellectual and Cultural World of the Early Modern Inns of Court, ed. Jayne Elisabeth Archer, Elizabeth Goldring, and Sarah Knight (Manchester University Press, 2010), 286-301.
  • “‘The Tragedy of the Handkerchief’: Objects Sacred and Profane in Shakespeare’s Othello,Medieval and Early Modern Devotional Objects in Global Perspective: Translations of the Sacred, ed. Elizabeth Robertson and Jennifer Jahner (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 155-166.
  • Faith in Shakespeare, Oxford University Press, 2013. Countering the "religious turn" in early modern studies, this book examines the paradoxical power of "poetic faith" in theater's potent but manifest illusions.
  • Alterations of State: Sacred Kingship in the English Reformation. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. A study of Skelton, Shakespeare, Milton, and Marvell ranging from the beginnings of the Tudor dynasty to the Glorious Revolution. Honorable Mention, Association of American Scholars, Scholarly Publishing Division Awards.
  • "Church and State in the New World," in The World of 1607 (Jamestown Centenary catalogue), ed. David Armitage (forthcoming).

  • "'The Grace of Grace' and Double-Talk in Macbeth. Shakespeare Survey 57 (2004): 27-37.

Work in Progress:

  • Shakespeare’s Clowns: Mockery and Mimesis. My current project is a study of Shakespeare’s major comic figures – his fools, clowns, and jokers – and the challenges they pose to dramatic decorum and plausibility.