Department of English

University of Toronto

Harvey, Elizabeth D.

Elizabeth HarveyElizabeth D. Harvey
Professor of English; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor, University of Toronto St. George 
Office Phone: 416-946-0276
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 907
Mailing Address: Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 613
Office Hours and/or Leave Status: TBA
Faculty Bookshelf

Teaching and Research Interests:
Early modern literature, early modern study of the emotions and senses, history of medicine; Shakespeare, Donne, Spenser; literary theory, psychoanalytic theory, Anne Carson.

B.A. (Smith College), M.A., Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University)

Professor Elizabeth Harvey specializes in the early modern literature, the early modern reception of classical literature; the history of medicine and the medical humanities; gender studies, literary theory, and psychoanalytic theory.

Her work has been generously supported by grants, fellowships, and awards that include (most recently) various SSHRC research grants, a long-term Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library, a residential fellowship at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, a Jackman Humanities Institute residential Faculty Fellowship, and a Northrop Frye Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research. She is also a psychoanalyst in private practice.

She is currently completing two academic books. One is a co-authored book (with Timothy Harrison, University of Chicago), entitled John Donne’s Physics. The study investigates how Donne’s autobiographical account of his near fatal illness in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions supplies through its difficult, knotty language a portrait of the author’s emotional, spiritual, and intellectual confrontation with seventeenth-century developments in science and medicine. John Donne’s Physics examines how thought is interlaced with affect through Donne’s highly self-reflexive experiments with language and figuration and how his apostrophes to God illuminate Donne’s mind in its encounter with the epistemological tumult of his historical moment. The second project is a book on Anne Carson, called Mourning Time. The book explores negative poetics, anachronism, and psychoanalytic thought in order to elaborate Carson’s theories about poetry, translation, grief, classical literature, and consciousness.


Luce Irigaray and Premodern Culture: Thresholds of History, Ed. Elizabeth D. Harvey and Theresa Krier, Routledge, 2004.

Sensible Flesh: On Touch in Early Modern Culture, Ed. Elizabeth D. Harvey, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.

Ventriloquized Voices: Feminist Theory and Renaissance Texts, (Routledge, 1992);

Women and Reason (co-edited with Kathleen Okruhlik), University of Michigan Press, 1992;

Soliciting Interpretation: Literary Theory and Seventeenth-Century English Poetry (co-edited with Katharine Eisaman Maus), University of Chicago Press, 1990;

Articles (recent)
“Shades” in Anne Carson and Antiquity, ed. Laura Jansen, Bloomsbury, 2021:105-118.

“Medicine and the Emotions” in Shakespeare and Emotion, ed. Katharine A. Craik, Cambridge University Press, 2020: 34-48.

“Speaking (of) Faces” in The Geography of Embodiment in Early Modern England, ed. Mary Floyd-Wilson and Garrett A. Sullivan, Jr., Oxford University Press, 2020: 197-223.

“‘Straunge Characters’ and Early Modern Psyches: Spenser’s Busirane and Donne’s ‘Valediction of my name, in the window’” in Spenser and Donne: Thinking Poets, ed. Yulia Ryhzik, Manchester University Press, 2019: 157-170.

“Affect, Perfume, and Early Modern Sensory Boundaries,” Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities 5. 3, Common Senses and Critical Sensibilities (Fall 2018): 31-50.

“Winged Desire: The Erotics of Ensoulment,” in Eros, Family, and Community, ed. Yoav Rinon, Olms Weidmann Verlag, 2016: 67-84.

“Exploring the Poetics of Phrenology in Daniel Scott Tysdal’s ‘Assemble Like So’,” Ars Medica 10.2. (2015): 110-122.

“Tongues of Glaciers: Sedimenting Language in Roni Horn’s Vatnasafn/Library of Water and Anne Carson’s “Wildly Constant” (co-author Mark A. Cheetham), Word and Image 31.1, 2015: 1-9.

“Passionate Spirits: Animism and Embodiment in Cymbeline and The Tempest,” in A Handbook of Shakespeare and Embodiment: Gender, Sexuality, Race, ed. Valerie Traub, Oxford University Press (2016): 369-384.

Forum: “Manimals: Early Modern Animal/Human Interfaces,” co-edited with Susan Zimmerman, Shakespeare Studies XLI (2013): 19-124.“Introduction,” co-author Susan Zimmerman, Shakespeare Studies XLI (2013): 19-28.

“Introduction,” co-author Susan Zimmerman, Shakespeare Studies XLI (2013): 19-28.

“Beastly Physic,” Shakespeare Studies XLI (2013): 114-24.

“Embodied Resonances: Magnetism and Analogy in Donne’s Anniversaries” co-author Timothy Harrison, ELH, 80.4 (Winter 2013): 981-1008.

“Spenser and Psychoanalytical Criticism,” Handbook of Spenser Studies, ed. Richard A. McCabe, Oxford University Press, 2010: 775-91.

“The Portal of Touch,” American Historical Review, 116.2 (April, 2011): 385-400.

Samson Agonistes and Milton’s Sensible Ethics” in The Oxford Handbook of Milton, ed. Nicholas McDowell and Nigel Smith, Oxford University Press, 2009: 649-66.

Site Information:

Site Tools:

Click below for directions to the University of Toronto!

University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Map of St. George Campus
Map of Mississauga Campus
Map of Scarborough Campus

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.