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Melissa E. Sanchez

Associate Professor of English

Curriculum Vitae
Fisher-Bennett Hall 220

Office Hours

On leave 2016-17

Melissa E. Sanchez received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. Her research and teaching focus on feminism, queer theory, and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, and she is Core Faculty in Penn's Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program. 

Professor Sanchez's first book, Erotic Subjects: The Sexuality of Politics in Early Modern English Literature, examines how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers used scenarios of erotic violence and cross-gender identification to explore the origins and limits of political allegiance (Oxford University Press, 2011). She is currently writing a book, "The Ethics of Promiscuity: Queer Theology in Renaissance Love Lyrics," which recovers a genealogy that puts a Christian conviction of human faithlessness at the center of a Western discourse of erotic love.

In addition to these monographs, Professor Sanchez has edited three volumes of essays. With Ayesha Ramachandran she co-edited a special issue of Spenser Studies on "Spenser and 'the Human,'" which brings together sixteen essays and five response papers that examine Spenser's complex relationship to the category of "the human" and which thereby both draw on and contribute to current discussions in humanism, posthumanism, animal studies, and environmental studies (2016; With Ania Loomba she co-edited Rethinking Feminism in Early Modern Studies: Gender, Race, and Sexuality, a volume of fourteen essays on the current state of feminist studies of the early modern period (Routledge, 2016; And with Ari Friedlander and Will Stockton she co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies (JEMCS) entitled "Desiring History and Historicizing Desire," a collection of six essays discussing the relations between queer and historicist methods of reading (2016;

Future projects include a short book entitled Shakespeare and Queer Theory (under contract with Bloomsbury: Arden Shakespeare and Theory Series) and essays on Ovid and Sappho; race in early modern women's writing; and queer theology.



Doctoral Dissertations Chaired


Emily C. Gerstell "Trafficking Women: Interest, Desire, and Early Modern English Drama"
Marissa Nicosia "Historical Futures in Seventeenth-Century Literature"