Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2019

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

English and American Literature

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Literature scholars often consider the seventeenth century to be the period in which the role of the individual author as we know it today was consolidated, strengthened, or even invented. Scholars of collaboration, most notably Jeffrey Masten in his book Textual Intercourse, tend to treat the phenomenon of joint literary work as limited to coauthorship and either to specific genres (usually drama) or specific periods in time (usually 1590 to 1620). In this model, collaborative environments give way to authorial ones, particularly in Restoration England as the position of the professional author was strengthened by changes in publishing practices. However scholars of book history from Donald McKenzie to Harold Love to Lisa Jardine have shown that exchange, association, and relationality were the rule rather than the exception throughout the period. I extend these principles outside print and manuscript practices as I show that the many social communities an author engages with affect the creative work that they produce, and I make a case that the techniques of network analysis provide an important perspective on the collectivity of literary production. In so doing I argue that early modern literary production is driven by sets of relationships which give character to literary works, and I discuss social relations and modes of collaboration that have identifiable and distinct effects on literary forms in different genres and historical periods.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Steven Zwicker

Committee Members

Joseph Loewenstein, Jessica Rosenfeld, Anupam Basu, Christopher Warren,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/22tp-6y61