Karol Cooper

Associate Professor
Director of English Literary Studies


310 Marano Campus Center

Office hours


and by appointment: http://karolcooper.simplybook.me

Karol Cooper

In my teaching and research, I trace the historical precedents for issues of current concern as they are portrayed in British drama, satire, and romantic prose from the 1600s and 1700s, and in literatures of recent times. In my research, I examine the history of soul rhetoric in early modern British literature, the tactics of anti-romantic women writers, the commercialization of intimacy, discourses of personal identity, the history of blackness and whiteness in the West, the deconstruction of representation in twentieth- and twenty-first-century avant-garde drama, and critical theories of language, politics, culture, gender, violence, and race. I am presently working on an essay, “Dice and the Commercial End of the ‘Pleasing Delusion’ of War-Like Love in Aphra Behn’s The Luckey Chance,” for an edited collection, The Games of War in British and American Literature, 1588-1783.

Since 2010, I have served as faculty sponsor for Alpha Sigma Eta, the Oswego chapter of the international English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. Our latest project, “Employment and Literary Critique,” gives members practice in using their unique gifts with language to find a place for themselves, and their voices, in the world of work. Members will go beyond the notion of the job search to undertake writing- and community-based tasks that will help them fashion a critical, ethical approach to the workplace and its language, and create a vision for how their own work in language could be valued there.


“’The man is either mad, or I am in a dream’:  Masculine Prerogative as Mental Disease in the Late Novels of Eliza Haywood,” in Symptoms of Disorder: Reading Madness in British Literature 1744-1845, edited by Ilaria Natali and Annalisa Volpone, Cambria Press, 2016.

 “Raping Justice in John Webster’s The White Devil,” in Woman on Trial: The Construction of Gender in Plays about Women Accused of Crime, edited by Amelia Howe Kritzer and Miriam López-Rodríguez, Teneo Press, 2015.

 “The Modernization of the Medieval Staging of Soul in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.” Early Modern Literary Studies, Special Issue 23: Christopher Marlowe: Identities, Traditions, Afterlives, vol. 17, no. 2, 2014. https://extra.shu.ac.uk/emls/journal/index.php/emls/index

“’Too high for souls like mine to hide’:  Feminine Retreat and Exposure in Aphra Behn’s The Feign’d Curtizans.” Restoration and Eighteenth Century Theatre Research, vol. 23, no. 1, 2008, pp. 34-45.


Ph.D., English, University of Washington

B.A., English and Journalism, Indiana University

Classes taught


ENG 204/8M0 MW 4:35-5:55 231 Marano CC
ENG 327/800 MW 3:00-4:20 231 Marano CC

ENG 204 WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE- Represent. In rap, to represent means to show off who you are by showing off your connection to a group, population, or hood. In literature, to represent is a crucial first move in building an imaginary world. But what, and who, is the text supposed to be representing? If we get caught up in that question, debating how well, or how poorly, or how accurately, the text is representing what we consider to be the real world, we may be missing other, more groundbreaking truths about how language works.

 We will read a variety of literary texts from different genres and historical periods, as well as critical texts that explain more about the histories, and controversies, of literary representation. Coursework:  several handwritten interpretive analyses, a draft and revision of a short midterm paper, and a final paper.

ENG 327 ENGLISH DRAMA: SATIRE AND EMPIRE-Sex Work, Gender, and Money in British Comedy.  In 1660, after generations of employing male actors to play women’s parts, the English theatre finally allowed women players to join its ranks. The move was instigated by the new King Charles II, who was an avid supporter of the theatre, and enjoyed making a spectacle of his sexual lifestyle. The king had several relationships and children outside of his marriage to Queen Catherine, and was the figurehead of a so-called libertine era of sexual freedom. However, the plays of the period reveal that most people were still misogynist in their negative judgments of women’s attempts to achieve sexual freedom. Men were free to pursue illicit affairs, but because of the sexual double standard, women who did the same thing were labeled whores. Furthermore, there were plays that drew comparisons between the prostitutional nature of British upperclass marriage, and Britain’s trade in African bodies to further its imperialist incursions into Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Muslim world. In addition to reading several plays, we will also look at key critical texts that offer historical evidence and theoretical frames for interpreting the plays and the theatrical culture of which they were a part. Coursework:  several handwritten interpretive analyses, a presentation and followup report on a critical text on British social history, and a final research paper.