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Roya Biggie

biggie grinnell
Visiting Assistant Professor

Roya Biggie earned her Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2016 and her M.A. from Georgetown University in 2010. Her research and teaching interests include early modern drama, theories of affect and embodiment, medicine and horticulture, and early modern cross-cultural encounters. She is currently working on her book manuscript, Ecologies of the Passions in Early Modern English Tragedies. The project recovers a neglected model for understanding early modern affective embodiment by turning the seemingly inward experience of melancholy outward toward the environment. Bringing together ecocriticism and affect theory, she draws on early modern conceptions of sympathy—as hidden affinities or bonds—and argues that the Galenic body’s receptivity creates affective circuits of exchange between human and nonhuman bodies. Numerous institutions, including Georgetown University, the CUNY Graduate Center, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Shakespeare Association of America, have supported her research. Her essay on Cymbeline and early modern entomology will appear in the collection, Lesser Living Creatures of the Renaissance (Penn State UP).
This semester, she is teaching a seminar entitled “Early Modern Transnational Encounters” while beginning a second project on ethnological knowledge, early modern understandings of sympathy, and new world encounters. The project examines how the period’s conception of sympathy—and specifically, the threat of emotional contagion—mediated England’s increasing contact with Africa, the Americas, and the Middle and Far East. 

Campus Phone: 

(641) 269-4467


(641) 269-4733

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On-Campus Address: 

Mears Cottage 215
1213 6th Avenue
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Office Hours: 

Monday and Wednesday, 4:00-5:30