Fotograaf: onbekend

mw. dr. K.A. (Kristine) Johanson

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
    Capaciteitsgroep Engelse taal en cultuur
  • Bezoekadres
    P.C. Hoofthuis
    Spuistraat 134  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: 527
  • Postadres:
    Spuistraat  134
    1012 VB  Amsterdam
    T: 0205258148

I am Assistant Professor of English Renaissance Literature and Culture. Prior to joining the UvA faculty in August 2012, I was Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, NY) and an Instructor at the University of St. Andrews (St. Andrews, Scotland). I received my Ph.D. (2010) and M.Litt (2006) from St. Andrews. 

My scholarship is at work outside of the university as well, and I have worked with The Moving Arts Project, the Amsterdam Academisch Club, the Friends of the Rotterdam Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with the Dutch National Opera and Ballet and Felix Meritis. My recent reviews of Shakespeare adaptations in Amsterdam are available here and here.  

I have also been active as a playwright here, and in 2015 three of my short plays were produced in Amsterdam.

Current and Future Research

Presently I am completing a monograph that began life as my Ph.D. thesis ("A Rhetoric of Nostalgia on the English Stage, 1587-1605"). This book, provisionally titled Golden Ages: Shakespeare and the Idea of Nostalgia in Early Modern England, explores how nostalgia was articulated as a political discourse in early modern English drama, and it argues that Shakespeare's plays expose the ambivalence of nostalgia as a political rhetoric.

At present I am also editing a special journal on 'Approaches to Early Modern Nostalgia', and completing articles on Shakespeare's Richard II and lost hospitality, on nostalgia and Ecclesiastes in Shakespeare's Sonnets, and on the idea of 'normal time' in Shakespeare's plays.

My next research project will examine the relationship between time and emotion on the early modern stage. In support of this work I have received a fellowship to the Huntington Library for my project, 'Melancholy and the Opportune Moment: Occasio as Mediator of Emotion on the Early Modern English Stage'.

In December 2013, my scholarly edition Shakespeare Adaptations from the Early Eighteenth Century: Five Plays was published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.


Collaborative Research

My collaborative research activities are international in their scope. Since 2012 I have participated in the NWO-funded 'Shakespeare in the Making of Europe' research programme, which brings together scholars from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and Poland. With Sarah Lewis (King's College, London) and Joanne Paul (New College for the Humanities, London) I lead the international, interdisciplinary research group Grasping Kairos. In March we organized the interdisciplinary panel on 'The Opportune Moment' at the Renaissance Society of America conference in Berlin, and the London Research Seminar is funding our November workshop on ' The Opportune Moment and the Early Modern Theatre of Politics'.

With my former colleague Tara MacDonald, I founded the Emotion and Subjectivity, 1300-1900 research group. Our first major event was the Emotion and Subjectivity, 1300-1900 workshop which was held at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) on 29-30 September 2014. The workshop was funded by NIAS, the Amsterdam School for Culture and History (ASCH), the Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms (SPIN), the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL), and the Huizinga Institute.


With Jeroen Jansen in the Dutch department, I coordinate the Cultural Memory, Rhetoric, and Literary Discourse research group. For the 2014-2015 academic year we organized the lecture series 'The Dynamics of a Textual Past: Literary Discourse and Cultural Memory in Early Modern Europe, 1600-1800', which will continue in 2015-2016. The series is funded by the Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity and by the Amsterdam School for Culture and History.

I am also an associate member of the Historical Theatre Research group.


Thesis Supervision

I would welcome Ph.D. students interested in working on early modern literature (broadly, 1500-1800) and on projects concerning politics, rhetoric, the history of emotions, temporality, nostalgia, and idealized spaces. 

In the 2015-2016 academic year, I will continue to teach early modern literature at the BA and MA levels. These courses include: 

Nation and Narrative (MA) - Examining the plays of Shakespeare, Caryl Churchill, and Timberlake Wertenbaker, we explore the construction of the English nation through Renaissance and modern drama.

Critical Approaches to Literature and Culture (MA) - My 4-week contribution to this core MA course includes texts by Montaigne, Shakespeare, Benjamin, and contemporary critics of nostalgia.

Literature 2 (BA) - A survey course of early literature from c.1000 to 1750

Authors in Focus: Renaissance Women Writers (BA) - An exploration of the works of Mary Wroth and Katherine Philips

Shakespeare in Focus (BA)

Evil in Thought and Literature (BA) - I contribute 3 weeks of teaching on Milton's Paradise Lost to this interdisciplinary course run by the Philosophy department.



(Invited) “Refusing Melancholy: Occasio as Mediator of Emotion oin Shakespeare's Drama”, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, April 2015, Geneva, NY.

'“Our brains beguiled”: Ecclesiastes and Temporal Discontinuity in Sonnet 59', in the 'Shakespeare's Sonnets Now' seminar at SAA 2015, March 2015, Vancouver, Canada.

“Refusing Melancholy: Occasio as Mediator of Emotion on the Early Modern Stage”, “Seizing the Moment: Rethinking Occasio in Early Modern Literature and Culture” panel (organized by me) at the Renaissance Society of America conference, March 2015, Berlin.

"Shakespeare's 'Rude, Distract'd Plan': Early Eighteenth-Century Adaptations and the making of a 'Shakespeare' fit for Europe", Shakespeare in the Making of Europe workshop, Munich 13-15 June 2014. 


“A Sovereignty in Time: Nostalgia, Occasio, and Shakespeare’s Richard II”, Time and Space in Early Modern Europe conference, Queen’s University, Belfast, January 20-21 2014.


“The Past Just Isn’t What It Used to Be: Interrogating Nostalgia in Early Modern England and Shakespeare’s Richard II”, part of the “Understanding Nostalgia in Sixteenth-Century England” panel (organized by me) at the Renaissance Society of America conference, March 27–29 2014, New York, NY.


“Worse than Senseless Things”: Class and Emotion in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,  “Class and Emotion” seminar at the Shakespeare Association of America conference, Toronto, March 28-20, 2013.


(Invited) “Interrogating Temporality in Renaissance Drama”, Golden Age Colloquium at  the Amsterdam Center for the Study of the Golden Age, Amsterdam, March 7, 2013.


(Invited) “The Feeling of Revolution: The Idea of Cyclical History in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar”, Faculty Lecture Series, Department of English, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, November 22 2012.  


(Invited) “Music in Shakespeare / Shakespeare in the Music,” Friends of the Rotterdam Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, November 2, 2012. 


“The Past Just Isn’t What It Used to Be: Shakespeare and the Rhetoric of Nostalgia,” “Emotion in Shakespeare” seminar at the Shakespeare Association of America conference, Boston, MA April 5–7 2012.


“‘La calamité de ce temps”: Politicizing, Marketing, and Dramatizing Nostalgia in England and France,”  Renaissance Society of America conference, Washington, D.C., March 22–24 2012.  


(Invited) “‘La calamité de ce temps”: Politicizing, Marketing, and Dramatizing Nostalgia in England and France,” Launch Conference of the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges–University College London, London, September 15–17 2011.


“‘Immortal Shakespear on this Tale began, / And wrote it in a rude, Historick Plan’: Using and Abusing Shakespeare in Early 18th Century Adaptations of the History Plays,” Shakespeare: Sources and Adaptation conference, Cambridge University, September 9–11 2011.


(Invited) “Marlowe, Greene, Nashe and the Uses of Nostalgia,” “University Wits as Agents of Change” symposium, University of Agder, Norway, July 29– August 1,  2010.


“In the Mean Season: Richard II and the Nostalgic Politics of Hospitality,” 4th National Conference of the Society for Renaissance Studies, York, July 16–18 2010.


“A Rhetoric of Nostalgia in the Public Sphere: the Discourse of Lost Hospitality in Richard II”, “The Publics of the Public Stage” seminar at the Shakespeare Association of America conference, Chicago, IL, April 1–3 2010.



I take student support work very seriously, and one of my administrative roles is as tutor, or departmental student adviser. Before coming to the UvA, I participated in student support trainings while I was at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. These included:


March­­–April 2012: HWS Sexual Violence Response Training. Directed by an HWS psychologist, this voluntary program trains faculty and students to respond effectively to students who are survivors of sexual violence.


September 2011: HWS Gatekeepers Training. Provided by HWS psychologists, this voluntary program trained faculty to respond effectively to students in distress and to make appropriate referrals.


  • Johanson, K. A. (2014). Shakespeare Adaptations from the Early Eighteenth Century: Five Plays. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. [details]


  • Johanson, K. (2011). Never a Merry World: the Rhetoric of Nostalgia in Elizabethan England. In A. Petrina, & L. Tosi (Eds.), Representations of Elizabeth I in early modern culture. (pp. 210-227). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9780230307261 [details]


  • Johanson, K. A. (2008). ‘Only the Mystery’: Fairy Tales and the (Un)Known Self in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s The Ash Girl. In M. Roth, & S. Freeman (Eds.), International Dramaturgy: Translations and Transformations in the Theatre of Timberlake Wertenbaker. Bruxelles: Peter Lang. [details]


  • Johanson, K. A. (2007). "‘Ever Holy and Unstained’: Illuminating the Feminist Cenci Through Mary Wollstonecraft and Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus". In "Divining Thoughts": New Directions in Shakespeare Studies. Cambridge Scholars Press. [details]
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