I specialize in English Renaissance literature, especially Shakespeare. I also have research interests in ecotheory, plant studies, queer studies, and disability studies.

My first book, Wooden Os: Shakespeare’s Theatres and England’s Trees (University of Toronto Press, 2013), brings into view the forest and the trees of Renaissance drama: it explores the surprising connections among Shakespeare’s theatre, drama set “in the woods,” and an environmental crisis that propagandists claimed would lead to an eco-political collapse – an unprecedented scarcity of wood and timber. I propose that, in performance, the material woodenness of theatre could have activated such environmental anxiety and temporarily mitigated it. The Society for Theatre Research short-listed it for the 2013 Theatre Book Prize.

Associate Professor

Degrees: BA (Penn.), PhD (Duke)
Office: BuTo 425 | Hours: W 1:00-3:00
Telephone Office: 604-822-4462
email:; Twitter: @Nardizzi1


My current project, “Marvellous Vegetables in Renaissance Poetry,” explores wondrous representations of plant life in Renaissance poetry, especially (though not exclusively) in the verse of the seventeenth-century English poet Andrew Marvell. I use vegetable as an umbrella term for all forms of plant life, but I am most interested right now in leeks, laurel trees, tulips, mandrakes, potatoes, and tobacco. Something of a poetic natural history, my approach leverages seventeenth-century vegetable figures to articulate fundamentally new questions about the surprising array of vegetable capacities, deprivations, desires, essences, histories, and materialities that shaped ideas about humanness in Renaissance poetry and the visual arts.

With Stephen Guy-Bray and Will Stockton, I have edited Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze (Ashgate, 2009), and, with Jean E. Feerick, I have co-edited The Indistinct Human in Renaissance Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). With Tiffany Jo Werth, I am currently co-editing a volume of essays, Premodern Ecologies in the Modern Literary Imagination (forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press); with Robert W. Barrett Jr., I am co-editing a special issue of postmedieval called “Premodern Plants.” With colleagues at UBC, Simon Fraser University, and the University of California, Davis, I co-convene “Oecologies: Inhabiting Premodern Worlds.”

I was awarded a Killam Teaching Prize in 2011 and was in residence at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies in 2014-15. I have received research funds from the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Shakespeare Association of America, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Insight Development, Connection, and Insight Grants).