Berkeley English Graduate Students

Dana  Swensen

Dana Swensen

Professional Statement

Dana Swensen is a graduate student specializing in the Early Modern and Renaissance period. She came to Berkeley after taking a BA in English and an MLitt in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland. Her primary interests are in the relationship between pedagogical technique, the history of rhetoric, and the poetry of the period 1580-1660. Specifically she is engaged by the way in which the classroom methods of the Early Modern Grammar School can be read alongside the history of rhetoric and poetry; or, framed differently, the ways in which modes of understanding which are cultivated by schoolroom practice can frame the composition of sonnets, odes, elegies and otherwise ‘lyric’ poems composed by authors such as Sir Philip Sidney, Ben Jonson, John Donne and John Milton. In the years 2016-2018 she was the Student Representative of the Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Designated Emphasis. She has also served on the committee of the Medieval and Early Modern Colloquium and co-directed a group with the Townsend Center

English Department Classes