Marissa Nicosia

Assistant Professor of Renaissance Literature, English
Office Phone: 215-881-7556
Office Location: Sutherland, 301

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Book Manuscript

“A History, Couch’d in a Play”: Historical Futures in Seventeenth-Century Drama

This project examines seventeenth-century historical drama to argue that playwrights often represented the future as if it were already past to translate their political aspirations into compelling fact. By revealing the lively and varied “historical futures” forged in English history plays, this project counters narratives of the genre’s decline.

Peer Reviewed Articles and Chapters

“Reading Spenser in 1648: Prophecy and History in Samuel Sheppard’s Faerie Leveller.” Modern Philology 114,2 (November 2016): 286-309.

“The Two Noble Kinsmen.” In The definitive Shakespeare companion: overviews, documents, and analysis, ed. Joseph Rosenblum (Santa Barbara: Greenwood, 2017), 1539-73. Expanded original contribution by Yashdip S. Bains.

“Milton’s Banana: Paradise Lost and Colonial Botany.” Milton Studies, 58 (September 2017): 49-66.

“Printing as Revival: Making Playbooks in the 1650s.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 111,4 (December 2017): 469-489. DOI:

“Couplets, commonplaces and the creation of history in The Famous Tragedie of King Charles I (1649) and Cromwell’s Conspiracy (1660).” From Republic to Restoration: Legacies and Departures, ed. Janet Clare (Manchester University Press, in press).

“‘To plant me in mine own inheritance’: Pretenders and Prolepsis in John Ford’s Perkin Warbeck.” Studies in Philology, in press.

“Hannah Woolley in Manuscript: Cooking in UPenn MS Codex 785.” After Print, ed. Rachael S. King, accepted.

“Wasting Time in The Committee-man Curried.” postmedieval, Special Issue on “Prophetic Futures,” eds. Joseph Bowling and Katherine Walker, under review.

Book Reviews

Review of Rachel Willie, Staging the Revolution: Drama, reinvention and history, 1647-72. Philological Quarterly, 96, 1 (Winter 2017): 134-7.

Review of Wendy Wall, Recipes for Thought: Knowledge and Taste in the Early Modern English Kitchen. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 110,4 (December 2016): 494-497.

Review of Christopher Pye, The Storm at Sea: Political Aesthetics in the Time of Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Newsletter, 66:1, no. 297 (Spring 2016): 54.

Review of Ann Baynes Coiro and Thomas Fulton, Rethinking Historicism From Shakespeare to Milton. The Shakespeare Newsletter 63:3, no. 291 (Spring 2014): 99-100.

Public Writing

“Early Modern Euro-Indigenous Culinary Connections: Chocolate,” with John Kuhn, The Recipes Project, March 2017.

“Cooking Almond Jumballs at the Folger Shakespeare Library,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, July 2016.

“Chacolet,” with Alyssa Connell, The Collation: Research and Exploration at the Folger, January 2016.

“The Exotic Taste of Rice,” with Alyssa Connell, The Recipes Project, November 2015.

“Cooking in the Archives: Bringing Early Modern Manuscript Recipes into a Twenty-First-Century Kitchen,” with Alyssa Connell, Archive Journal: Notes + Queries, July 2015.

“Lobsters in the Archive,” The Appendix Blog, December 2014.

“To make maccarons of valentia Almonds,” with Alyssa Connell, ABOPublic: An Interactive Forum for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830, December 2014.

“Monstrous News: the futures of the Mistris Parliament plays,” The Appendix: a new journal of narrative & experimental history, July 2014.

“Cheap and Common,” with Adam G. Hooks, Unique at Penn, June 2013.

Public History Project

Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen

Created with Alyssa Connell and launched June 2014, Cooking in the Archives is a public history digital humanities project that curates transcribed and updated recipes from early modern English household manuscripts for an audience including food historians, students researching early modern culture, culinary enthusiasts, and the general public. Our work has been featured in the Washington Post, HuffPost: Taste,, and on Talk of Iowa (NPR). @rare_cooking

Edited Collection

Making Milton: Writing, Publication, Reception. eds. Emma Depledge, John Garrison, Marissa Nicosia. Under contract with Oxford University Press. Rather than accept the Romantic image of Milton the solitary genius, the essays in this collection instead argue that Milton’s authorial persona needs to be understood in the context of the multifarious, mutually beneficial relationships he enjoyed with contemporary writers, stationers and early readers.

Teaching interests and courses taught

Early modern English literature; Shakespeare; Milton; book history and media studies; early modern political history and philosophy; utopian and dystopian literature; digital humanities; public history; food studies.

ENGL 129: Shakespeare

ENGL 200: Introduction to Critical Reading

ENGL 202B: Writing in the Humanities

ENGL 221(W): British Literature to 1798

ENGL 440: Studies in Shakespeare

ENGL 443: Introduction to the English Renaissance - Premodern Worlds

ENGL 445: Shakespeare’s Contemporaries

ENGL 487 (W): Senior Seminar

Selected awards, grants, patents, other honors

Panzer New Scholar Award, Bibliographical Society of America, 2017.

Folger Shakespeare Library Short-Term Research Fellowship, Folger Shakespeare Library, 2015-2016.

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Critical Bibliography, Rare Book School, University of

Virginia, 2013-2015.

GAPSA-Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation, University of Pennsylvania,

supported Cooking in the Archives project, 2014.

Teaching and Research Fellowship, Department of English and College of Liberal and

Professional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2013-2014.

Fellowship for Graduate Study, Alumnae Association of Barnard College, 2012-2013.

Teaching Certificate, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Pennsylvania, 2012.

The George Welwood Murray Graduate Fellowship, Barnard College, 2008-2009.

Phi Beta Kappa, Barnard College, 2007.