Biographical Sketch

Born and raised in Bulgaria, Stavreva completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Iowa, and after a brief detour for a post-doctoral position at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., put down academic roots in Iowa. Her teaching and scholarship are informed by a passion for words, the material book, and for the lived experience of literature by writers, readers, and performers. Her students explore global adaptations of Shakespeare, write and perform their own transformations of Shakespeare’s plays, follow into Dante’s footsteps to study the resonances of the Divine Comedy in Italian architecture and art, create teaching editions of early modern plays and travelogues, compose and letterpress print broadsides and artists books. She is a founding member of Cornell's Foxden Press and director of the College's Center for the Literary Arts.

Stavreva’s research has taken her to The British Library, the Library of the Religious Society of Friends, the Guildhall Library, the Theater and Performance Archive at the Victoria and Albert Museum (all in London), the Bodleian Library, the libraries of Magdalen, Merton, and St. Johns Colleges and the Oxfordshire History Centre in Oxford, the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerpen, the National Library in Sofia, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Huntington Library in Los Angeles, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., as well as to villages on England’s Channel shore, Bulgaria’s Rhodope mountains, and even a prison in Varna, Bulgaria. Her love of book arts has been nourished by the communities of the University of Iowa Center for the Book, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, and Ladies of Letterpress.

Outside the classroom, Prof. Stavreva enjoys traveling, letterpress printing, digital storytelling, and all things Italian.

Link to Curriculum Vitae

cv Stavreva July 2016

Areas of Expertise

  • Poetry and drama of the English Renaissance
  • Global Shakespeare
  • Early modern women's literature and rhetoric
  • Book history and book arts

Faculty-Student Research

  • Articles on the Middle Temple Inn, one of the four Inns of Court in London, for the international database Map of Early Modern London, University of Victoria, BC, Canada: a set of historical articles for the Encyclopedia component of the MoEML project developed by ENG 411 Senior Seminar and edited by Prof. Stavreva (in progress).
  • An Account of the Travels, Sufferings & Persecutions of Barbara Blaugdone (1691): an annotated electronic edition with contextualizing essays by ENG 325 Women Writers in the Age of Shakespeare.
  • Thomas Dekker, Henry Chettle and William Haughton, The Pleasant Comedy of Patient Grissil (1619): an annotated electronic edition with contextualizing introduction and a backstage plot by ENG 322 Shakespeare's Rivals.

Selected Awards/Honors

  • Fulbright Global Scholar Award, 2016-17. The only scholar of literature among the recipients of the award in its inaugural year.
  • NEH Summer Scholarships for participation in the seminars "Tudor Books and Readers" (Antwerpen, Belgium; London and Oxford, U.K., 2014) and "Dante's Divine Comedy and the Medieval World (Prato, Italy, 2009)
  • Affiliated Scholar of the ACM Program Florence: Arts, Humanities, and Culture Program, 2011
  • Newberry Library, Chicago/British Academy Fellowship for Study in Great Britain, 2006
  • Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Award for best article in the field in 2000
  • Invited lectures at the Congress of the International Shakespeare Association (2016), Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (2015), the Shakespeare at Kalamazoo Society of the International Congress on Medieval Studies (2008), Chicago's Newberry Library Seminar on Medieval and Early Modern Magic (2003)