English 292: Representing Queen Elizabeth


This course, taught by Professor Hank Dobin in Winter 2014, focused on the figure of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) and the ways in which she has been represented in literature and film.  Students read works written during her lifetime that address her, or that directly or obliquely represent her, by authors such as Shakespeare and Spenser.  However, the majority of the course examined works about the public and private Elizabeth since her death; those works include dramas, poems, fiction, operas, films (starring actors such as Helen Mirren and Bette Davis), children’s books, etc.  The course work consisted of  a collective project to research and collect such representations, to organize the data and write commentaries, and to construct a Digital Timeline—employing exciting, new tools of the digital humanities—as both a learning exercise and a resource for interested students and scholars.   More than 100 entries describe and analyze individual representations from 1545 until 2014; in addition, almost 100 entries on a second band of the Digital Timeline provide critical contextual information about British history, theater history, and film history.  The project is ongoing and now open to the public.


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