Mary C. Fuller

Professor Mary C. Fuller’s research focuses on the history of long-distance trade, exploration, and colonization in the early modern period. How did sixteenth-century England contact a world beyond Europe, what kinds of records did these contacts produce, what kinds of stories have they been used to tell, and what are the sequels of actions, records, and narratives in the present?  In addition to several books, she has published articles on Caribbean poetry, exploration narratives and video games, the dullness of travel writing, circumnavigations and their media, the political philosophy of early modern exploration, and narratives of travel to Russia, West Africa, Guiana, Newfoundland, Iceland and Istanbul in the 16th and 17th centuries. Her teaching focuses especially on poetry, but spans topics ranging from the history of science to the ways contemporary American poets think about citizenship; subjects have been cross-listed with CMS, Music, Anthropology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and EAPS. She served as Associate Chair of the Institute Faculty 2011 – 2013.

MacVicar Faculty Fellow

Winner of the 2010 James and Ruth Levitan Prize in the Humanities

Project director of the 2011 NEH Summer Seminar “English Encounters with the Americas, 1550-1610.”

Early modern European literature and culture; colonial North American literature and culture; travel writing and cultural encounter; history of the book; Milton.

Voyages in Print:  English Travel to America, 1576-1624 (Cambridge University Press, 1995; paperback, 2007).

Remembering the Early Modern Voyage:  English Narratives in the Age of European Expansion (Palgrave, 2008).

In Progress

Geographic Information in the Age of Drake: Richard Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations of the English Nation (1600).

Volume 9, Oxford Principal Navigations (co-edited with Matthew Day).


Selected Publications

Work in press

“Geographical myths in Shakespeare’s time,” Cambridge World Shakespeare Encyclopedia, ed. Bruce Smith (Cambridge).

“Richard Hakluyt,” in Patricia Parker, ed., Shakespeare Encyclopedia (Greenwood).

Work in print

“Introduction: Negotiating travel in the Anglo-American Atlantic world, 1550-1747,” Studies in Travel Writing 17 (3), Sept. 2013; editor for special issue on “Travel in the Anglo-American Atlantic World, 1550-1747.”

“Arctics of Empire: Hakluyt’s representation of the Arctic in Principal Navigations (1598-1600), in Frédéric Regard, ed., The Quest for the Northwest Passage (Pickering and Chatto, 2012), 15-29.

“’His dark materials’: the problem of dullness in Hakluyt’s collections,” in Daniel Carey and Claire Jowitt, eds., Richard Hakluyt and Travel Writing in Early Modern Europe (Ashgate/ Hakluyt Society, 2012).

“Richard Hakluyt, minister” and “Richard Hakluyt, lawyer,” Encyclopedia Virginia,,

“Arthur and Amazons:  editing the fabulous in Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations,Yearbook of English Studies 41 (2011), 173-89.

“The real and the unreal in Tudor travel writing,” in Kent Cartwright, ed., Companion to Tudor Literature and Culture (Blackwells, 2009).

“Where was Iceland in 1600?,” in Jyotsna Singh, ed., Companion to the Global Renaissance (Blackwells, 2009), 149-62.

“Richard Hakluyt’s foreign relations,” in Paul Smethurst and Julia Kuehn, eds., Travel Writing, Form, and Empire: The Poetics and Politics of Mobility (Routledge, 2008), 38-52.

“Writing the long-distance voyage:  Hakluyt’s circumnavigators,” Huntington Library Quarterly 70 (2007), 37-60.

“Making something of it: questions of value in the early English travel collection”
Journal of Early Modern History 6 (2006), 11-38.

“The First Southerners: Jamestown’s Colonists as Exemplary Figures”
In Richard Gray and Owen Robinson, eds., Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American South (Blackwells, 2004), 29-42.

“Ravenous Strangers: the argument of nationalism in two narratives from Hakluyt’s Principal Navigations (1600)”
Studies in Travel Writing 6 (2002), 1-28.

“Images of English Origins in Newfoundland and Roanoke”
In Germaine Warkentin and Carolyn Podruchny, eds.,: Canada and Europe in Multi-Disciplinary Perspective (University of Toronto, 2001), 141-158.

“English Turks and Resistant Travellers: Conversion to Islam as Homosocial Courtship”
In Jyotsna Singh and Ivo Kamps, eds., Travel Knowledge: European ‘Witnesses’ to “Navigations,Traffiques, and Discoveries” in the Early Modern Period (St. Martin’s, 2000), 66-73.

“The Poetics of a Cold Climate”
Terrae Incognitae 30 (1998), 41-53.

“Myths of Identity in Derek Walcott’s ‘The Schooner Flight‘”
Connotations 5 (1996), 322-38.

(With Henry Jenkins), “Nintendo and New World Travel Writing: A Dialogue”
in Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and Community, ed. Steve G. Jones (Sage, 1994), 57-72.

“Forgetting the Aeneid
American Literary History, (1992), 517-38.

“Ralegh’s Fugitive Gold: Reference and Deferral in the Discoverie of Guiana
Representations 33 (Winter, 1991), 42-64; reprinted in New World Encounters: Essays from Representations, ed. Stephen Greenblatt, (University of California Press, 1993), 218-40.

Subjects taught the current academic year:

21L.004 Reading Poetry (Fall 2022)

21L.320 Big Books: Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio (Spring 2023)

21L.705 Major Authors: Milton’s Paradise Lost & Modern Speculative Fiction (Spring 2023)


Subjects taught in recent years:

21L.004 Reading Poetry (Fall 2022)

21L.004 Reading Poetry (Spring 2022)

21L.320 Big Books: Dante’s Inferno and Purgatorio (Spring 2023)

21L.704 Studies in Poetry: Avatars, Allegory, and Apocalypse in Spenser’s Faerie Queene (Spring 2022)

21L.705 Major Authors: Milton’s Paradise Lost & Modern Speculative Fiction (Spring 2023)

In keeping with her interest in travel, Mary has studied or taught aikido in England, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Finland, Japan, and Canada as well as in 16 states.