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Walter Cohen

Professor Emeritus

Walter Cohen

Overview

Walter Cohen is Professor of Comparative Literature and former chair of the department. He has published Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain as well as numerous articles on Renaissance literature, literary criticism, and the history of the novel. He is one of four editors of The Norton Shakespeare (2nd ed. 2008) and is currently completing a critical study entitled European Literature (under contract with Princeton University Press), on the history of European literature in relation to the non-European world.

Departments/Programs

  • Comparative Literature

Research

  • The history of the formation of European literature as such. That is, I try to explain how European literature came to be understood as European and how it came to be understood as literature.
  • Renaissance drama, especially in England, secondarily in Spain. 
  • To a lesser extent, I have also written about literary criticism and theory, especially Marxist and other political approaches

Publications

  • The Norton Shakespeare based on the Oxford Edition. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt (General Editor), Walter Cohen, Jean E. Howard, and Katharine Eisaman Maus. New York: Norton, 1997.
  • "The Discourse of Empire in the Renaissance." In Cultural Authority in Golden Age Spain. Ed. Marina S. Brownlee and Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
  • "Marxist Criticism." In Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn. New York: MLA, 1992, pp. 320-48.
  • "The Concept of World Literature." In Comparative Literature East and West. Ed. Cornelia Moore. Honolulu: East-West Center, 1989, pp. 3-10.
  • "The Novel and Cultural Revolution." Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Pädagogische Hochschule "Karl Liebknecht" Potsdam, 32 (1988), 29-47.
  • "Political Criticism of Shakespeare." In Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in the Ideology and History. Ed. Jean Howard and Marian O'Connor. London: Methuen, 1987, pp. 18-46.
  • Drama of a Nation: Public Theater in Renaissance England and Spain. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University PRess, 1985.
  • "The Making of Nabokov's Fiction." Twentieth Century Literature, 29 (1983), 333-50.
  • "The Merchant of Venice and the Possibilities of Historical Criti­cism." ELH, 49 (1982), 765-89.  Rpt. in a) Materialist Shakespeare: A History.  Ed. Ivo Kamps.  London: Verso, 1995, pp. 71-92; b) The Merchant of Venice.  Ed. Martin Coyle.  New Casebooks.  Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: MacMillan, 1998, pp. 45-72;  c) Shakespeare Criticism, Vol. 77.  The Gale Group, 2003?; d) The Norton Critical “Merchant of Venice.”  Ed. Leah Marcus.  New York: Norton, 2005, excerpt: pp. 197-203 of Drama of a Nation.
  • "The Making of Nabokov's Fiction." Twentieth Century Literature, 29 (1983), 333-50.
  • "Political Criticism of Shakespeare." In Shakespeare Reproduced: The Text in Ideology and History. Ed. Jean Howard and Marian O'Connor.  London: Methuen, 1987, pp. 18-46.
  • "The Novel and Cultural Revolution."  Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Pädagogische Hochschule "Karl Liebknecht" Potsdam, 32 (1988), 29-47.
  • "The Concept of World Literature."  In Comparative Literature East and West.  Ed. Cornelia Moore.  Honolulu: East-West Center, 1989, pp. 3-10.
  • "Interview: Who's Afraid of Martin Bernal?"  Bookpress, Vol. 1, no. 3 (Nov. 1991), pp. 1, 8, 11.  Expanded version:
  • "An Interview with Martin Bernal."  Social Text, No. 35 (Summer 1993), pp. 1-24. "Marxist Criticism." 
  • In Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies.  Ed. Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn.  New York: MLA, 1992, pp. 320-48.
  • "The Discourse of Empire in the Renaissance."  In Cultural Authority in Golden Age Spain.  Ed. Marina S. Brownlee and Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1995, pp. 260-83.
  • “The Economics of Doctoral Education in Literature.” PMLA, 115 (2000), 1164-87. “The Uniqueness of Spain.”  In Echoes and Inscriptions: Comparative Approaches to Early Modern Hispanic Literatures.  Ed. Barbara Simerka and Chris B. Weimer.  Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell Univ. Press, 2000, pp. 17-29.
  • “The Undiscovered Country: Shakespeare and Mercantile Geography.”  In  Marxist Shakespeares.  Ed. Jean E. Howard and Scott Cutler Shershow.  London: Routledge, 2001, pp. 128-58.
  • “The Literature of Empire in the Renaissance.”  Modern Philology, 102:1 (August 2004), 1-34.
  • “Don Quijote and the Intercontinental History of the Novel.”  Early Modern Culture, No. 4, 2004.  http//eserver.org/emc/default.html.
  • “Eurasian Fiction.”  The Global South, 1: 2 (Fall 2007), 100-119.