David Nee
PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Barker Center, 12 Quincy St
Cambridge, MA 02138 (email)
I'm currently a doctoral student in English at Harvard University, where I research and teach Renaissance drama, with a focus on Shakespeare.

My dissertation, Shakespeare and the Novella Collection: On the Circulation of Simple Forms, studies Shakespeare’s use of early modern novella collections as a major source for his plays. My interest, broadly, is in the way the genre of the novella collection, by providing playwrights with a repository of secular narrative material, helped create the conditions for the flourishing of the English commercial theater during the age of Shakespeare. I explore how the textual strategies of novella collections—from typography to frame narratives to literary style—facilitated the cultural mobility of the stories they contained, creating an international genre accommodating narratives of highly diverse geographical and historical origins. Focusing on three Shakespeare plays whose plots are derived from Italian novellas—Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Othello—I argue that a careful analysis of the source novellas in their original context yields important insights into the cultural resonance of Shakespearean drama.

My research interests include early modern prose fiction, the history of criticism, and the history of the book.

Curriculum Vitae