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Frances Elizabeth Dolan
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Frances Elizabeth Dolan

  • Distinguished Professor of English
262 Voorhies
Phone: (530) 752-1696


Professor Dolan joined the UC Davis faculty as Professor of English in 2003. Before coming to Davis, she taught at Miami University, as well as the University of Chicago and Columbia University. Her teaching and research focus on early modern English literature and history (1500-1700), although she is increasingly interested in how that particular past bears on the present. She also teaches and writes on Children's Literature. 

Dolan has held fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (at the Newberry Library and the Folger Library), and the Monticello College Foundation.   Most recently, she was the Fletcher Jones Foundation Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library. In 2004-5, she served as the President of the Shakespeare Association of America.  At Davis, she has been named an Outstanding Graduate Mentor, a Herbert A. Young Society Deans' Fellow, and the recipient of an Academic Senate Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award.

She is currently working on a book project tentatively entitled Time and Terroir:  A Northern California Renaissance, an inquiry into what difference it makes to study sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England from the vantage point of twenty-first century Northern California.  The book is organized around dialogues across time and space on the topics of bees, composting and soil amendment, biodynamic viticulture, and "local" or "slow" food.  It asks whether history has anything to teach "hands on" practitioners today, and, if so, what form this "history" takes.  

Publication SpotlightTrue Relations

True Relations:  Reading, Literature, and Evidence in Seventeenth-Century England.

  Philadelphia:  University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013. 

"True Relations has elements of the manifesto, as well as manifest delight in relational interpretive practices.  It deserves to be read by everyone working on early modern England."—David Cressy, Journal of British Studies

"Dolan is offering new agendas rather than solutions.  She constantly turns to the question that if a text is to be regarded as 'evidence' what exactly is it evidence of? Her insights amount to a major contribution to early modern studies and deserve widespread consideration."—James Sharpe, Times Literary Supplement

"True Relations is. . .  a thoughtful and provocative essay on method as much as it is a set of readings of early modern texts. . . . Dolan’s insistence that there are significant correspondences between the scholarly endeavours of historically minded critics (and critically minded historians) and the reading practices of their early modern subjects is a beguiling idea. True Relations is the kind of book that will make all its readers reflect on their own methods and responsibilities as practitioners of academic disciplines."—Rebecca Bullard, Review of English Studies


Other Books:

  • Whores of Babylon. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999. Reprinted in paper with a new preface by the University of Notre Dame Press, 2005.

Selected Articles:

Education & Interests:

  1. Ph.D.The University of Chicago, 1988; B.A. Loyola University, 1982.

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