Dr. Gary Kuchar

Dr. Gary Kuchar
Office: CLE C329

MA and PhD (McMaster)

Area of expertise

English Renaissance literature; religious poetry and prose; intellectual history; Shakespeare and religion; literary theory

I specialize in English Renaissance literature with a particular focus on religious poetry and prose. I also work on intellectual history, Shakespeare and religion, and literary theory.

Most of my research takes the form of practical criticism. At bottom, I seek to understand the power of fascination that renaissance literary texts possess within the shifting contexts of post-Reformation culture. The major aim of this agenda is to better understand how the Reformation animates the period's literature and, in turn, how the period's literature shapes and queries its religious culture. To do this, I combine formal literary analysis with historical contextualization, focusing particular attention on how competing or co-existing conceptual frameworks help account for a text's literary power and its wider cultural significance. This means working broadly across the period's poetry, drama, and prose while also delving into a range of mutually informing disciplines such as theology, philosophy, psychology/spirituality, rhetoric, poetics, and politics. Where appropriate I also deploy theory as context, but always in a dialectical way with an eye to urgent historical differences.

My current is project is titled Literature and the Senses of Place in Civil War England: Genre, Politics, and Religion (1640-1674).

I won the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies and University Microfilm Institute Distinguished Dissertation Award in 2003. I gave a keynote lecture at the Pacific Northwest Renaissance Society (Spokane, 2011) and was a plenary speaker at the Shakespeare Association of America (Washington D.C., 2009). I have also given invited lectures at the Canada Milton Seminar (Toronto, 2014), The Canadian Mennonite University (2012), and The Clark Library (Los Angeles, 2007). I have contributed to the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Renaissance Literature (2012), the Broadview Anthology of British Literature 2nd ed. (2010), the Blackwell  Companion to English Renaissance Poetry (2017) as well as the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare and Religion (Forthcoming).

I welcome applications from prospective graduate students at both MA and PhD levels.


Dr. Kuchar will be teaching the following courses in Fall 2019: 

Milton: Major Poetry and Selected Prose (ENGL 369)

Literature and The Crisis of Authority in the West "Lit. and Social Conflict" (ENGL 261)