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Courtney Lehmann

Professor of English


Phone: 209.946.2609


PhD, Indiana University, 1998

MA, Indiana University, 1994

BA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991

Curriculum Vitae 

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy revolves around the call to historicize and the work of counter-memory.  Recuperating voices from the folds in history and the gaps in the narrative is something about which I am passionate.  Perhaps this is why I'm so crazy about Lin Manuel Miranda's Hamilton.  Beyond its citation of Macbeth ("Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day"), Hamilton is fundamentally about the construction of legacies-about "who keeps your flame, who tells your story."  In this context, what most interests me about teaching Shakespeare is the role that the secondary characters, often represented as figures from the working class, racial others, or women of any station, play in shaping the storylines -- a phenomenon known as "scripting from below."

  We live in a moment in which certain identities are vulnerable to collective myopia, historical neglect, and physical violence, which is why the practice of deep cultural analysis is needed now more than ever.  The present is complex and subtle; the study of narrative obligates us to read closely, to cultivate an appreciation for context, to listen to one another's perspectives and, ultimately, to imagine the alternative stories and possible futures for which we are responsible.

2016 Distinguished Faculty Award


ENGL 131. Shakespeare (4) Eight to ten of Shakespeare's plays, studied from a variety of critical perspectives, such as the historical, psychological, philosophical, formalist, cultural and theatrical approaches. Selections from each major genre (comedy, tragedy, history). Specific plays vary from term to term; the reading list may include such works as Twelfth Night, The Tempest, King Lear, Macbeth, Richard II, Henry IV (Parts One and Two) and Henry VIII.