Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
van Elk
California State University, Long Beach
Website URL
early modern women writers; English literature, Dutch literatur, public sphere, domesticity, privacy, poetry, prose, drama, book history, material culture
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a professor of English at California State University, Long Beach, with expertise in different areas, including Shakespeare, early modern vagrants, and early modern Dutch and English women writers. A Dutch native with a PhD in English literature, I am fascinated by the relationships between texts and objects created by early modern women of different nationalities. My research into the lives and works of these women has persuaded me not only of the value of comparative analysis but also of the need for more interdisciplinary research. Particularly if they had the leisure time necessary, early modern women tended to express themselves not in any one form. Looking at their writing along with their art in other media will give us a richer picture of how they saw themselves and the world around them.

My book Early Modern Women Writers: Domesticity, Privacy, and the Public Sphere in England and the Dutch Republic has been published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. You can find more information on the book here.

I work on a blog entitled Early Modern Women: Lives, Texts, Objects, which you can find here.

I also run a blog on Early Modern Female Book Ownership, with a group of scholars. You can find that blog here.

For more information and publications, go to my profile on Humanities Commons.

Recent Publications

Early Modern Women Writers: Domesticity, Privacy, and the Public Sphere in England and the Dutch Republic. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan/Springer, 2017.

“Such strange work”: Female Glass Engravers in the Early Modern Dutch Republic.” Forthcoming in Renaissance Quarterly, spring 2020.

“Women Writers and the Dutch Stage: Public Femininity in the Plays of Verwers and Questiers.” Women and Gender in the Early Modern Low Countries, 1500–1750. 167–91.

“‘Blessed art thou, Reader, if you are not of that sex.’ Public Femininity in Seventeenth-Century France, England and the Low Countries.” Michaelina Wautier: Glorifying a Forgotten Talent. Ed. Katlijne van der Stighelen. Antwerp: Rubenshuis, 2018. 120-33.

“‘Before she ends up in a brothel’: Public Femininity and the First Actresses in England and the Low Countries.” Early Modern Low Countries1.1 (2017): 30-50.

Gammer Gurton’s Needle. Broadview Anthology of Medieval Drama.Gen. Ed. Christina M. Fitzgerald and John T. Sebastian. Peterborough: Broadview, 2013. 496-540.

“‘Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him’: Terence in Early Modern England.” Blackwell Companion to Terence. Ed. Antonios Augoustakis and Ariana Traill. Malden: Blackwell, 2013. 410-428.

“True Fire, Noble Flame: Friendship Poetry by Katharina Lescailje, Cornelia van der Veer, and Katherine Philips.” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 7 (2012). 157-90.

“Courtliness, Piety, and Politics: Emblem Books by Georgette de Montenay, Anna Roemers Visscher, and Esther Inglis.” Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters. Eds. Anne Larsen and Julie Campbell. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Press, 2009. 183-212.

“‘You will find many wants’: Flushing in the 1590s.” Sidney Journal27.1 (2009): 1-8.

“‘This sympathized one day’s error’: Genre, Representation, and Subjectivity in The Comedy of Errors.” Shakespeare Quarterly60.1 (2009): 47-72.

“‘She would tell none other tale’: Narrative Strategies in the Bridewell Court Books and the Rogue Literature of the Early Modern Period.” Early Modern Culture: An Electronic Seminar 7. <>.

“‘Determined to prove a villain’: Criticism, Pedagogy, and Richard III.” College Literature34.4 (Fall 2007): 1-21.

Co-editor with Lloyd Edward Kermode and Jason Scott Warren. Tudor Drama Before Shakespeare, 1485-1590: New Directions for Research, Criticism, and Pedagogy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

“The Counterfeit Vagrant: The Dynamic of Deviance in the Bridewell Court Records and the Literature of Roguery.” Rogues and Early Modern English Culture. Eds. Craig Dionne and Steve Mentz. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004. 120-39.

“Urban Misidentification in The Comedy of Errorsand the Cony-Catching Pamphlets.” Studies in English Literature 43.2 (Spring 2003): 323-46.

“‘Our praises are our wages’: Courtly Exchange, Social Mobility, and the Female Body in The Winter’s Tale.” Philological Quarterly79 (Fall 2000): 429-457. Rpt. in Shakespearean Criticism Vol. 81 (2004): 347-60.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
England, the Netherlands
Expertise by Geography
England, France, Netherlands
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, 18th century
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Gender, Libraries & Archives, Literary History, Material Culture, Women