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Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies

Victoria University in the University of Toronto

Graduate Fellows and Assistants

Graduate Fellows

Noam Tzvi Lior (Drama):
bwDSC_8909Noam is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. His dissertation, “Shakespeare at Play: Editing the Multimedia e-book,” explores the challenges and opportunities that digital editions (especially multimedia editions) offer to editing theory, bibliography, and drama/theatre theory. Noam is a director and dramaturge who has worked on a variety of early modern productions, including directing Robert Daborne’s A Christian Turn’d Turk for CRRS’ Early Modern Migrations conference in 2012. Noam is the co-developer of Shakespeare at Play, a company which creates e-book editions of Shakespeare plays with embedded video performances. For Shakespeare at Play, he has co-directed, dramaturged, edited, and annotated Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Leslie Wexler (English):
Leslie WexlerLeslie continues in her role as the graduate fellow in Publications and Promotions and is also a PhD candidate in the departments of English and the School for the Environment, where she works on the representations of insects in the early modern natural history and how these representations get translated into the literary imaginations of the poets and dramatists of the seventeenth century. Her interests at the Centre include event promotions, poster design, programs and managing the Centre’s publication series including the series Essays & Studies and the new publication Early Modern Cultural Studies. Leslie also runs the weekly tea time at the Centre where visiting, current and past fellows and faculty associated with the Centre can gather on Tuesdays starting at 2:30pm.


Mulcaster Fellow

Joel Rodgers (English):
Joel RodgersJoel Rodgers is a doctoral candidate in English literature at the University of Toronto, specializing in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry and drama (e.g. William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, and John Donne). His more specific research interests include intersections between law and literature; the history of corporations and citizenship; literary, legal, and political conceptions of personhood; early modern republicanism and nationalism; intellectual history, including Machiavelli’s reception in England; as well as discourses of friendship and sexuality. He also works as a humanities TA trainer with the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP) at the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) on the St. George campus. His position at the CRRS was created specifically to promote student outreach and initiatives, and he is currently developing new undergraduate study opportunities at the centre. He also runs a reading group on early modern politics at the CRRS.


Robson Assistants

Sebastiano Bazzichetto (Italian Studies):
SebastianoSebastiano Bazzichetto is a PhD candidate in Italian Studies in his final year. He has extensively dedicated his attention to Italian Baroque poetry and arts of the first half of the 17th century. His areas of interest also include music, Baroque melodrama, history of opera and ballet.


Samantha Chang (Art):
Samantha Chang artSamantha Chang is a PhD student from the Graduate Department of Art at University of Toronto where she holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) Doctoral Award and Faculty of Arts and Science Top Doctoral Fellowship. A professional flutist and conductor, Samantha graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London (England) and she is a fellow of the Trinity College London and the London College of Music. Samantha’s research explores the conceptual relationships between visual arts and music in the early modern period, specifically those of artistic identity, temporality, synesthesia, and performativity. Her current research project examines the representation of music in the painter’s studio.


Beth Mattison (Art):
Elizabeth Mattison Beth is a PhD student in the History of Art department. Her research explores the development of sculpture in the early modern Netherlands; she focuses particularly on the phenomenon of cultural transfer and artistic migration in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège in the first half of the sixteenth century. Her research interests include the construction of visual narratives in different media; notions of performativity and sculpture; the role of art in public space; and the visual culture and patronage in Picardy.


Lindsay Sidders (History):
lindsay sidders
Lindsay is a PhD candidate in the department of History. Her dissertation is based upon the writings of Alonso de la Mota y Escoabar in his role as (creole) Bishop of both Guadalajara and Tlaxcala-Puebla, New Spain (Mexico). In the last year she has been parsing out methods, modes, and practices of constructing the self and the Hispanic-Catholic empire from 1590-1625.


Deni Kasa (English):
deni kasa
Deni is a Robson Graduate Assistant at the CRRS and a PhD Candidate in the Department of English. His research addresses the relationship between religious grace and political agency in early modern literature, particularly in Shakespeare, Spenser and Milton. His research and teaching interests extend into literary theory, the history of the Reformation, politcal philosophy, and liberal theory. Deni is also assisting with the organization of this year’s Canada Milton seminar.


Elisa Tersigni (English):
Elisa Tersigni is a PhD candidate in English and in Book History & Print Culture. Her research brings together analytical bibliography and algorithmic methodologies to examine writing, printing, and the English language during the English Reformation. She is the Senior Printer at Massey College’s Bibliography Room and teaches Bibliography & Print Culture at St. Michael’s College’s Book & Media Studies program. Elisa brings her experience in museums and rare-book libraries to the CRRS, where she works with the rare-book collection.


Corbet Undergraduate Assistants

Kelsey Cunningham:

bwDSC_8903 Kelsey Cunningham is in her fourth year of her undergraduate studies in the departments of Spanish and Portuguese. At the graduate level, she hopes to combine her interest in grass-roots healthcare practices with her passion for literary studies to investigate representations of well-being, illness and marginality within the contexts of colonial and neo-colonial Latin America. Kelsey has been associated with the Centre for the past three years as an invaluable Publications Assistant and continues to support both publications and the Front Library desk as a Corbet Assistant.


Rachel Hart:
Rachel Hart
Rachel Hart is a fourth year Trinity College student. She has a Renaissance Studies major, with a double minor in Italian and English. Rachel began her studies at the U of T in the Italian department, with the goal of complementing her study of opera with language training. She soon discovered Renaissance literature and became fully enamoured with the academic world. A graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, she is now an active member of the campus theatre scene. However, she balances thespianism with enthusiastic devotion to eighteenth-century English satirists, the history of drama, and most significantly, all things Early Modern. She is absolutely thrilled to be a part of the CRRS team this year.


Work Study Assistants


Christine Emery – Publications Assistant
Christine Emery
Christine is a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in Book and Media studies, with minors in English and German Studies. Her academic interests include printing history during the Renaissance, and rise of literacy after the development of the Gutenberg Press. Christine joins the CRRS as a publications assistant.


Aidan Flynn – Office Assistant
Aidan Flynn
Aidan Flynn is a third-year Victoria College student, completing a double major in Art History and Renaissance Studies, with a minor in English. Looking forward, he plans to pursue graduate studies in Art History, with a focus on Iconoclasm in the context of the early- to mid-sixteenth century Protestant Reformations. Aidan works in the CRRS Office, where he assists with the planning of academic colloquia and provides administrative support to the Assistant to the Director. He is a lover of the arts, a tea enthusiast, and a supporter of the Oxford comma.


Chris Harry – Rare Books and Digitization Assistant
Chris Harry
Chris is a Master’s student in the Faculty of Information, with a concentration in Archives and Records Management, as well as the Book History and Print Culture collaborative program. His studies have focused on the construction and transmission of books, from the circulation of the first printed books to the impact of placing locks on ebooks.


Anita Siraki – Webmaster
AnitaAnita is a master’s student in the Faculty of Information in the Library and Information Science concentration. At the graduate level, she is pursuing the Collaborative Program in Book History and Print Culture. She works as the webmaster at the Centre for Renaissance and Reformation studies.