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Jame Bednarz

James P. Bednarz

Professor of English

B.A., Columbia UniversityM.A., M.Phil, Ph.D., Columbia University


James P. Bednarz, professor of English, has received three of the highest honors that Long Island University bestows upon faculty members: the Trustees’ Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the Abraham Krasnoff Memorial Award for Excellence in Scholarship, and the David Newton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Born in New York City, where he currently lives, Professor Bednarz received a B.A. (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Columbia College, before going on to receive an M.A. (with honors) and a Ph. D. (with distinction) from the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Early in his career, under the direction of Bernard Beckerman and Maurice Charney, he lectured in New York City for the Folger Library’s touring exhibition “Shakespeare, the Globe, and the World.” He has taught undergraduate and graduate classes on Shakespeare as well as medieval and Renaissance literature and drama at Columbia University. He has worked to improve the knowledge and skills of New York City high school teachers as an NEH Shakespeare Fellow with the Theater for a New Audience. He has received a series of fellowships from the Huntington Library (San Marino, California), and he has served as a member of the advisory committee on Shakespeare for PMLA (2009-2012). He has worked with the Shakespeare Society of New York and the Red Bull Theater as a consultant and commentator on their productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He has served as an advisory reader for several major university presses and specialized literary journals. Bednarz’s work focuses primarily on William Shakespeare and his contemporaries, especially Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, John Marston and John Donne. His study “Shakespeare and the Poets’ War” (Columbia University Press, 2001) was selected as an “International Book of the Year” by The Times Literary Supplement. There, Jonathan Bate praised it as a “state-of-the-art account of the pivotal ‘dialogic’ episode” in Shakespeare’s career, which “powerfully demonstrates how Ben Jonson’s arrival on the dramatic scene presented Shakespeare with his greatest challenge since the death of Marlowe.” Harold Bloom called it a book that “stands out from the onrush of current Shakespeare criticism as a rare instance of insight and love that makes a difference.” Patrick Cheney in Shakespeare Quarterly referred to it as the work of “a superb intertextual critic,” and W. B. Worthen in SEL noted its “imaginative and critical sophistication.” His latest book “Shakespeare and the Truth of Love” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) is an examination of the political, religious, and literary contexts that shaped Shakespeare's perspective as a dramatist and poet at the height of his career in 1601. F. W. Brownlow in Renaissance Quarterly calls it “a thoroughly researched, continually interesting, helpful study.” "Shakespeare and the Truth Love," Hazel Wilkinson writes in her TLS review, "renders a great poem more intriguing and provocative than ever.” “Once in a very long while you come across a book that utterly transforms your understanding of Shakespeare,” writes James Shapiro, author of 1599 and Contested Will.  “This is one of those books.”


Shakespeare and the English Renaissance, Literary Criticism and Theory


  • Author, “Shakespeare and the Truth of Love: The Mystery of ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’”
  • Author, “Shakespeare and the Poets' War”
  • Author. “English Poetry” in “Renaissance and Reformation,” Oxford University Press Online Bibliographies.
  • Author. “Contextualizing ‘The Phoenix and Turtle’: Shakespeare, Edward Blount and the Poetical Essays Group of Love’s Martyr,” published in Shakespeare Survey
  • Author, “Dekker’s Response to the Chorus of ‘Henry V’ in 1599,” published in Notes and Queries
  • Author, “Middleton: the Shadow of Shakespeare,” published in “Thomas Middleton in Context”
  • Author, “John Marston’s Induction to ‘What You Will’: A Re-Examination,” published in The Ben Jonson Journal
  • Author, “Was ‘Volpone’ Acted at Cambridge in 1606?” published in The Ben Jonson Journal
  • Author, “‘Volpone’ in Performance and Print (1606-1607)” in “Volpone, A Critical Guide”
  • Author, “Canonizing Shakespeare: ‘The Passionate Pilgrim,’ ‘England’s Helicon’ and the Question of Authenticity,” published in Shakespeare Survey
  • Author, “The Passionate Pilgrim” and “The Phoenix and Turtle,” published in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s Poetry
  • Author, “When did Shakespeare Write the Choruses of ‘Henry V’?” published in Notes and Queries
  • Author, “Biographical Politics: Shakespeare, Jonson, and the Oldcastle Controversy,” published in The Ben Jonson Journal
  • Author, “Marlowe and the English Literary Scene,” published in “The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe”
  • Author, “Between Collaboration and Rivalry: Dekker and Marston’s Coactive Drama” published in The Ben Jonson Journal
  • Author, “Writing and Revenge: John Marston’s ‘Histriomastix’” published in Comparative Drama
  • Author, “The Promised End: Shakespeare on Time,” published in Confrontation
  • Author, “Hamlet and the Discourse of Secrecy,” published in Ventures in Research
  • Author, “William Kemp,” published in “Fools and Jesters in Literature, Art, and History”
  • Author, “John Marston,” published in “Sixteenth-Century British Non-Dramatic Writers”
  • Author, “The Collaborator as Thief: Ralegh’s (Re)Vision of ‘The Faerie Queene,’” published in ELH: English Literary History
  • Author, “Marston's Subversion of Shakespeare and Jonson: ‘Histriomastix’ and the War of the Theaters,” published in “Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England”
  • Author, “Shakespeare's Purge of Jonson: The Literary Context of Troilus and Cressida,” published in Shakespeare Studies
  • Author, “Deconstruction and It Discontents,” published in The Open Forum
  • Author, “Representing Jonson: Histriomastix and the Origin of the Poets' War,” published in The Huntington Library Quarterly
  • Editor, “Shakespeare” and “Elizabethan and Jacobean Literature,” published in “The Critical Temper”
  • Author, “The Dual Vision of Paul Klee's Symbolic Language,” published in “Passion and Rebellion: The Expressionist Heritage”
  • Author, “Robert Armin, Shakespeare's Wise Fool,” published in PLA Report
  • Author, “‘King Lear’ and the ‘Offices of Nature,’” published in Ventures in Research
  • Author, “Thomas Dekker” and “John Lyly,” published in “The Research Guide to World Drama”
  • Author, “Thomas Lodge,” “John Skelton” and “Edmund Spenser,” published in “The Research Guide to Biography and Criticism”
  • Author, “Edmund Spenser, The English Undertaker,” published in An Gael
  • Author, “Imitations of Spenser in ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream,’” published in Renaissance Drama
  • Author, “Ralegh in Spenser's Historical Allegory,” in published in Spenser Studies