Department of English

University of Toronto

Larson, Katherine R.

Katherine R. Larson Katherine Larson
Professor of English; Vice-Dean Teaching, Learning, and Undergraduate Programs; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor, University of Toronto Scarborough
Office Phone: 416-287-7169
UTSC Office Location: University of Toronto Scarborough, Room HW322
UTSG Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St. George Street, Room 626 
Faculty Bookshelf

Teaching and Research Interests: Early Modern Literature, Renaissance Literature

B.A., B.Mus. (St. Olaf); M.Phil., M.St. (Oxford); Ph.D. (Toronto)

Katherine Larson’s research and teaching centre on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature and culture, with particular interests in early modern women’s writing, gender and language, rhetoric and embodiment, and music (especially opera and song). Her first monograph, Early Modern Women in Conversation (Palgrave, 2011; pbk. 2015), considers how gender shaped conversational interaction in England between 1590 and 1660. She has also co-edited two essay collections, Re-Reading Mary Wroth (Palgrave, 2015) and Gender and Song in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2014; rpt. Routledge, 2016), as well as special issues of Renaissance and Reformation and the University of Toronto Quarterly. Katherine’s articles have examined topics ranging from early modern games to the songs pervading Moulin Rouge. Her most recent book, The Matter of Song in Early Modern England: Texts in and of the Air (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019) situates song as a multi-dimensional form that demands to be considered in embodied, gendered, and performance-based terms; it also features a companion recording. She is currently collaborating with Scott Trudell (University of Maryland) and Sarah Williams (University of South Carolina) on the development of Early Modern Songscapes, an intermedia project that aims more fully to animate song’s least tangible, yet essential facets: its generic fluidity; its ability to register multiple meanings and permeate boundaries in unexpected ways; and its rootedness in the air.

Katherine’s work has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Connaught Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Bodleian Library, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Jackman Humanities Institute. A Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, she is also the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2008 John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature and a Rhodes Scholarship.


Faculty Bookshelf

Re-Reading Mary Wroth (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Co-edited with Naomi J. Miller. 

Gender and Song in Early Modern England (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014; rpt. London: Routledge, 2016). Co-edited with Leslie C. Dunn.

Honourable Mention for Best Collaborative Project of 2014, Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.

Early Modern Women in Conversation (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; pbk. 2015).

Journal Articles
“Playing at Penshurst: The Songs and Musical Games of Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory,” Sidney Journal 34.1 (2016): 93-106.v
“Recent Studies of Mary Wroth,”English Literary Renaissance 44.2 (Spring 2014): 328-59.

“‘Blest pair of Sirens…Voice and Verse’: Milton’s Rhetoric of Song,”Milton Studies 54 (2013), 81-106.

Death in Venice and Beyond: Benjamin Britten’s Late Works,” University of Toronto Quarterly 81.4 (Fall 2012): 893-908. Co-authored with Kimberly F. Canton, Amelia DeFalco, Linda Hutcheon, Michael Hutcheon, and Helmut Reichenbächer.

“‘A local habitation and a name’: Britten Adapts Shakespeare,” University of Toronto Quarterly 79.3 (Summer 2010): 899-921. Co-authored with Lawrence Wiliford.

“Conversational Games and the Articulation of Desire in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost and Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory,” English Literary Renaissance 40.2 (Spring 2010): 165-90.

“Silly Love Songs: The Impact of Puccini’s La Bohème on the Intertextual Strategies of Moulin Rouge!,” The Journal of Popular Culture 42.6 (December 2009): 1040-52. 

“Politics, Creativity, and the Aging Artist: Narrativising Richard Strauss’s Last Years,” Life Writing 6.2 (August 2009): 211-27. Co-authored with Kimberly F. Canton, Amelia DeFalco, and Helmut Reichenbächer.

“Reading the Space of the Closet in Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum,” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 2 (2007): 73-93.

“From Inward Conversation to Public Praise: Mary Sidney Herbert’s Psalmes,” Sidney Journal 24.1 (2006): 21-43.

“Resistance from the Margins in George Elliott Clarke’s Beatrice Chancy,” Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review 189 (Summer 2006): 103-18. 

Chapters in Books 
“‘Locks, bolts, bars, and barricados’: Song Performance and Spatial Production in Richard Brome’s The Northern Lass,” Beyond Boundaries: Rethinking Music Circulation in Early Modern England, ed. Linda Austern, Candace Bailey, and Amanda Eubanks Winkler (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017), 79-93.

“The Sidneys and Music,” The Ashgate Research Companion to the Sidneys, 1500-1700, vol. 1, ed. Margaret P. Hannay, Michael G. Brennan, and Mary Ellen Lamb (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015; rpt. London: Routledge, 2016), 317-27.

“Voicing Lyric: The Songs of Mary Wroth,” Re-Reading Mary Wroth, ed. Katherine R. Larson and Naomi Miller, with Andrew Strycharski (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 119-36.

“A Poetics of Song,” The Work of Form: Poetics and Materiality in Early Modern Culture, ed. Ben Burton and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 104-22.
“Margaret Cavendish’s Civilizing Songs,” The Public Intellectual and the Culture of Hope, ed. Jason Haslam and Joel Faflak (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), 109-34.

“‘Certein childeplayes remembred by the fayre ladies’: Girls and Their Games,” Gender and Early Modern Constructions of Childhood, ed. Naomi Miller and Naomi Yavneh (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), 67-87. 

Journal Issues
Operatics: The Interdisciplinary Workings of Opera, special issue of the University of Toronto Quarterly 81.4 (Fall 2012). Co-edited and introduction co-authored with Sherry D. Lee, Caryl Clark, and Linda Hutcheon. 

Gendering Time and Space in Early Modern England, special issue of Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme 35.1 (Winter 2012). Co-edited and introduction co-authored with Alysia Kolentsis. 

The Song Is You: Opera, Lyrics, and Literary Studies, special issue of the University of Toronto Quarterly 79.3 (Summer 2010). Co-edited with Andrew DuBois.

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