Richard Helgerson | Curriculum Vitae

Department of English
University of California, Santa Barbara


University of California, Riverside B.A., 1963
Université de Lyon (France), 1960-1961 (no degree)
Università di Firenze (Italy), 1966-1967 (no degree)
The Johns Hopkins University M.A., 1964; Ph.D., 1970


Collège Notre-Dame d’Afrique (Togo), 1964-66

University of California, Santa Barbara:

Assistant Professor, 1970-76
Associate Professor, 1976-82
Professor, 1982-present

California Institute of Technology:

Visiting Professor, 1987-88

Administrative Experience at UCSB

Chair, Renaissance Studies Program, 1975-77, 1988-90
Graduate Chair, English Department, 1988-89, 2000-02, 2003
Chair, English Department, 1989-93, Fall 2004 (acting)
Acting Director, Early Modern Center, 2000-2001

Academic Awards

Woodrow Wilson Fellowship 1963-64
NDEA Fellowship 1967-70
UCSB Summer Faculty Fellowship 1972
UC Regents’ Humanities Fellowship 1977
NEH Fellowship 1979-80
Huntington Library Fellowship 1984-85
Guggenheim Fellowship 1986
Folger Library-NEH Fellowship 1993-94
UCSB Faculty Research Lecturer 1998
NEH Fellowship 1998-99
UC President’s Fellowship 1998-99
Borchard Foundation Fellowship 2003
Colin Clout Award of the International Spenser Society for Lifetime Achievement in Spenser Studies



The Elizabethan Prodigals (University of California Press, 1977)

Self-Crowned Laureates: Spenser, Jonson, Milton, and the Literary System (University of California Press, 1983)

Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (University of Chicago Press, 1992)

Adulterous Alliances: Home, State, and History in Early Modern European Drama and Painting (University of Chicago Press, 2000)

A Sonnet from Carthage: Garcilaso de la Vega and the New Poetry of Sixteenth-Century Europe (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007)

Edition and Translation:

Joachim Du Bellay. The Regrets, with The Antiquities of Rome, Three Latin Elegies, and the Defense and Enrichment of the French Language: A Bilingual Edition (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006)

Edited Collection:

Literature and Geography. Special issue of Early Modern Literary Studies 4.2 (1998). Co-edited with Joanne Woolway Grenfell.

Notes and Articles:

“Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138.” The Explicator 28 (1970): 48

“Lyly, Greene, Sidney, and Barnaby Rich’s Brusanus.” Huntington Library Quarterly 36 (1972/73): 105-118

“The Two Worlds of Oliver Goldsmith.” Studies in English Literature 8 (1973): 516-534

“1 Henry IV and Woodstock.” Notes and Queries n.s. 23 (1976): 153-154

“What Hamlet Remembers.” Shakespeare Studies 10 (1977): 67-97

“The New Poet Presents Himself: Spenser and the Idea of a Literary Career.” PMLA 93 (1978): 893-911

“The Elizabethan Laureate: Self-Presentation and the Literary System.” ELH 46 (1979): 193-220

“Inventing Noplace, or the Power of Negative Thinking.” Genre 15 (1982): 101-121. Reprinted in The Power of Forms in the English Renaissance. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. Norman, Okla.: Pilgrim Books, 1982. Pp. 101-121

“The Kingdom of Our Own Language: Greek or Goth?” Spenser at Kalamazoo 9 (1984): 68-79

“The Land Speaks: Cartography, Chorography, and Subversion in Renaissance England.” Representations 16 (1986): 50-85. Reprinted in Representing the English Renaissance. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. Pp. 326-361

“Milton Reads the King’s Book: Print, Performance, and the Making of a Bourgeois Idol.” Criticism 29 (1987): 1-25. Abridged rpt. in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800. Vol. 13. Ed. James P. Draper (Detroit: Gale Research, 1990). Pp. 151-4

“Milton Reads the King’s Book: Print, Performance, and the Making of a Bourgeois Idol.” Criticism 29 (1987): 1-25. Abridged rpt. in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800. Vol. 13. Ed. James P. Draper (Detroit: Gale Research, 1990). Pp. 151-4

“Barbarous Tongues: The Ideology of Poetic Form in Renaissance England.” The Historical Renaissance: New Essays on Tudor and Stuart Literature and Culture. Ed. Heather Dubrow and Richard Strier. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988. Pp. 273-292. Abridged rpt. in Edmund Spenser. Ed. Andrew Hadfield (London: Longman, 1996), pp. 23-29

“Historicism, New and Old: Excerpts from a Panel Discussion” (with Richard Strier, Leah Marcus, and James Turner). “The Muses Common-Weale”: Poetry and Politics in the Earlier Seventeenth Century. Ed. Ted-Larry Pebworth and Claude Summers. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1988. Pp. 210-212

“Dismantling to Build.” Cartographica 26 (1989): 98-101

“The Role of Poet.” Spenser Encyclopedia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990. Pp. 549-551

“Writing Against Writing: Humanism and the Form of Coke’s Institutes,” Modern Language Quarterly (1992)

“Tasso on Spenser: The Politics of Chivalric Romance.” Yearbook of English Studies 21 (1991): 153-167. Reprinted in Patronage, Politics, and Literary Traditions in England, 1558-1658. Ed. Cedric C. Brown. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1993. Pp. 177-191. And in Critical Essays on Edmund Spenser. Ed. Mihoko Suzuki. New York: G.K. Hall, 1996. Pp. 221-236.

“Camoes, Hakluyt, and the Voyages of Two Nations,” in Culture and Colonialism (1992)

“Ben Jonson.” The Cambridge Companion to Seventeenth-Century Poetry. Ed. Thomas N. Corns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Pp. 148-170.

“Nation or Estate?: Ideological Conflict in the Early Modern Mapping of England,” Cartographica (1993)

“Staging Exclusion.” Shakespearean Criticism: Yearbook 1992. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994. Pp. 156-181. Reprinted from Forms of Nationhood.

“Doing Literary History on a Large Scale,” English Studies and History (1994)

“Murder in Faversham: Holinshed’s Impertinent History,” in The Historical Imagination in Early Modern Britain (1997)

“Soldiers and Enigmatic Girls: The Politics of Dutch Domestic Realism, 1650-1672,” Representations (1997)

“Language Lessons: Linguistic Colonialism, Linguistic Postcolonialism, and the Early Modern English Nation,” Yale Journal of Criticism (1998)

“The Buck Basket, the Witch and the Queen of Fairies: The Women’s World of Shakespeare’s Windsor,” in Renaissance Culture and the Everyday (1998)

“Genremalerei, Landkarten und nationale Unsicherheit im Holland des 17. Jahrhunderts,” in Bilder der Nation: Kulturelle und politische Konstruktionen des Nationalen am Beginn der europäischen Moderne Ed. Uli Bielefeld and Gisela Engle (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1998)

“Weeping for Jane Shore.” South Atlantic Quarterly (1999)

“Writing Empire and Nation,” in Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1500-1600 (2000)

“A Story of Generations.” Approaches to Teaching Shorter Elizabethan Poetry. Ed. Patrick Cheney and Anne Lake Prescott. New York: Modern Language Association, 2000. Pp. 245-248

“Michael Drayton,” “Fynes Moryson,” and “John Stow.” Tudor England: An Encyclopedia. Ed. Arthur F. Kinney and David W. Swain. New York: Garland, 2001. Pp. 208-209, 500-501, and 675-676

“The Folly of Maps and Modernity.” Literature, Mapping and the Politics of Space in Early Modern Britain. Ed. Andrew Gordon and Bernhard Klein. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Pp. 241-262

“Before National Literary History.” Modern Language Quarterly. 64 (2003): 169-179

“Shakespeare and Other English Dramatists of History.” A Companion to Shakespeare’s Works: The Histories. Ed. Richard Dutton and Jean E. Howard. Oxford: Blackwell, 2003. Pp. 26-47

“‘I Miles Philips’: An Elizabethan Seaman Conscripted by History.” PMLA 118 (2003): 537-540

“Writing the Law.” Law, Liberty, and Parliament: Selected Essays on the Writings of Sir Edward Coke. Ed. Allen D. Boyer. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004. Pp. 26-69. [Reprinted from Forms of Nationhood.]

“William Gray.” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004

“Remembering, Forgetting, and the Founding of a National Literature: The Example of Joachim du Bellay.” REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature 21 (2005): 19-30

“Richard Hakluyt.” The Oxford Companion to Exploration. Ed. David Buisseret. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming

Reviews and Review Articles:

Alvin B. Kernan, The Imaginary Library. Comparative Literature 35 (1983): 289-291

Review article on Gunther Kress, Bob Hodge, et al., Language as Ideology, Language and Control, and Literature, Language and Society in England, 1580-1680. Comparative Literature 35 (1983): 362-373

Jonathan Goldberg, James I and the Politics of Literature. Renaissance Quarterly 38 (1985): 180-183

Norbert Elias, The Court Society, and Frank Whigham, Ambition and Privilege. Renaissance Quarterly 38 (1985): 557-561

Jonathan Dollimore and Alan Sinfield, eds., Political Shakespeare. Huntington Library Quarterly 48 (1985): 381-384

“Recent Studies in the English Renaissance.” Studies in English Literature 26 (1986): 145-199

Kenneth Gross, Spenserian Poetics: Idolatry, Iconoclasm, and Magic. Poetics Today 7 (1986): 379-380

Leah S. Marcus, The Politics of Mirth. Renaissance Quarterly 40 (1987): 825-828

Christopher Kendrick, Milton: A Study of Ideology and Form. JEGP 87 (1988): 582-583

Leah S. Marcus, Puzzling Shakespeare. Renaissance Quarterly 43 (1990): 230-233

Debora Kuller Shuger, Habits of Thought in the English Renaissance. Comparative Literature 45 (1993): 192-194

Gerald Hammond, Fleeting Things: English Poets and Poems, 1616-1660. Modern Philology 90 (1993): 430-433

Jeffrey Knapp, An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest. Albion 25 (1993): 87-88

Steven N. Zwicker, Lines of Authority: Politics and English Literary Culture, 1649-1689. JEGP 93 (1994): 425-428

Barry Taylor, Vagrant Writing: Social and Semiotic Disorders in the English Renaissance. Comparative Literature 46 (1994): 312-314

Lena Cowen Orlin, Private Matters and Public Culture in Post-Reformation England. Shakespeare Studies 23 (1995): 268-275

Annabel Patterson, Reading Holinshed’s “Chronicles”. JEGP 95 (1996): 237-240

Helen Hackett, Virgin Mother, Maiden Queen: Elizabeth I and the Cult of the Virgin Mary. Albion 28 (1996): 90-91

John Gillies, Shakespeare and the Geography of Difference. Shakespeare Quarterly 47 (1996): 212-214

Jean E. Howard, The Stage and Social Struggle in Early Modern England. Comparative Literature 48 (1996): 383-385

Andrew McRae, God Speed the Plough: The Representation of Agrarian England, 1500-1660. Journal of Historical Geography 23 (1997): 79-81

Blair Worden, The Sound of Virtue: Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and Elizabethan Politics. The American Historical Review (1998): 1244-45

Lesley B. Cormack, Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities, 1580-1620. Renaissance Quarterly 52 (1999): 75-77

Joan Pong Linton, The Romance of the New World: Gender and the Literary Formations of English Colonialism. Modern Philology 98 (2001): 652-655

Wendy Wall, Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama. Modern Language Quarterly 64 (2003): 495-498

Richard McCabe, Spenser’s Monstrous Regiment: Elizabethan Ireland and the Poetics of Difference. The Spenser Review 34 (2003): 2-5

William J. Kennedy, The Site of Petrarchism: Early Modern National Sentiment in Italy, France, and England. Comparative Literature Studies 42 (2005): 237-241

Lectures and Conference Papers (since 1985)

Conference Papers:

Renaissance Society of America (Huntington Library 1985)
Humanities Institute (UC Berkeley 1985)
Modern Language Association (Chicago 1985)
The Milton Seminar (New York University 1986)
Conference on Poetry and Politics in the Seventeenth Century (University of Michigan-Dearborn 1986)
MLA (New York 1986)
Mellon Symposium in Historical Anthropology (Caltech 1987)
Symposium on Renaissance Literature (USC 1988); RSA (New York 1988)
MLA (New Orleans 1988)
Shakespeare Association of America (Austin 1989)
Conference on Poetry, Patronage, and Politics (Reading University 1989)
RSA (Duke University 1991)
RSA (Stanford University 1992)
Association of American Geographers (San Diego 1992)
Conference on Politics and Culture in Early Modern Britain (Reading University 1992)
MLA (San Francisco 1992)
Fifth National Research Seminar in English Studies and History (University of Tampere, Finland 1993)
American Historical Association (San Francisco 1994)
Dutch National Consciousness in 17th Century Art (UCLA 1994)
Seminar on Shakespeare and Social History (UCLA 1995)
Texts and Cultural Change: History, Politics, and Interpretation, 1520-1660 (Reading University 1995)
Nationalism and Subjectivity in Early Modern Europe (Goethe University, Frankfurt 1995)
World Shakespeare Congress (Los Angeles 1996)
Language and National Identity (Yale 1996)
Habits of Reading in Early Modern England (Folger Library 1997)
Paper Landscapes (University of London 1997)
Theater and Nation (University of Waterloo 1997)
National Cultures and the Construction of the Modern World (Johns Hopkins 1997)
Mapping the Early Modern World (Folger Library 1998)
Science on the Map (University of Washington 1998)
The Renaissance Computer (University of St. Andrews, Scotland 1998)
MLA (San Francisco, 1998)
Australia and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Sydney, 2000)
Cartography in the European Renaissance (University of Wisconsin 2000)
MLA (Washington, D.C., 2000)
RSA (Chicago 2001)
Visual Culture in Early Modern Europe: The Dutch Experience (Yale 2002)
National Literary Histories (UC Irvine 2002)
Pacific Northwest Renaissance Conference (Los Angeles 2002)
New Generations: Tudor History in the 21st Century (Huntington Library 2004)
Identity and Allegiance (University of Aberdeen, Scotland 2004)
Literature, Literary History, and Cultural Memory (University of Giessen, Germany 2004)
Memory, 1500-1800 (UCSB 2005)
SAA (Bermuda 2005)


Conference on Renaissance Drama (UC San Diego 1985)
Sir Philip Sidney: An Anniversary Symposium (UCLA 1986)
International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo 1987)
Books in Chains, Bodies in Flames (UCLA 1993)
Material London, ca. 1600 (Folger Library 1995)
Conference on Early Modern Cartography in Asia and Europe (UC Berkeley 1996)
MLA (Washington, D.C. 1996)
Acts of Reconstruction: Shakespeare’s Globe (UCSB 1997)
The Genius of Shakespeare (UCSB 2000)
Travel in the Middle Ages (UCSB 2005)
MLA (Philadelphia 2006)

Other Lectures:

Caltech (1985); UC San Diego (1985); University of Southern California (1985); Harvard (1986); Yale (1986); Columbia (1986); University of Chicago (1986); Johns Hopkins (1987); Princeton (1987); UC Riverside (1988); Huntington Library (1988); Arizona State University (1989); Carleton College (1990); University of Washington (1991); Huntington Library (1993); University of Wisconsin (1993); Folger Library (1994); University of Alabama (1994); University of Maryland (1994); Yale (1994); CUNY Graduate Center (1994); Duke (1995); Ashland Shakespeare Festival (1995); Vanderbilt (1995); Harvard (1996); University of Georgia (1997); Johns Hopkins (1998); University of British Columbia (1998); Harvard (1998); Brown (1998); University of Chicago (1999); Queen’s University (2000); Renaissance Literature Seminar, Huntington Library (2000); John Carter Brown Library (2001); University of Washington (2001); UC Berkeley (2001); UC Berkeley (2002); UCLA (2004).

Professional Activity

Member of Modern Language Association, Renaissance Society of America, Renaissance Conference of Southern California, Spenser Society, Shakespeare Association of America, North American Conference on British Studies.

Specialist reader for various journals and university presses.

PMLA Advisory Committee (1984-88).
Spenser Society Executive Committee (1985-88). Vice President (1986). President (1987).
Jury for the Isabel MacCaffrey Prize (1985).
Chair, Review Committee for Huntington Library Research Division (1986-87).
Huntington Library-NEH Fellowship Selection Committee (1987).
Huntington Library Advisory Committee (1987).
Elected member, Executive Committee, MLA Division on the English Renaissance (1988-1992). Chair (1991).
Executive Committee, Western Humanities Conference (1988-1991).
Program Committee, Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies (1989-90).
Jury for NACBS-Huntington Library Dissertation Fellowship (1990-93). Chair (1992-93).
Associate, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (1991-).
Editorial Consultant, Massachusetts Studies in Early Modern Culture (1992-2000). Editorial Board (2000-).
Editorial Board, Studies in English Literature (1993-).
English Department Review Committee, University of Maryland (1994-95).
International Advisory Committee, Literature and History Conference, Reading University (1994-95).
Editorial Board, Explorations in Renaissance Culture (1995-).
Jury for the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize for 1996 and 1997. Chair for 1997.
Advisory Board, The History of Cartography, vol. 3 (1998-).
Editorial Board, Spenser Studies (2004-).