Carnegie Mellon University

Stephen Wittek

Stephen Wittek

Associate Professor of English and Director of Literary and Cultural Studies

  • BH 245 D
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Area of Study

Literary and Cultural Studies


My work lies at the intersection between early modern drama, cultural studies, and digital humanities. My most recent book is Shakespeare and the Cultural Politics of Conversion (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), a close examination of Shakespeare’s engagement with the flurry of controversy and activity surrounding the concept of conversion in post-Reformation England.  I am also the author of The Media Players: Shakespeare, Middleton, Jonson, and the Idea of News (University of Michigan Press in 2015), a study of the coevolutionary relationship between the commercial news market and the commercial theater. Scholarship pertaining to both of these projects has appeared in journals including Studies in English Literature, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and Journal of Cognitive History.  I am also co-editor of two multi-authored collections: Performing Conversion: Cities, Theatre and Early Modern Transformations (with José R. Jouve-Martín, Edinburgh University Press, 2021) and Shakespeare and Virtual Reality (with David McInnis, Cambridge University Press, 2021).

On the digital humanities front, I am director of the Shakespeare-VR project, an educational initiative that uses virtual reality to introduce students to the spaces, conventions, and performance conditions of the Elizabethan playhouse. Other endeavors of note include an edition of The Merchant of Venice for Internet Shakespeare Editions (co-edited with Janelle Jenstad), and the DREaM interface for distant reading early modern texts (co-created with Matthew Milner and Stéfan Sinclair). Since 2017, I have been co-director of the English department’s Center for Early Modern Print, Networks, and Performance (with Christopher Warren).


  • Performing Race in Early Modernity (ENGL 76329/729)
  • Gender Play in Early Modern Drama (ENGL 76431/831)
  • Literature & Digital Culture (ENGL 76252)
  • Shakespeare on Film (ENGL 76377/ 76777)
  • Literature & Culture in the English Renaissance: Reformation to Revolution (ENGL 76233)
  • Revenge Tragedy (ENGL 76446/846)
  • Politics & Early Modern Drama (ENGL 76429/829)
  • Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances (ENGL 76247)
  • Shakespeare: Tragedies & Histories (ENGL 76245)