Maureen Quilligan

R. Florence Brinkley Professor Emerita of English

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Maureen Quilligan has as a primary field of interest in the Renaissance, with special attention to women and literature. She has published four books: The Language of Allegory: Defining the Genre (1979) Milton's Spenser: The Politics of Reading (1983), The Allegory of Female Authority: Christine de Pizan's Cite des Dames (1991) and Incest and Agency in Elizabeth's England (2005). She has also co-edited three volumes of essays titled Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe (1986) and Subject and Object in Renaissance Culture(1996) and Rereading the Black Legend: the Discourses of Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires (2008). Among other fellowships she has held a Guggenheim and an ACLS and was awarded the Sidonie Clauss Prize for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities at Yale (1983) as well as the Undergraduate Advisory Board Teaching Prize at the University of Pennsylvania (1997). She is at work on two current projects: female political authority in the sixteenth century, and slavery in the Renaissance epic.


  • Ph.D. 1973, Harvard University
  • M.A. 1967, University of California at Berkeley
  • B.A. 1965, University of California at Berkeley

Quilligan, M. "Thomas Pynchon and the Language of Allegory." Thomas Pynchon, Critical Essays. Ed. Pearce. Twayne, 1981.


Quilligan, M. "Elizabeth’s Embroidery." Shakespeare Studies 29 (2001): 208-215.

Quilligan, M. "Spenser and Slavery." Ed. I Baucom. South Atlantic Quarterly (2001).

Quilligan, M. "Author, Author." Yale Review (1993).

Quilligan, M. "Review of Gamani Salgado’s The Elizabethan Underworld." New York Times Book Review (1993). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Translating Dismemberment: Christine de Pizan and Boccaccio." Studi Sul Boccaccio (1991).

Quilligan, M. "Christine de Pizan: Interventions." Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, special issue edited by Ruth Barrie Strauss (1991).

Quilligan, M. "Review of The History of Private Life, vol. III." Ed. R Chartier. New York Times Book Review (1989). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Review of Antonia Fraser’s The Warrior Queens." Washington Post (1989). (Review)