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William M. Russell

Associate Professor and Associate Chair

Address: 72 George Street, Room 101
Office Hours: MW 9-12 and by appointment
Phone: 843-953-4959

William Russell teaches courses on composition and early modern literature and culture, focusing primarily on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry, the reception, translation, and imitation of ancient Greek and Roman literature, and the history of rhetoric, poetics, and literary criticism. He has published articles on the history of literary criticism and on such early modern poets and critics as Andrew Marvell and Ben Jonson, and is currently writing a book on the social and intellectual origins of the idea of the critic in early modern England. He is, along with Bryan Ganaway, the co-founder and co-director of Bridging Between, a reading group for Charleston veterans and their families. In 2018, he was awarded the College of Charleston’s Distinguished Teaching Award.


Ph.D., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

M.A., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

B.A., English, Columbia University

Research Interests

  • Early modern literature and culture
  • Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English poetry
  • Rhetoric, poetics, hermeneutics, and the history of literary criticism
  • Humanism and classical reception

Courses Taught

ENGL 504: Early Modern Metamorphoses
ENGL 461: Epic, Translation, and Imitation in Early Modern Europe
ENGL 317: Literature and Revolution in the Seventeenth Century
ENGL 314: Humanism, Poetry, and Politics in the Sixteenth Century
ENGL 306: Milton



“Literary Criticism.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Renaissance and Reformation. Ed. Margaret King. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

“Nasutum Volo, Nolo Polyposum: Ben Jonson and the Consociative Critic,” Studies in Philology 109(5) (Fall 2012): 642-70 .

"Love, Chaos, and Marvell's Elegy for Cromwell," English Literary Renaissance 40(2) (Spring 2010): 272-97.

"Experto Crede: Stephen Gosson and the Experience of the Critic," Renaissance Papers 2009: 21-36.