Office: Morrill 209C
Phone: (701) 231-7152
I joined the NDSU English department as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2008. Having earned my Ph.D. in English at Washington State University in 2006, I first served as a Post-doc at WSU and then as a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Both my B.A. and M.A. in English were completed at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I’m glad to be back in the neighborhood.
While my training is primarily in 16th-/17th-century British literature (with an emphasis on drama, pamphlet literature, and Metaphysical poetry), New Historicism, and historiography, I also very much enjoy teaching biblical literature and mythology, folklore traditions and the fairy tale, and world literature and European literature in translation. Recent explorations have led me closer to film studies and the graphic novel. My critical focus lies with New Historicism and, more recently, New Formalism.
As a member of the English Department here at NDSU, I teach courses in Shakespeare and early modern literature on both the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as courses in literary theory and literature pedagogy. Most regularly, I offer “English 380: Shakespeare” and “English 271: Literary Analysis” on the Undergraduate level during the spring semester, “English 682: Renaissance Literature” every other fall for Graduate students. “English 766: Teaching Literature” is a new course that we’ve added to our curriculum; having primarily been taught in the summer up until now, it will be offered during the regular semester in the spring of 2014.
Teaching Schedule for Spring 2013
English 380: Shakespeare meets on T 3:30-6:00pm, SE 208
This course is designed as an “intensive study of selected works of Shakespeare.” Specifically, we will be looking at drama written by the Great Bard for the early modern stage, i.e. during the sixteenth and seventeenth century. While the focus will lie with Shakespeare’s tragedies, we will study a variety of dramatic genres, including comedies, histories, and problem plays. As you know, Shakespeare’s writing has left a mark on literary culture. Often painting an intriguing, authentic, and often highly critical picture of his own life and times, Shakespeare has created enduring pieces of literature that continue to be studied and performed today. Together we will explore early modern culture and illuminate the social, political, and religious concerns of this historical period. Because much of Shakespeare’s political agenda is hidden within the intricate syntax of his poetry, we will spend quite a bit of time this semester unraveling his poetic genius and analyzing his self-reflective portrayal of early modern culture.
English 271: Literary Analysis meets on TR 11:00am-12:15pm, Ag Bio 201
English 271, a core course and offered every semester, is an introductory course to traditional and contemporary approaches in the study of literature and the fundamental skills required for the analysis of literary texts. As such, this course is probably one of the most important and, perhaps, most challenging courses that you will take as an English major. Critical-theoretical approaches afford readers with the tools to approach a text comprehensively and methodically. By adopting a critical-theoretical approach, readers assume a certain perspective through which they might zoom in on specific aspects of a text more precisely.
Verena Theile is Assistant Professor of English at North Dakota State University where she teaches early modern British literature and critical theory. She is co-editor of Reclaiming Home, Remembering Motherhood, Redefining History: African American and Afro-Caribbean Women’s Literature in the Twentieth-Century (CSP, 2009), Staging the Superstitions of Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, forthcoming Feb. 2013), and New Formalisms and Literary Theory (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming Sept. 2014) and co-translator of early modern German quack texts in M. A. Katritzky’s Performance and Medicine in the Writings of Three Early Modern Physicians: The Brothers Felix and Thomas Platter and Hippolytus Guarinonius (Ashgate, 2012).
Her current book project, From the Pamphlet to the Playhouse: Superstitions in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, examines how superstitions were perceived, theorized, and dogmatized in early modern pamphlet literature and, then, subsequently, absorbed, stylized, and problematized by early modern playwrights such as Robert Greene, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare. Tracing the ways in which superstitions are formed and propagated historically within early modern culture, Theile analyzes how they are transformed once they have become part of a culture, and highlighting their passage from the pamphlet to the play, she argues that, through their fictional representations on the early modern stage, superstitions reflect but also reshape beliefs.
Verena Theile, Ph.D.
Department of English
NDSU Dept. 2320, P.O. Box 6050
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Phone: (701) 231-7152
Last Updated: May 15, 2013.