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Joseph A. Porter, Professor Of English and Theater Studies

Joseph A. Porter
Contact Info:
Office Location:  304J/K Allen
Office Phone:  (919) 684-3884
Email Address: send me a message

Office Hours:

Wednesdays 3:30pm - 5:30pm
and by appointments

Ph.D.University of California at Berkeley1972
M.A.University of California at Berkeley1966
Fulbright StudyPembroke College, Oxford1964
B.A. Harvard University1964

Renaissance/Early Modern Literature
Creative Writing
British Literature
Research Interests: Renaissance Literature; Creative Writing

Current projects: Editing the New Variorum _Othello_, Shakespeare Study, Fiction Writing

Author of eight books and editor or co-editor of nine others, as well as the New Variorum Othello in progress, of which he is Editor-in-Chief, Joseph A. Porter aka Joe Ashby Porter studied at Harvard (BA, 1964), Pembroke College Oxford (Fulbright Fellowship, 64-65) and UC Berkeley (PhD, 1972). After teaching full time at U. VA. and part-time at three other institutions, in 1980 he came to Duke, where he is now Professor and Associate Chair of the English Department. He has served as Visiting Professor at the Université François Rabelais in Tours, France, and as Writer in Residence at Brown, and he has twice served as Instructor at the Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Shakespearean Joseph A. Porter's books are The Drama of Speech Acts and Shakespeare's Mercutio, his edited Critical Essays on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and his eight co-edited volumes of Renaissance Papers. His primary works in progress are the MLA New Variorum Othello, and Shakespearean Moorings, a cultural study of Othello. His awards include the NEH Folger Institute Fellowship.

Fiction writer Joe Ashby Porter's books are the novels Eelgrass, Resident Aliens, and The Near Future, and the collections The Kentucky Stories, Lithuania: Short Stories and Touch Wood: Short Stories. His work in progress includes a collection of short stories, a novel, and a memoir. His awards include two NEA Creative Writing Fellowships, and a 2004 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Literature.

Areas of Interest:

Creative Writing
16th-17th Century Literature
Contemporary Fiction


Shakespeare • Renaissance drama • Pragmatics and speech-act theory • Contemporary Fiction • Intentionality

Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Damienadia Marassa  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Porter, JA, A Thread, edited by Rowan, L, Golden Handcuffs Review, vol. II no. 23 (June, 2017), pp. 65-69, Golden Handcuffs Review Publications
  2. O'Brien, S, THEN AND NOW, Tls the Times Literary Supplement no. 5890 (February, 2016), pp. 16-16, ISSN 0307-661X [Gateway.cgi]
  3. Mercury, in Stanford Global Shakespeare Encyclopedia, edited by Patricia Parker (forthcoming), Stanford UP
  4. Touchez du bois: Nouvelles (forthcoming), Joelle Losfeld/Gallimard
  5. Review of Lena Cowen Orlin, ed. Othello: The State of Play, Renaissance Quarterly (Fall, 2015)