Berkeley English Graduate Students

Dana  Swensen

Dana Swensen

Cafe Milano
Monday, 11:30--1:30

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. Broadly, her primary interests are in the relationship between pedagogy, 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 epistemic 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 working group sponsored by the Townsend Center.

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

Events Organized 

  • April 2018 Medieval and Early Modern Colloquium —Seminar w/Timothy Harrison (University of Chicago)--Impossible Experience: Consciousness and Natality in Early Modern England
  • May 2018 Renaissance and Early Modern Studies—Graduate Student Conference 2018, What is the Renaissance: Keynote Speaker—Professor Rocco Rubini (University of Chicago)
  • December 2018 REMS Conference—The Borderless Renaissance: Multiculturalism in an Expanding World—A Roundtable Conference on teaching and pedagogy in and of the Renaissance, featuring Carlos Eire (Yale), Paula Findlen (Stanford), Eric Dursteler (Brigham Young), Liesder Mayea Rodriguez (Redlands), Gitanjali Shahani (UCSF), and Sugata Ray (UC Berkeley)
  • December 2018 MEMC—The Trouble with Literature—A Talk Featuring Victoria Kahn

Select Papers Given:

  • 2016 REMS Graduate Student Conference—Erasmus and Play: Invention in the de Copia
  • 2017 UC Berkeley Department of Italian Studies Conference—Aretino and the Modi: Reading, Writing Sexualities
  • 2018 REMS Graduate Student Conference— 'Gradatio' and Closure in Sidney’s Sonnets

Current Research

History of Pedagogy and Education; History of Rhetoric; Early Modern Poetry; Literary Criticism; History and Theory of the Lyric 

English Department Classes