Suparna Roychoudhury

Associate Professor of English; on leave 2019-20
Specialization: 
Shakespeare; early modern British literature and culture; literature and the history of science, medicine, and technology; literature and cognition; theater, drama, and performance studies; transnational Anglophone literature; cosmopolitanism

Suparna Roychoudhury specializes in English Renaissance literature, with an emphasis on Shakespeare. While her research and teaching areas include all aspects of the literature and culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, she is particularly interested in the relation between literature and the history of science, broadly defined. She has written on such topics as melancholy, anatomy, emotion, intelligence, and skill. In addition to her work in Renaissance studies, Roychoudhury teaches contemporary transnational literature written in English, with a special interest in literary cosmopolitanism.

Roychoudhury is the author of Phantasmatic Shakespeare: Imagination in the Age of Early Modern Science (Cornell University Press, 2018), which examines Shakespearean representations of the faculty of imagination in light of early modern scientific contexts and theories of cognition. Her essays and reviews can be found in Philological Quarterly, The Spenser Review, ELH, SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, Modern Philology, and The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies. Her doctoral thesis was awarded an Honorable Mention for the J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize by the Shakespeare Association of America. She is a recipient of the Bowdoin Prize awarded by Harvard University, and holds a University Medal from the Australian National University.

At Mount Holyoke, Roychoudhury teaches Shakespeare; Early Modern Drama; Literature and Science 1516-1674; The Cunning Renaissance; English Renaissance Poetry; Cognitive Theory and Literary Studies; Cosmopolitanism; Transnational Anglophone Literature; Self-Portraiture; Brave New Worlds; and Introduction to the Study of Literature.

Selected Publications

  • “Forms of Fantasy: Psychology and Epistemology in the House of Alma, De la force de l’imagination, and Othello.” Imagining Scientific Form, edited by Jenny C. Mann and Debapriya Sarkar. Special Issue, Philological Quarterly 98, no. 1–2 (2019): 47–71.
  • Phantasmatic Shakespeare: Imagination in the Age of Early Modern Science. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018.
  • “Mental Tempests, Seas of Trouble: The Perturbations of Shakespeare’s Pericles.” ELH: English Literary History 82, no. 4 (2015): 1013–1039. https://dx.doi.org/10.1353/elh.2015.0037.
  • “Anatomies of Imagination in Shakespeare’s Sonnets.” SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900 54, no. 1 (2014): 105–124. https://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sel.2014.0005. Reprinted in Shakespearean Criticism 164, edited by Lawrence J. Trudeau, 313–320. Farmington, MI: Gale Cengage, 2015.
  • “Melancholy, Ecstasy, Phantasma: The Pathologies of Macbeth.” Modern Philology 111, no. 2 (2013): 205–230. https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/673309.
  • “Forswearing Fever: Medicine, Materialism, and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 147.” The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 12, no. 1 (2012): 4–25. https://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jem.2012.0005.