Debapriya Sarkar

Assistant Professor



Debapriya Sarkar is Assistant Professor of English and Maritime Studies at the University of Connecticut. She researches and teaches at the intersections of early modern literature, literature/science studies, ecocriticism, premodern critical race studies, maritime studies, women’s writing, and postcolonial theory. She is the author of Possible Knowledge: The Literary Forms of Early Modern Science (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023). This project has been supported by fellowships from the Huntington Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. An earlier version of the project received the J. Leeds Barroll Dissertation Prize from the Shakespeare Association of America. She is currently working on a book about the “expendable forms” that pervade early modern literature, and is developing (with Hillary Eklund), an interdisciplinary public humanities project that explores issues of environmental and racial justice in early modernity.



Possible Knowledge: The Literary Forms of Early Modern Science (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023; published in cooperation with the Folger Shakespeare Library). 


Edited Special Issue

“Imagining Early Modern Scientific Forms” (co-edited with Jenny C. Mann). Special issue of Philological Quarterly 98.1-2 (Winter and Spring 2019).


Journal Articles

“Becoming Undisciplined: On Pathways to Environmental and Racial Justice in Early Modern Studies.” Co-written with Hillary Eklund, Jennifer Park, and Ayanna Thompson (forthcoming in PMLA).

“now I die eternally”: Doctor Faustus and the Problem of Scale.” Forthcoming in SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, 62.1 (Special Issue on “World, Globe, Planet.” Eds. Joseph Campana and Ayesha Ramachandran).

“The Utopian Hypothesis.” English Literary Renaissance, 52.3 (August 2022), 371-384 (Special issue on “Theorizing Fiction in the Early Modern Period.” Eds. Jennifer Waldron and Wendy Beth Hyman).

“Shakespeare and the Social History of Truth” Forum on “Literature and Science.” Shakespeare Studies 49 (October 2021), 94-106.

“Introduction: Capturing Proteus.” Co-written with Jenny C. Mann. “Imagining Early Modern Scientific Forms.” Special issue of Philological Quarterly 98.1-2 (Winter and Spring 2019), 1-22.

“Dilated Materiality and Formal Restraint in The Faerie Queene.Spenser Studies 31 (February 2018), 137-166.

The Tempest’s Other Plots.” Shakespeare Studies 45 (October 2017), 203-230.

“‘Sad Experiment’ in Paradise Lost: Epic Knowledge and Evental Poetics.” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval & Renaissance Studies 26.4 (Winter 2014), 368-388. [Recipient of the Schachterle Essay Prize, from the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts, 2015].


Book Chapters

“Project.” Logomotives: Words that Change the Premodern World. Eds. Marjorie Rubright and Stephen Speiss (volume under contract). 3500 words.

“Naturalizing Race and Racialized Geographies: Shakespeare, Race, Ecocriticism, and Postcolonial Studies.” The Oxford Handbook on Shakespeare and Race. Ed. Patricia Akhimie (forthcoming).

“Islands and Shores: Early Modern Islomania.” A Cultural History of the Sea in the Early Modern Age. Ed. Steve Mentz. (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, April 2021), 135-156.

“Literary Justice: The Participatory Ethics of Early Modern Possible Worlds.” Teaching Social Justice Through Shakespeare: Why Renaissance Literature Matters Now. Eds. Hillary Eklund and Wendy Beth Hyman (Edinburgh University Press, October 2019), 174-184.

“Imagining Early Modern Wish-Lists and their Environs.” Object-Oriented Environs. Eds. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Julian Yates (New York: Punctum Books, February 2016), 123-133.

“‘To crown my thoughts with acts’: Prophecy and Prescription in Macbeth.Macbeth: The State of Play, Arden Shakespeare. Ed. Ann Thompson (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, April 2014), 83-106.


Book Reviews

Review of Suparna Roychoudhury, Phantasmatic Shakespeare: Imagination in the Age of Early Modern Science (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018). Shakespeare Studies 48 (October 2020), 282-287.


Encyclopedia Entries

“Race and Ecocriticism.” “Racialization in the Early Modern Period.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation. Ed. Carol Mejia-LaPerle. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.


Public Scholarship


Ecocriticism and the Geographies of Race.” The Sundial. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. March 2021.

Utopian.” Colloquy on “Critical Semantics: New Transnational Keywords.” Curator Anston Bosman. Arcade: Literature, the Humanities, & the World, Stanford University, January 2019.


Interviews and Podcasts

Possible Knowledge: The Literary Forms of Early Modern Science.” Interview with John Yargo, New Books Network (September 2023). < >

Early Modern Fictions of Science.” Interview by Whitney Sperrazza. The Sundial. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (September 2023).

Interview and excerpt, Possible Knowledge: The Literary Forms of Early Modern Science, The Collation, Folger Shakespeare Library (July 2023).

Knowledge, Science, Experimentation in Paradise Lost,” Promiscuous Listening: A John Milton Podcast, interview with Marissa Greenberg (October 2021).

Debapriya Sarkar
Contact Information
CV Debapriya Sarkar
Mailing AddressUniversity of Connecticut
Department of English
Avery Point Campus
1084 Shennecossett Road
Groton, CT 06340
CampusAvery Point
Office HoursEmail for availability