Fran ConnorFran Connor

Born and raised in the coal region of Pennsylvania, I converted from bratty slacker to informed reader after a friend lent me some graphic novels to read while I recovered from a hideously broken leg (an injury that ended an astonishingly unpromising football career.) Duly inspired, I studied English literature and drama at the University of Scranton. Upon graduation I moved to Arlington, VA, where I furthered my literary studies at George Mason University and the Folger Institute while working at a (now-defunct) independent bookstore in Georgetown. Being able to use early modern books at the Folger allowed me to fuse my work in the modern book trade with my academic interests in English Renaissance and Restoration literature. As a result, I earned a doctorate at the University of Virginia, where my studies concentrated on bibliography, book history, and textual theory. To earn my keep at UVA I taught a variety of literary topics, including Shakespeare, medieval and early modern literature, as well as classes on punk and goth music and The Wire.

In 2010 I joined the team editing the New Oxford Shakespeare at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, collaborating with general editors Gary Taylor, Terri Bourus, and John Jowett to produce an innovative old-spelling edition of Shakespeare informed by recent scholarship in book history, performance studies, and authorship studies. This edition will be published in April 2016, just in time to celebrate the quadricentennial of Shakespeare's death.

In the meantime, my work has appeared/is forthcoming in, among other places, Philological Quarterly, Sidney Journal, and Shakespeare Survey. My book project, Literary Folios and Ideas of the Book in Early Modern England, investigates how literary work by Ben Jonson, Samuel Daniel, Shakespeare and others published in large-format folios contributed to contemporary debates about the nature of the book. As a newly minted Assistant Professor of English at Wichita State, I'll teach courses in Shakespeare, early modern literature, and many other things. I look forward to turning today’s bratty slackers into the scholars, performers, writers, and textual editors of tomorrow.

Contact Dr. Connor at francis.connor@wichita.edu.