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Matthew J. Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of English
Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2055
My research interests are in Renaissance literature and drama, with a concentration on performativity, belief, and performance environment. I have published on Shakespeare and ceremony in Henry V, the performance of confession in Hamlet, the intersection of economics and virtue in the plays of dramatist Philip Massinger, on poets Phineas Fletcher and Richard Corbett, and on early modern ballads. I am finishing a book manuscript: Stage, Cathedral, Wagon, Street: The Grounds of Belief in Renaissance Performance. I am also beginning a project on the political dimensions of Shakespeare adaptations in modern ballet, and another project that asks what the platonic notion of “free” (unfettered, rational, poetic) speech has to do with “free” speech as it exists in early modern political thought (parrhesia, licentia).


Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2012
M.A., University of Connecticut, 2008


  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • English


  • Drama
  • Historical Phenomenology
  • History of Early Modern Performance
  • Religion
  • Religion and Literature
  • Renaissance literature

Courses Taught

ENGL 110 – Freshman Writing Seminar
ENGL 111 – Introduction to Literature
ENGL 222 – English Literature Survey to 1789
ENGL 377 – Shakespeare

Office Hours

T & TH: 8:05-9:30 OR 11:25-12:50

Office Location

Ronald Building, Room 150, East Campus

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