Dan Breen

Dan Breen

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of English
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Classical Studies
Faculty, Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Specialty:Late Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Phone:(607) 274-1014
Office:302 Muller Center
Ithaca, NY 14850

Ph.D. Duke University (2006)

M.A. Yale University (1999)

B.A. University of Connecticut (1998)

Dan Breen studies late medieval and early modern writing and is particularly interested in the literature and historiography of the English Reformations; church history in England and in Western Europe between 1400 and 1700; Shakespeare; and the medieval chronicle.  He joined the English Department at Ithaca College in 2005, and teaches surveys of Shakespeare and of English Renaissance literature, as well as genre courses on poetry and drama.  Dan is the organizer of the Ithaca College Medieval and Renaissance Studies Colloquium, an interdisciplinary faculty seminar that meets once a month to discuss and present research on the history, literature, and culture of the European Middle Ages and Renaissance.  Current projects include an article-length essay on Marlowe's Edward II and its poetic critique of humanist historiography, and another on John Skelton's early poem The Bowge of Court.

Dan is also working on a book manuscript entitled "Making the Past: History, Historians, and Literature in Tudor England."  The argument aims to offer an account of the gradually evolving relationship between history writing and poetry over the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and to suggest that the term “historian” begins to develop coherence as a discrete authorial identity in part because of the ways in which writers of histories are constructed and represented in poetic and “fictional” texts.  In discussions of Skelton, More, Bale, and Sidney, “Making the Past” asserts that literature and historiography played active parts in shaping Tudor political and confessional conflicts, and that these conflicts in turn helped shape the ways in which poets and historians understood their work.


For full syllabi, please see the "Documents" link above.

Fall 2016:  ENGL 311 Dramatic Literature I:  The Comic and the Tragic; ENGL 480 The Life and Death (and Rebirth?) of the Author

Spring 2016:  ENGL 311 Dramatic Literature I: The Comic and the Tragic

Fall 2015: ENGL 311 Dramatic Literature I: The Comic and the Tragic

Selected Publications:

“The Resurrected Corpus: History and Reform in Bale’s Kynge Johan.”  In Renaissance Retrospections: Tudor Views of the Middle Ages, ed. Sarah Kelen.  Kalamazoo (MI): Medieval Institute Publications, 2013, 16-36.

"Thomas More's History of Richard III:  Genre, Humanism, and Moral Education." Studies in Philology 107 (2010): 465-92.

"Laureation and Identity: Rewriting Literary History in John Skelton's Garland of Laurel." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 40 (2010): 347-71.

Survey Article, "Literary Criticism and the Experience of Religious Belief in Sixteenth-Century England."  Sixteenth Century Journal 40.1 (2009): 236-8.

Internet Resources:

Literature Compass: http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/literature/

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