Susan Harlan

Dr. Susan Harlan

Associate Professor


My scholarship centers on militarism, materiality, and masculinity in early modern England. My book Memories of War in Early Modern England was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016, and I have written a number of articles and book chapters about objects in Shakespeare’s plays. I also write non-academically. My essays have appeared in The Guardian US, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, Roads & Kingdoms, The Common, The Brooklyn Quarterly, The Morning News, Curbed, Atlas Obscura, Public Books, and Nowhere, and my book Luggage was published in the Bloomsbury series Object Lessons in March 2018. My humor writing has appeared in venues including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Awl, The Billfold, Avidly, Queen Mob’s Tea House, The Hairpin, The Belladonna, Janice, and The Establishment, and I was a finalist judge for the Royal Nonesuch Humor Writing Contest in 2018, with Michael Ian Black, Hank Herman, and Julie Schumacher. My satirical book Decorating a Room of One’s Own was published by Abrams and was selected as a best book of 2018 by BuzzFeed and Curbed. I teach literature courses and creative nonfiction.






PhD New York University

MA New York University

MA King’s College London

BA Columbia University

Areas of Interest


English Renaissance literature


Material culture



Reception of antiquity


Courses Taught at Wake Forest


CRW 287 Creative Nonfiction

WRI 111 A Material World: Clothing and Culture

ENG 150 What Is a Soldier?

ENG 150 Exit Stage Left: Writing Death and Dying in Early Modern England

ENG 165 The Hero With a Thousand Faces

ENG 165 British Literature and War

ENG 265 Introduction to the Major

ENG 323 Shakespeare

ENG 326 Early Modern English Comedy

ENG 300 Christopher Marlowe

ENG 720 Theaters of War: Militarism in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries

English 786 Nation and Empire in Early Modern English Drama (independent study)

Selected Publications




Object Lessons: Luggage (Bloomsbury, 2018)



Decorating a Room of One’s Own: Conversations on Interior Design with Miss Havisham, Jane Eyre, Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Bennet, Ishmael, and Other Literary Notables (Abrams, 2018)



Memories of War in Early Modern England: Armor and Militant Nostalgia in Marlowe, Sidney, and Shakespeare (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)



“The Armored Body as Trophy: The Problem of the Roman Subject in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus,” ARCADE: Literature, the Humanities, & the World: Thing Theory, Stanford University, March 2018

“‘Returned from the Wars’: Comedy and Masculine Post-War Character in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing,” Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies, June 2013

“‘Certain condolements, certain vails’: Staging Rusty Armor in Shakespeare’s Pericles,” Early Theatre, vol. 11.2, December 2008

“‘Talking’ and Reading Shakespeare: King Henry VIII and the Performance of Self in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park,” The Wordsworth Circle, vol. 39.1-2, Winter/Spring 2008



“Illyria’s Memorials: Space, Memory, and Genre in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night,” in Memory, Comedy and Skepticism, ed. Lina Perkins Wilder and Andrew Hiscock (Routledge, 2017)

“Militant Prologues, Memory, and Models of Masculinity in Shakespeare’s Henry V and Troilus and Cressida,” in Violent Masculinities: Male Aggression in Early Modern Textsed. Jennifer Feather and Catherine Thomas (Palgrave, November 2013)



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