Little, Arthur L.


Little, Arthur L.
Associate Professor
Humanities 226
Tel: 310.206.7072
Fax: 310.267.4339
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Ph.D. Harvard University, English 1986-1989
M.A. Harvard University, English, 1983-1986
B.A. Northwestern University, English, 1979-1983

Research and teaching fields

Shakespeare; Early Modern Studies; Shakespeare/Early Modern Race Studies; Race and Ethnic Studies; African American Studies; Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender Studies (LGBTS) and Gender Studies.

Additional Information

While I’m interested in the broad intersection of issues scripting the English sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, my work takes its primary impetus from early modern processes of racialization taking shape during this period as well the historical and ethical extension of these processes into our own cultural moment. As the study of Shakespeare and race emerges as a more articulated field, I’m excited by the questions, challenges, and possibilities springing from this widening body of research and the implications of this scholarship for Shakespeare and early modern studies more broadly. I am currently pursuing what I see as some of the most salient and urgent of these questions, challenges, and possibilities through several interrelated book projects. Beyond (but also within) these, I remain diligently aware of the intersection of race with a host of other matters—including sexuality, gender, class, and religion among them—and deeply committed to the study of queer and African-American literatures and cultures, separately and collectively. I also remain a fierce champion of my undergraduate and graduate students.



Shakespeare and Race. Bloomsbury Arden Series [in progress, not yet contracted].

White People in Shakespeare, Editor [in progress].

Black Hamlet: Disciplining Race, Memory, and the Geno-Performative [in progress]

Shakespeare Jungle Fever:  National-Imperial Re-Visions of Race, Rape and Sacrifice (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2000). “Picturing the Hand of White Women,” pp.25-67, REPRINTED in Shakespearean Criticism, 73 (Thomson Gale, 2003), 273-285.


“Re-Historicizing Race, White Melancholia, and the Shakespearean Imaginary.” Shakespeare Quarterly (forthcoming, 2016).

“‘A Little More than Kin’: Humanness and Freedom in Wulf Sachs’s Hamlet.” Shakespeare and Social Justice, ed. David Ruiter (forthcoming).

Titus Andronicus.” Greenwood Shakespeare Encyclopedia, 5 Vols., ed. Patricia Parker [3,000+ words] (Greenwood Press, forthcoming).

“The Rites of Queer Marriage in The Merchant of Venice,” Shakesqueer, ed. Madhavi Menon (Duke University Press, 2011).

“’A local habitation and a name’:  Presence, Witnessing, and Queer Marriage in Shakespeare’s Romantic Comedies,” Presentism, Gender, and Sexuality in Shakespeare, ed. Evelyn Gajowski (New York:  Palgrave, 2009), 207-236.

“Samuel R. Delany.” African American Writers, Vol. 1, ed. Valerie Smith (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2001), 149-165.

"Absolute Bodies, Absolute Laws:  The Politics of Punishment in Measure for Measure," Shakespearean Power and Punishment, ed. Gillian Murray Kendall (Madison, NJ:  Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; London:  Associated University Presses, 1998), 113-129.

"'An essence that's not seen':  The Primal Scene of Racism in Othello," Shakespeare Quarterly, 44 (1993), 304-324.  REPRINTED in Shakespearean Criticism, 68 (New York: Thompson Gale, 2002), 167-180.

"'Transshaped' Women:  Virginity and Hysteria in The Changeling," Madness in Drama, Themes in Drama, 15, ed. James Redmond (New York and Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1993), 19-42.  REPRINTED in Literature and Criticism from 1400-1800, 123 (New York: Thompson Gale), 339-351.


Book review of Queer Renaissance Historiography: Backward Gaze, eds. Vin Nardizzi, Stephen Guy-Bray, and Will Stockton (Ashgate, 2009). Shakespeare Studies 40 (2012): 270-282.

Book review of Colorblind Shakespeare:  New Perspectives on Race and Performance, ed. Ayanna Thompson (Routledge, 2006).  Shakespeare Studies 37 (2009):  296-306.

Book review of Performing Blackness on English Stages, 1500-1800, Virginia Vaughan (Cambridge University Press, 2005), Early Theatre 11 (2008): 144-149.

Book reviews of David Bergman’s The Violet Hour (Columbia, 2003) and Roderick A. Ferguson’s Aberrations in Black (Minnesota, 2004).  American Literature, 77 (2005):  648-651.

"Richard II and the Essence of Rebellion:  A Multicultural Inquiry," Performing Arts, Los Angeles edition (Mark Taper Forum), 26, no. 4, April 1992, pp. p-8-p-9.