Marissa Nicosia, Ph.D.

(She, Her, Hers)
Associate Professor of Renaissance Literature, English


Imagining Time in the English Chronicle Play: Historical Futures, 1590-1660 (Oxford University Press, 2023)

This project argues that plays construct speculative futures when they report narratives about the national past. Drawing on the methods of historical formalism and critical bibliography, this study reveals the metaphoric and material ways that chronicle plays participate in debates about temporality and politics in the early modern period.

Shakespeare in the Kitchen (Routledge, forthcoming 2025)

This study asks what Shakespeare can tell us about early modern culinary recipes and what these recipes can tell us about Shakespeare through short chapters that include both analysis of his works and updated historical recipes ready for cooking. Focused readings of both recipes and Shakespeare’s poems and plays allows recipe instructions to illuminate the literary and the poetic to provide insight on the practical. Under contract with Routledge’s “Spotlight on Shakespeare” series. 

Cooking in the Archives: Updating Early Modern Recipes (1600-1800) in a Modern Kitchen

Cooking in the Archives is a public humanities project that curates transcribed and updated recipes from early modern English household manuscripts for an audience including food historians, students researching early modern culture, culinary enthusiasts, and the general public. It has been featured in the Washington Post, HuffPost: Taste, Edible Philly,, and on Talk of Iowa (NPR).

Seasonal Tastes: English Literary and Recipe Culture, 1550-1750 (in progress)

Reading poetry alongside how-to literature, this project explores England’s intertwined literary and recipe cultures to consider flavor, time, poetics, and climate in the early modern period. By taking poetic and practical discussions of the seasons as its central focus, this study intervenes in recent debates in literary studies, food studies, and the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies.

Selected awards, grants, and honors

  • Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, 2024-2025.
  • Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science and Technology, The Huntington Library, 2024-2025.
  • Faculty Senate Outstanding Research Award, Penn State Abington, 2023.
  • Before ‘Farm to Table,’ Margaret Hannay Fellow, Folger Shakespeare Library, 2022-2023.
  • Ogontz ’65 Career Development Professorship, Penn State Abington, 2021-2023. 
  • Resident Scholar, Penn State Humanities Institute, 2022. 
  • Chief Ogontz Award, Penn State Abington, 2022.
  • President’s Award for Engagement with Students, Penn State, 2022. 
  • Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA GOAL), 2021-2022. 
  • Summer Stipend, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2021. 
  • Teaching Innovation Fellowship, Penn State Abington, 2020.
  • Affordable Course Content Faculty Fellowship, Penn State Abington, 2020.
  • Outstanding Research Fellowship, Penn State Abington, 2019.
  • Chancellor's Grant to support Historical Futures: A Book Conference, 2019
  • International Spenser Society Isabel MacCaffery Prize for the Best Essay in Spenser Studies, Honorable Mention (for “Reading Spenser in 1648: Prophecy and History in Samuel Sheppard’s Faerie Leveller”), 2019.
  • Short-Term Fellowship, UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, 2018-2019.
  • Faculty Senate Outstanding Teaching Award, Penn State Abington, 2018.
  • Panzer New Scholar Award, Bibliographical Society of America, 2017.
  • Folger Shakespeare Library Short-Term Research Fellowship, Folger Shakespeare Library, 2015-2016.
  • Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Critical Bibliography, Rare Book School, University of Virginia, 2013-2015.
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Barnard College, 2007. 

I am an Associate Professor of Renaissance Literature at Penn State Abington where I teach, research, and write about early modern English literature, food studies, book history, and political theory. I have also taught at Scripps College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I received my B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Barnard College, Columbia University in 2007 and my Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014. My public food history website Cooking in the Archives features more than a hundred updated recipes and has had approximately 300,000 visitors. I have published my research on early modern literature, material texts studies, and food studies in a variety of peer-reviewed books, journals, and collections of essays as well as public fora.


Imagining Time in the English Chronicle Play: Historical Futures, 1590-1660 (Oxford University Press, 2023) 

Edited Volumes

Renaissance Futures. Co-edited with John Garrison. A special issue of Explorations in Renaissance Culture. 45, 1 (2019). 

Making Milton: Print, Authorship, Afterlives. Co-edited with Emma Depledge and John Garrison. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. 

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

“‘Emergent Strategy’: Abolitionist Pedagogy in Pandemic Time.” Co-written with Jack Isaac Pryor. The Journal of American Drama and Theatre. 35, no. 2 (2023). 

“Transcribing Recipe Manuscripts Online: V.b.380 and the ‘What’s in a Recipe?’ Undergraduate Research Project at Penn State Abington.” Co-written with Heather Froehlich and Christina Riehman-Murphy. Early Modern Studies Journal 8 (2022). 

“Smelling Contagion: The Sensory Experience of Plague in Seventeenth-Century London and the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Co-written with Holly Dugan and Lisa Smith. Working Papers in Critical Disaster Studies: Series 1 – Historical Approaches to COVID-19 8 (2021): 1-24. 

“Cooking the Baumfylde Manuscript.” Early Modern Studies Journal 7 (2021). 

“Cooking Hannah Woolley’s Printed Recipes from a Manuscript Recipe Book: UPenn Ms. Codex 785.” In After Print: Eighteenth-Century Manuscript Cultures, edited 
by Rachael S. King. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2020. 

“Wasting Time in The Committee-man Curried.” postmedieval 10, 1 (2019): 68-81. Special Issue on “Prophetic Futures” edited by Joseph Bowling and Katherine Walker. 

“‘To plant me in mine own inheritance’: Pretenders and Prolepsis in John Ford’s Perkin Warbeck.” Studies in Philology 115, 3 (2018): 580-597. 

“Couplets, commonplaces and the creation of history in The Famous Tragedie of King Charles I (1649) and Cromwell’s Conspiracy (1660).” In From Republic to Restoration: Legacies and Departures, 69-84. Edited by Janet Clare. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018. 

“Printing as Revival: Making Playbooks in the 1650s.” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 111, 4 (2017): 469-489. 
(Reviewed in The Year’s Work in English Studies, “The Seventeenth Century: Part I,” June 2019.) 

“Milton’s Banana: Paradise Lost and Colonial Botany.” Milton Studies 58 (2017): 49-66. Special Issue on “Milton in the Americas” edited by Angelica Duran and Elizabeth Sauer. 
(Reviewed in The Year’s Work in English Studies, “Renaissance Drama: Excluding Shakespeare,” April 2019.) 

“Reading Spenser in 1648: Prophecy and History in Samuel Sheppard’s Faerie Leveller.” Modern Philology 114, 2 (2016): 286-309. 
(Article awarded Honorable Mention, International Spenser Society Isabel MacCaffery Prize for the Best Essay in Spenser Studies, 2019.) 

Selected Public Writing (editor reviewed) 

“Written in the stars: Prince Hal’s almanac,” OUP Blog, March 2024.

“Love-in-idleness, Part Two: Intoxicating botanicals in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, June 2022. 

“Love-in-idleness, Part One: Adapting an early modern recipe for heartsease cordial,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, June 2022.   

“Knots, cookies, and women’s skill,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, December 2019. 

“Constructing authentic student textual authority: Teach a text you don’t know,” with Christina Riehman-Murphy and Heather Froehlich, September 2019. 

“Textures: a thematic series,” with Amanda E. Herbert, The Recipes Project, July 2019. Co-written introduction and co-edited series of seven blog posts. 

“Savoring the seasons and Lettice Pudsey’s fritters,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, June 2019. 

“Seed Cake inspired by Thomas Tusser,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, March 2019.… 

“Citrus and sugar: Making marmalade with Hannah Woolley,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, February 2019.… 

“British Beef, French Style: Robert May’s Braised Brisket,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, January 2019.… 

“The ‘American Nectar’: William Hughes’s hot chocolate,” Shakespeare & Beyond: at the Folger Shakespeare Library, January 2019.… 

“From the Hearth to the Gas Stove: A Study in Apricot Marmalade,” The Recipes Project, August 2018. 

“Undergraduate Recipe Research,” Early Modern Recipes Online Collective, July 2018. 

“Early Modern Euro-Indigenous Culinary Connections: Chocolate,” with John Kuhn, The Recipes Project, March 2017. 


Ph D, English, University of Pennsylvania

BA, English, Columbia University

ENGL 223N Shakespeare: Page, Stage, and Screen
ENGL 221W/ENGL 455 Premodern Worlds
ENGL 229 Digital Studies
DIGIT 100 Introduction to Digital Humanities
ENGL 15: Rhetoric and Composition, Food and Culture
ENGL 30: Honors Freshman Composition, Food and Culture
ENGL 129: Shakespeare
ENGL 200: Introduction to Critical Reading
ENGL 202B: Writing in the Humanities
ENGL 440: Studies in Shakespeare
ENGL 443: Introduction to the English Renaissance - Premodern Worlds
ENGL 445: Shakespeare’s Contemporaries
ENGL 487 (W): Senior Seminar