Maureen Quilligan

Maureen Quilligan

R. Florence Brinkley Professor Emerita of English

External Address: 
320 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708-0015
(919) 681-2149

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

Quilligan, M. "The Comedy of Female Authority in The Faerie Queene." ELR (1988): 427-41.

Quilligan, M. "The Difference of Feminist Biography." Yale Review (1988): 52-73.

Quilligan, M. "Review of Patricia Parker’s Literary Fat Ladies: Rhetoric Gender Property." Shakespeare Quarterly (1988). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Review of Jasper Ridley’s Henry VIII." New York Times (1985). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Review of Antonia Fraser’s The Weaker Vessel." The Nation (1985). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Review of Tirant Lo Blanc." The Nation (1985). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Review of The Paradise of Women: Writing Englishwomen of the Renaissance." Ed. B Travitsky. Modern Language Notes (1983). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Review of Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies." trans. E.J. Richards, New York Times Book Review (1982). (Review)

Quiligan, M. "Langland's Literal Allegory." Essays in Criticism XXVIII.2 (January 1978): 95-111. Full Text