Thomas Herron

Title: Professor
Office: Erwin 219
Phone: 252.328.6413
E-Mail: herront@ecu.edu


Thomas Herron works on the early modern poet Edmund Spenser and Irish plantation, including connections to Sir Walter Raleigh and Thomas Harriot. He also writes on Shakespeare. He has a strong interest in medieval and early modern Irish history, archaeology, and culture. His teaching experience and interests include Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Sir Philip Sidney, James Joyce, Irish literature, composition, creative writing (poetry) and general literature surveys. He has co-edited two multidisciplinary books on Ireland in the Renaissance and co-curated an exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library on "Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland" (Spring 2013). He is the former editor of the multidisciplinary journal Explorations in Renaissance Culture.


B.A. Carleton College, MN
M.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison

Research Interests

Renaissance Britain and Ireland
Irish Studies and Archaeology
Spenser and Shakespeare

Courses Taught

Special Topics: Irish Literary Survey and Cultural Studies
ENGL 7165: James Joyce: Life/Works (graduate seminar)
ENGL 6131: Milton and Seventeenth-Century Literature
ENGL 6121: Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
ENGL 5000: (MRST) Spenser and Renaissance Literature
ENGL 4080: Shakespeare's Comedies
ENGL 4090: Shakespeare's Tragedies
ENGL 4050: Prose and Poetry of the English Renaissance
ENGL 4030: Milton
ENGL 3000: History of British Literature to 1700
MRST 2500: Introduction to Renaissance (and Reformation) Studies
GRBK 2400: Great Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance
ENGL 2201: Writing about the Disciplines 
ENGL 2100: Major British Authors
ENGL 2000: Interpreting Literature
ENGL 1100: Foundations of College Writing
ENGL 1000: Appreciating Literature

Selected Publications and Presentations

Centering Spenser: A Digital Resource for Kilcolman Castle

"The Munster Plantation." Edmund Spenser in Context. Ed. Andrew Escobedo (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 72-82.

"Titus, Hell, and the Elements." Shakespeare (Online June 10, 2016; forthcoming in print Fall 2016), 1-19.

"The Sidneys in Ireland." Ashgate Research Companion to the Sidneys, 1500-1700, vol. I: Lives. Ed. Michael Brennan, Margaret Hannay and Mary Ellen Lamb (Ashgate, 2015), 179-90.

"New English Nation: Munster Politics, Virgilian Complaint, and Pastoral Empire in Spenser's 'Colin Clouts Come Home Againe' (1595)." Eolas: Journal of the American Society of Irish Medieval Studies 8 (2015), 89-122.

“Complex Spenser: New Directions in Recent Research.” Renaissance Quarterly 68.3 (Fall 2015), 957-69.

Co-author, with Brendan Kane, Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland (Folger Shakespeare Library, 2013).

"Outfoxed? 'Mother Hubberds Tale,' Adam Loftus and Lord Burleigh in Irish context." Spenser Studies 28 (2013), 221-32.

"'Killing Swine' and planting heads in Shakespeare's Macbeth." Heads Will Roll: Decapitation in the Medieval and Early Modern Imagination. Ed. Larissa Tracy and Jeff Massey (Brill, 2012), 261-87.

"War, the Boar and Spenserian Politics in Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis." Celtic Shakespeare: the Bard and the Borderers. Ed. Willy Maley and Rory Loughnane (Ashgate 2013), 61-88.

Co-editor, with Michael Potterton, Dublin and the Pale in the Renaissance, c. 1540-1660 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011).

"Pale martyr: politicizing Richard Stanihurst's Aeneis (1582)." Dublin and the Pale in the Renaissance. Ed. Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton (Four Courts Press, 2011), 291-318.

Co-editor (with Willy Maley), Sidney Journal 29.1 (2011) (special issue on Sir Henry Sidney).

"Irish Archaeology and the Poetry of Edmund Spenser: Content and Context." Plantation in Early Modern Ireland. Ed. James Lyttleton and Colin Rynne (Four Courts Press, 2009), 229-47.

"More Hot Air: A Large and Serious Response to Tom McFaul." Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate 19.1-3 (2009/2010), 165-75.

Sir Walter Raleigh in Ireland by Sir John Pope Hennessy (University College Dublin Press, 2009) [ed.].

"Edmund Spenser's Mother Hubberds Tale (1591) and Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland." Studies in Philology 105.3 (Summer, 2008), 336-387.

Spenser's Irish Work: Poetry, Plantation and Colonial Reformation (Ashgate, 2007).

Ireland in the Renaissance, c. 1540-1660 (Four Courts Press 2007) [contributor and co-editor with Michael Potterton].

"Climbing to Machu Picchu on Pablo Neruda's Inca Trail" (creative non-fiction). Garnet: The Hampden-Sydney Magazine 111.2 (Fall 2003): 31-6.