Dyani Johns Taff

Lecturer, Department of English
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences

Specialty:Renaissance English Literature; Composition Teaching
Office:307 Muller Center
Ithaca, NY 14850

Dyani Johns Taff is currently working on a book manuscript titled "Navigating Ships of State: Gender, Authority, and the Maritime Environment in Early Modern English Literature" which argues that ship of state metaphors from a broad set of early modern texts constitute a crucial but understudied thread in the history of nature/culture and human/nonhuman binaries and that they provide insight into the role that gender and political ideologies have played in writers' contentious definitions of the human relationship to the surrounding world. Her research and teaching interests include environmental humanities, gender studies, translation theory, religious conversion, figures of ships and shipwrecks, early modern British, Spanish, and Atlantic literature, biblical re/interpretations, and narratives of transformation and creation. 

Visit her website here.


Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Literature: Piracy (fall 2017)
  • Insight: Climate Changing (fall 2017); with Nancy Jacobson (Biology)
  • Shakespeare (spring 2017)
  • Academic Writing I (fall/spring 2015-2016)



  • University of California, Davis, MA (2010) and PhD (2015)
  • Skidmore College, BA (2007)



  • “Precarious Travail, Gender, and Narration in Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World.Early Modern Women and Travel. Eds. Bernadette Andrea and Patricia Akhimie. University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming.
  • “Time, Gender, and Nonhuman Worlds.” (with Emily Kuffner and Elizabeth Cracciolo) Gendered Temporalities and the Early Modern World. Ed. Merry Weisner-Hanks. Amsterdam University Press Gendering the Late Medieval and Early Modern World Series, forthcoming.
  • “A Shipwreck of Faith: Hazardous Voyages and Contested Representations in Milton’s Samson Agonistes.” Storms on Islands: Shipwreck and Island Motifs in Literature and the Arts. Eds. Brigitte Le Juez and Olga Springer. Boston: Brill/Rodopi, 2015. 151-170.
    • Journal Articles in review:
    • “Gendered Circulation and the Marital Ship of State in Jonson’s The Staple of News.”
    • “‘[L]ove that oughte ben secree’: Genre and Secrecy in Troilus and Criseyde.” 


Selected Awards:

  • Shakespeare Association of America Travel Grant, 2015.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award, UC Davis Graduate Studies, 2014.
  • Research-Teaching Fellowship, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation UC Davis Initiative in Early Modern Studies, 2014.
  • Dissertation Fellowship, UC Davis Department of English, Summers 2013 and 2014.
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