Derrick Higginbotham


I am an Associate Professor whose primary teaching and research interests are late medieval and early modern English literary cultures, queer theory/gender studies, and contemporary queer African literatures. I am especially interested in interrelations between literature, sexuality, and economics, both in the past and present. Currently, I am finishing my first book manuscript entitled Winners and Wasters: Economic Narratives, Gender, and the Theater, c. 1350 - c. 1650, which examines the ways that late medieval and early modern drama represents the commercialization of England’s economy as well as the socio-cultural consequences that this economic transformation has on the social order and individual identities, especially gender, sexual, and racial identities. I also am the co-editor, with Assistant Professor Nicholas R. Jones, Bucknell College, of a new book series at Routledge entitled Critical Junctures in Global Early Modernities that seeks to link the analytics of critical theory and cultural studies to the early modern period in various geographic locations from 1400 to 1700. As well, I am on the Executive Council of the Oecologies research cluster that investigates premodern ecologies. See our website for more information:


  • “Queer States:  Beyond the Nomos of the Closet in Tendai Huchu’s The Hairdresser of Harare.” In Spatial Justice in the Postcolony, edited by Jaco Barnard-Naudé and Julia Cryssostalis. New York: Routledge, 2020 (forthcoming).
  • “Women/Animals/Slaves: Race and Sexuality in Wycherley’s The Country Wife (1675).” In Early Modern Black Diaspora Studies: A Critical Anthology, edited by Cassander L. Smith, Nicholas Jones, and Miles P. Grier.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018: 38 - 66.
  • “Beyond Identity: Queer Affiliation and the Politics of Solidarity in Gordimer’s None to  Accompany Me and Duiker’s The Quiet Violence of Dreams.” In Queer in Africa: LGBTQI Identities, Citizenship, and Activism, edited by Zethu Matebeni, Surya Monro, and Vasu Reddy. London: Routledge, 2018: 84 – 98
  • Diversity in Human Sexuality:  Implications for Policy in Africa.  Co-authored with H. Dugmore, J. Coovadia, G. Grey, C. Breyer et alia.  Pretoria:  Academy of Science of South Africa, 2015.
  • Contested Intimacies:  Sexuality, Gender, and the Law in Africa, including the introduction “Imagining Intersections:  Sexuality, Gender, Law, and the Politics of Solidarities”, eds. Derrick Higginbotham and Victoria Collis-Buthelezi.  Cape Town:  Siber-Ink Press, 2015.
  • “The Construction of a King:  Waste, Effeminacy, and Queerness in Shakespeare’s Richard II”  Shakespeare in Southern Africa 26 (2014):  59 – 73.
  • Cardenio’s Three Rs:  Revision, Rape, and Rank in Shakespeare and Fletcher’s ‘Lost Play’”.  Shakespeare in Southern Africa 25 (2013):  61 – 72.
  • “Producing Women:  Textile Manufacture and Economic Power on Late Medieval and Early Modern Stages.” Comitatus 41 (2010): 183 – 206.
  • “Impersonators in the Market:  Merchants and the Premodern Nation in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament.”  Exemplaria 19.1 (Spring 2007): 163 – 182.

Areas of Interest

  • Late Medieval and Early Modern Theatre
  • Literary History, Genre, and Cultural Change
  • Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • Queer theory/Gender Studies/Feminist Theory
  • Marxism, Materialism, and the New Economic Criticism
  • Queer African Literatures


  • Ph.D, Columbia University
  • Certificate in Feminist Scholarship, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Columbia University
  • M.A., Columbia University
  • M.A., Simon Fraser University


Fall Semester 2024
  • ENG-330: Medieval Literature

Spring Semester 2024
  • ENG-745: Seminar in Shakespeare: Rogues, Pirates, and Boys: Queer/Trans Theories and Early Modern Culture

Fall Semester 2023
  • ENG-445: William Shakespeare

Spring Semester 2023
  • ENG-100: Composition I
  • ENG-431: Studies: 16th & 17th Centry Literature: Land, Seas, Property, and Sovereignty in Early Modernity

Fall Semester 2022
  • ENG-745: Seminar in Shakespeare: Theorizing Race, Sexuality, Gender, and Ecology