A member of the Furman English Department since 1986, Nick Radel has also served as co-Chair of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor and as a faculty member in Film Studies. He teaches courses in Shakespeare, English Renaissance and modern American literature, sexuality studies, and queer theory. Radel was awarded a Fulbright Lectureship to teach at Roskilde University Center, Denmark, in 1999, and he has taught as a guest professor at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta, Aarhus University, Denmark, and Rhodes University, South Africa. His published scholarship focuses on both early modern English and modern American literature, and explores the intersections between the New History in literary studies and contemporary cultural theory.

Selected Publications


  • Understanding Edmund White (University of South Carolina Press, 2013).
  • The Taming of the Shrew. (Barnes and Noble, 2007). Co-edited with David Scott Kastan.
  • The Puritan Origins of American Sex: Religion, Sexuality, and National Identity in American Literature. (Routledge, 2001). Co-edited with Tracy Fessenden and Magdalena J. Zaborowska.


  • "Unmanly Passion": Sodomitical Self-Fashioning in John Ford's The Lover's Melancholy and Perkin Warbeck." Sex Before Sex. Ed. Will Stockton and James Bromley. University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 111-140.
  • "David Leavitt." Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twenty-First-Century American Novelists, Ed. James and Wanda Giles. Columbia: Bruccoli,Clark, Layman, Inc., 2011. 194-205. With Dr. Lasse Kekki, Turku University, Finland.
  • "The Ethiop's Ear: Race, Sexuality, and Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet." The Upstart Crow 28 (2009): 17-35.
  • "Havelock Ellis's Literary Criticism, Canon Formation, and the Heterosexual Shakespeare." Journal of Homosexuality 56.8 (2009). 1046-1070.
  • "(E)racing Edmund White: Queer Reading, Race, and Sexuality in A Boy's Own Story." Modern Fiction Studies 54.4 (Winter 2008). 766-790.
  • "'Your Own For Ever': Revealing Masculine Desire in Othello," Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's Othello. Ed. Peter Erickson and Maurice Hunt. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2005. 62-71.
  • "Can the Sodomite Speak? Sodomy, Satire, Desire, and the Castlehaven Case." Love, Sex, and Intimacy Between Men, 1500-1800. Eds. Katherine O'Donnell and Michael O'Rourke. London: Palgrave, 2002. 146-165.
  • "The Transnational Ga(y)ze: Constructing the East European Object of Desire in Gay Film and Pornography after the Fall of the Wall." Cinema Journal 41.1 (Fall 2001): 40-62.
  • "Queer Romeo and Juliet: Teaching Early Modern 'Sexuality' in Shakespeare's 'Heterosexual' Tragedy." Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Ed. Maurice Hunt. New York: Modern Language Association, 2000. 91-97.
  • "Edmund White." Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Novelists since World War II, Ed. James and Wanda Giles. Columbia: Bruccoli, Clark, Layman, Inc., 2000. 335-351.
  • "'A Sodom Within': Gender, Sex, and Sodomy in the Diary of Michael Wigglesworth." Other Americas, Other Americans: The Politics and Poetics of Multiculturalism. Ed. Magdalena J. Zaborowska. Aarhus, Dk: Aarhus University Press, 1998. 38-49.
  • "Homoeroticism, Discursive Change, and Politics: Reading 'Revolution' in Seventeenth-Century English Tragicomedy." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England IX (1996): 162-178.
  • "Reading as a Feminist." Theory in Practice: Measure for Measure. Ed. Nigel Wood. Buckingham and Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1996. 90-132.
  • "Fletcherian Tragicomedy, Crossdressing, and the Constriction of Homoerotic Desire in Early Modern England." Renaissance Drama, N.S. XXVI(1995): 53-82.
  • "Self as Other: The Politics of Identity in the Works of Edmund White." Queer Words Queer Images: Communication and the (Re)Construction of Homosexuality. Ed. Jeffrey Ringer. New York University Press, 1993. 175-192.
  • "Provincetown Plays: Women Writers and O'Neill's American Intertext." Essays in Theater 9.1 (1990): 31-43.
  • "Linguistic Subversion and the Artifice of Rhetoric in The Two Noble Kinsmen." Shakespeare Quarterly 38 (1987): 405-425. With Dr. Madelon Lief, Lawrence University.
  • "`What's the meaning of this corn Tilden!': Mimesis in Sam Shepard's Buried Child." From Bard to Broadway. University of Florida Comparative Drama Conference Papers VII (1986): 177-189.
  • "`Then thus I turne my language to you': The Transformation of Theatrical Language in Philaster." Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England III (1986): 129-147.

Name Title Description


Fiction and Resistance

Explore the tradition of American protest literature and the ways fiction challenges traditional notions of history as a record of different times and places. Focus specifically on novels, films, plays, and poems that fictionalize history in order to represent and critique the present in which they are written. Readings may include works such as Tony Kushner's Angels in America, E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel, Spike Lee's Son of Sam, and Adrienne Rich's A Long Conversation.


Interpretive Strategies

Addressing issues and questions specific to literary and cultural analysis and in the process exploring various interpretive strategies through which ideas of the literary and of literary study are engaged. The content and perspective of this course will vary according to instructor. Students will read primary theoretical texts, and will write about how theories of literature might inform ways of reading prose, poetry, drama, and/or film. By the end of the term, students should have a sense of how over the years critical debate has shaped the many practices of reading literature.


Art of Travel Writing

Introduction to history, society and culture of specific travel destination. Exploration of art of travel writing including reading and analyzing travel essays as models for their own writing. Required for students participating in travel writing May Experience in a given year.


Early Modern Drama

Major works from the golden age of English drama. Shakespeare and/or Shakespeare along with work by his contemporaries, Marlowe, Jonson, Webster, Middleton, Ford, and others.


Drama at Stratford-upon-Avon

Offered only as part of the fall term in the British Isles program. Study of the drama being performed in London and Stratford-upon-Avon by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and others.


Trvl Stdy in the British Isles

Texts and culture in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Specific topics will change from year to year.


Shakespeare on Film

Study of Shakespeare's plays on film or in production if live performances occur during semester the course is taught. Shakespeare's written texts may be studied, but focus will be on the artistry of the cinema or theater in revealing Shakespeare for modern audiences



The plays of William Shakespeare studied primarily in their historical and theatrical contexts. Attention also paid to Shakespeare's role in producing modern cultural awareness in the English speaking world and beyond. Appropriate for majors and non-majors.


Mjr Fgrs in Erly Mdrn Eng Lit

Study of works written by major authors in the reigns of the Tudors and the Stuarts. Authors include: Sidney, Spenser, Wroth, Marlowe, Jonson, Milton, or the major lyric poets. Focus on major works in their entirety written by single authors except in the case of the lyric poets.


Shakespeare's Europe

The influence of important classical and Renaissance European writers on the literature and drama of Shakespeare's England. Topics vary, but may include the impact of authors such as Dante, Ovid, Montaigne, Petrarch, and others on Donne, Herbert, Marlowe, Milton, Shakespeare, Spenser, and their peers.


Intrprtv Issues Erly Mdrn Lit

Study of key issues for understanding early modern British literature and its place in a history of ideas in the West. Topics include early modern literature in relation to the histories of science, individualism, gender and sexuality, privacy, literary criticism, authorship and/or the place of period texts in emerging theories of literature and history.


African-American Drama

Three-part history and development of African American drama in the United States from its origins to the present moment. Part one explores the roots of African American drama and examines early stage images of black subjects, 19th century stage stereotypes of minstrelsy, and the initial achievements of the African Grove Theatre and early black playwrights. Part Two focuses on the Harlem Renaissance and the Harlem Unit of the Federal Theatre Project. Part Three examines major plays and playwrights from Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun (1959) to the 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning production of Suzan Lori-Park's Topdog-Underdog.


Critical and Cultural Theory

Introduction to theoretical approaches to literature such as psychoanalysis, deconstruction, feminism, and postcolonial studies. Consideration of the ethics and politics of interpretation, the assumptions and practices informing theoretical work, and the relation between literature and theory. Readings include works of fiction, film, and texts by theorists such as Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, Zizek, Derrida, de Man, Butler, Cixous, Spivak, Bhabha.


Stage, Social Struggle, Theory

Exploration of the way the theatre and drama become sites for producing social discourses and institutions. Focusing on one or more key periods in world drama, students will study the interrelations of plays, theoretical formulations, and specific material conditions of performance.


Senior Seminar in English

Course topic changes with each offering.


Shakespeare in His Contexts

This course will engage various issues in the drama of Shakespeare. Rather than focus on genre or major v. minor plays, it will be fashioned around a particular group of ideas or topics that are relevant to understanding Shakespeare's plays and what it means to read them.


Thinking Sex

Typically, sex and sexuality define discrete, natural categories of being or identity. Instead of treating these as separate from other social and cultural issues, we will study how these concepts acquire meaning from their association with categories of knowledge (race, ethics, medicine, or science, for example) that are not primarily about sex. Works explored include philosophical texts, Disney films and fairy tales, documentaries and contemporary novels.


Introduction to Theatre

Script analysis, dramatic structure, production styles, introductory overview of acting, directing, design, and technical elements of production. Participation in some phase of play production (backstage or onstage) or a creative project is part of the course.


Issues in Women & Gender Stds

Focus on both classical and contemporary issues in Women's and Gender Studies. Survey of feminist theory and historical developments in the women's movement, it provides a foundation for the understanding of contemporary women's issues, including education, family, health, religion, economics and politics.


Introduction to Queer Theory

Study of Foucault, Butler, Sedgwick, Anzaldua, Edelman, Mercer and Ferguson among others to understand what it means to say that sexuality has a history and that it is socially constructed. Topics include the ways queer theory problematizes the connections among sex, gender, and sexuality; modern lesbian, gay, and transgendered movements; and anti-identitarian alternatives to normative sexual regimes.

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