N. Amos Rothschild

N. Amos RothschildAssociate Professor of English

Borelli Hall 117
[email protected]

Dr. Rothschild's courses cover a broad swath of early British literature, while his research focuses more narrowly on early modern English literature and culture. He is particularly interested in exploring connections between literary studies, the history of education, book history, and the history of science and technology. His current manuscript-in-progress, Learned Professions: Representing Erudition in Early Modern England, examines the material and linguistic resources with which early modern individuals sought to fashion and contest claims to learnedness.

Dr. Rothschild's research focus on education and book history cannot help but inform his pedagogy. In classes such as “Shakespeare — Early Modern Contexts” and “Angels & Devils: Donne, Milton, and a Century of Crises,” he pairs comedies with commonplace books, epics with engravings of anatomical dissections, and satires with sumptuary statutes; in so doing, he strives not only to train his students to unpack the ways in which literature is always enmeshed with social concerns about status, race, and gender, but also to show them how such techniques of literary interpretation can change the way we read the world around us.

When he is not teaching, reading, or writing, he enjoys table-top strategy and role-playing games, making and printing linocuts, and biking. Whenever possible, he returns to the hilltop farm in western Maine where he grew up; there, he loves to help his children learn about seasonal activities — sapping, gardening, haying, cider-pressing, and more — that define and enrich each passing year.

Publications & Professional Affiliations


“Of Birds and Bees: Montaigne, Shakespeare, and the Rhetoric of Imitation.” Shakespeare and Montaigne. Ed. Lars Engle, Patrick Gray, and William Hamlin. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, forthcoming 2022.

“The Physiology of Free Will: Faculty Psychology and the Structure of the Miltonic Mind.” Forming Sleep: Embodied and Literary Form in the English Renaissance. Eds. Margaret Simon and Nancy Simpson-Younger. University Park: Penn State UP, 2020. 187–208.

“Learned Service and the (In)humanism of Webster’s Intelligencer.” The Duchess of Malfi: Webster’s Tragedy of Blood. Ed. William C. Carroll and Pascale Drouet. Paris: Belin, 2018. 110–27.

“‘volumes that / I prize’: Resources for Teaching and Studying The Tempest.” The Tempest: A Critical Reader (Arden Early Modern Drama Guides). Ed. Virginia Mason Vaughan and Alden T. Vaughan. London: Bloomsbury, 2014. 195–227.

“Learning to Doubt: The Tempest, Imitatio, and Montaigne’s ‘Of the Institution and Education of Children.’” Critical and Cultural Transformations: The Tempest—1611 to the Present (REAL— Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 29). Ed. Tobias Döring and Virginia Mason Vaughan. Tübingen: Narr Verlag, 2013. 17–36.

Professional Affiliations:

Shakespeare Association of America

International Shakespeare Association

Columbia University Seminar on Shakespeare, Associate Member

Degrees & Certifications

PhD, Boston University, 2013

MA, Boston University, 2006

MST, Fordham University, 2004

BA, Yale University, 2002