Erika Boeckeler’s work spans multiple genres and disciplines: Shakespearean drama and English Renaissance poetry, History of the Book studies, language theory, sixteenth century German art history, early Slavic print culture. Her book, Playfull Letters: A Study in Early Modern Alphabetics (University of Iowa Press, 2017), argues that artistic experimentation with the alphabet had a sweeping impact on the intellectual and social history of the early modern period. The linking of letters and typography with bodies produces a new kind of literacy in audiences, which in turn expands narrative possibilities. She has published chapters and articles on painting and writing in sixteenth century German portraiture, on the first architectural alphabet, on teaching in the archives, among others. A new book project, Writing on Things, considers how literary forms influence material forms and vice versa, a chiasmus that foregrounds this inquiry into how writing and its media collide in such a way as to alter them both. A parallel book project shaped by feminist bibliographic practices examines the poetics of typography and the visual features –such as printers’ devices and pictorial type—of early modern books. She is also the editor of Shakespeare’s poem, “A Louers Complaint,” at Internet Shakespeare Editions.
Professor Boeckeler’s research has received numerous national and international awards, including year-long fellowships at the Huntington Library and at Wellesley College, a short-term fellowship at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and substantial publication subsidy grants from the American Comparative Literature Association and Harvard University’s Department of Comparative Literature. In 2007 Professor Boeckeler was selected to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, “The Reformation of the Book” in Antwerp and Oxford. She was recently a fellow at Northeastern University’s Humanities Center during 2018-19.
Articles & Book Chapters
- “Left to Their Own Devices: Sixteenth-century Widows and Their Printers’ Devices” in Women’s Labour and the History of the Book in Early Modern England, ed Valerie Wayne; Bloomsbury Press, Arden Shakespeare Series, accepted, forthcoming 2019.
- “Comb Poems” in Dynamic Matter: Renaissance Travelling Objects, ed Jennifer Linhart Wood; Pennsylvania State University Press, Medieval and Renaissance Literary Studies Series, in press, forthcoming 2019
- “Staging the Alphabet in Shakespeare’s Comedies” in Journal of the Wooden O, 14-15(2015): 21-42
- “The Big and the Small of It: Engaging Large Groups with Hands-On Details” in Using Primary Sources: Hands-On Instructional Exercises, eds Anne Bahde, Heather Smedberg Mattie Taormina; Libraries Unlimited, March, 2014. *Co-authored with Northeastern University Assistant Head for Arts and Humanities Librarian Amanda Rust & former Assistant Archivist Michelle Romero
- “At Home Among the Images: Early Modern Women’s Textiles and Protestant Domestic Décor in England.” Book Review Essay for Decorating the Godly Household: Religious Art in Post-Reformation Britain by Tara Hamling and Pens and Needles: Women’s Textualities in Early Modern England by Susan Frye. The Huntington Library Quarterly 74.2 (June 2011):325-332. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/hlq.2011.74.issue-2
Awards and Honors
Northeastern University Humanities Center Faculty Fellow
Northeastern University’s CSSH Research Development Initiative Grant
Harvard Dept. of Comparative Lit. First Book Publication Subsidy
ACLA First Book Subvention Funds
Wellesley Newhouse Center for the Humanities Fellow
Huntington Library Barbara Thom Postdoctoral Fellowship
Folger Shakespeare Library Short-Term Fellowship 2009-10
NEH Summer Seminar Participant, “The Reformation of the Book”
Whiting Dissertation Completion Fellowship
Harvard University English Department, Winthrop Sargent Prize in Shakespeare
Harvard University English Department, William Harris Arnold and Gertrude Arnold Weld Prize in Book History
Harvard Graduate Student Council Summer Research Grant
Harvard University Merit Fellowship
Rotary International Scholar Ambassador to Innsbruck, Austria