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Douglas Biow, Director MEZ 3.126, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-3470

Hannah C Wojciehowski

Professor Ph.D., 1984, Yale University

Associate Professor
Hannah C Wojciehowski


  • Phone: 512-471-8768
  • Office: PAR 230
  • Office Hours: Fall 2014 TTh 2:00 -3:30 and by appt.
  • Campus Mail Code: B5000


I am an early modernist and literary theorist who specializes in the history of subjectivity.  I completed my Ph.D. at my Ph.D. at Yale University in the interdisciplinary field of Renaissance Studies (1984).  I am currently Professor of English at the University of Texas and an Affiliate of the Program in Comparative Literature.

My research interests are multiple.  My 2011 book Group Identity in the Renaissance World explores the history of what I call ‘group subjectivity.”  Drawing on the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Anzieu, and the social network theory of Georg Simmel, this book analyzes the unconscious dynamics of group identity formation in a global context, offering a new paradigm for the study of pre-modernity.  This study of collective fantasies as the organizing ‘containers’ of groups has applications for other historical periods, as well.

Brueghel's Fall of Icarus


Currently I am working in the emergent field of neurocriticism, studying the phenomena of consciousness, memory, emotion, and cognition as they apply to literature and culture.  This interdisciplinary field holds great promise for advancing our shared understanding of the human mind and our social world, and the nature of creativity.  In 2010-2011, I collaborated with Italian neuroscientist Vittorio Gallese, one of the discoverers of Mirror Neurons in primate brains, to develop a theory of embodied simulation in literary narratives.  My interview with Gallese and our article “How Stories Make Us Feel” was published in California Italian Studies in 2011, and is available online, as well as this website.  We are currently collaborating on a longer study of embodied simulation.

I have recently edited Shakespeare’s Cymbeline for the New Kittredge Shakespeare Series, which will be published in 2013 by Focus Pullins.  This edition of the play includes performance notes—one of the special features of the series--and relies on film and stage productions of Cymbeline to introduce the reader to one of Shakespeare’s most engaging romances.

My other research interests include the history of gender and sexuality, early modern women’s writing, Tudor and Jacobean theater, travel narratives and 16th-century colonialism, the impact of science and technology on literature, and vice versa, the history and practice of literary criticism and theory, and the writings of French philosopher Michel Foucault.


Image credit:  Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Landschap met val van Icarus (1558), Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Belgium.  Public domain image from wikicommons.

Awards (selected):

  • President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award (2011)
  • Faculty Fellow, Humanities Institute, University of Texas (2009)
  • University Research Institute Faculty Research Award (2008)
  • Raymond Dickson Centennial Endowed Teaching Fellowship (2007-2008)
  • Dads Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship (2004-2005)
  • Rockefeller Resident Fellowship, Institute for the Study of Violence, Survival, and Culture, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (2002)
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, Huntington Library (2001)
  • K. Garth Huston and Fletcher Jones Foundation Fellow, Huntington Library (2000)
  • Pforzheimer Fellowship, Humanities Research Center, University of Texas (1999)

Affiliated Research/Academic Unit:

Center for European Studies

Center for Women's and Gender Studies 

South Asia Institute




the history of subjectivity; globalization and transculturation; sixteenth-century travel literature; women writers in early modern Europe; neurocriticism


Edition of Shakespeare's Cymbeline. The New Kittredge Shakespeare. Series Editor James H. Lake.  Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing, 2014.

How Stories Make Us Feel: Toward an Embodied Narratology

Journal Issue:  California Italian Studies, 2(1)

Author: Wojciehowski, Hannah, University of Texas, Austin

Gallese, Vittorio, University of Parma, Italy

Publication Date: 2011

Publication Info:

California Italian Studies, Italian Studies Multicampus Research Group, UC Office of the President


"The Mirror Neuron Mechanism and Literary Studies: An Interview with Vittorio Gallese," California Italian Studies 2, No. 1 (2010).




Mirror Neurons, Mirror Neuron Mechanism, neurocriticism, Vittorio Gallese, neuroscience 


Group Identity in the Renaissance World.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

“Assessing Empathy: A Slumdog Questionnaire,” Image [&] Narrative 11, No. 2 (2010): 123-145.

“Triangulation in Humanist Friendship:  More, Erasmus, Giles, and the Making of Utopia, Discourses and Representations of Friendship in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700, ed. Daniel T. Lochman, Maritere Lopez, and Lorna Hutson.  Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2011. 45-63.

O Dente do Bugio: Relics, Religion and Rivalry in 16th-Century Ceylon and Goa.”

Santa Barbara Portuguese Studies IX (2007): 234-253.

“The Queen of Onor and Her Emissaries:  Fernão Mendes Pinto’s Dialogue with India,” Emissaries in Early Modern Literature and Culture—Mediation, Tranmission, Traffic:  1550-1700, ed. Brinda S. Charry and Gitanjali Shahani.  Aldershot, Hants, England: Ashgate, 2009.  167-191.

“Literary Theory,” Encyclopedia of British Literature, ed. David Scott Kastan.  5 vols.  Vol. 3.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.  301-313.

 “Sex, Death, and Poetry in Cinquecento Venice: Veronica Franco vs. Maffio Venier.”  Italica 83, Nos. 3 and 4 (2006): 367-390. 

 “Francis Petrarch: First Modern Friend,” Texas Studies in Language and

Literature 47, No. 4 (Winter 2005): 269-298.

“St. Augustine.”  The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Criticism and Theory.  Eds. Michael Groden and Martin Kreiswirth.  2nd ed.  Baltimore:  The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994, 2005.  57-58. 

Birth Passages: Maternity and Nostalgia, Antiquity to Shakespeare.  By Theresa M. Krier.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.  Xvii+266 pp.  Modern Philology 102, No. 3 (Feb. 2005):  410-413.

“Religion, Rivalry, and Relics in 16th-Century Goa: The Destruction and Return of the Dalada.”  Manushi.  New Delhi, India. June, 2004.

Wojciehowski.H.C. (2001) Print, Manuscript, Performance: The Changing Relations of the Media in Early Modern England. Libraries and Culture Libraries and Culture

Old Masters, New Subjects: Early Modern and Poststructuralist Theories of Will (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995).

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